The year in pictures

The library continued its daily efforts as a pillar of information for the university community. The libraries were open to users with restrictions depending on the corona situation. Training, support services and guidance had already been successfully transferred online during the previous spring. The return to campuses was celebrated in October before the new recommendations for remote work.
Digital Helka Card

One of the much-awaited new services of the year was made possible by integrating the library's new background system, which was introduced in 2020, into University of Helsinki's Studies Service. As a result the university community can borrow books without a plastic library card. The digital Helka card can be used, for example, on the screen of a smartphone.

Customer survey results guide the development of the library

The library conducts a customer survey approximately every two years. Due to the prolonged corona period, the query was modified to take into account the library's services during the exceptional situation.

The library services were considered to be on average successful: on a scale of 0 to 10, the average probability of a recommendation was 8.6. The corresponding average in 2018 was 8.7. During the corona period, the most widely used library service was the remote use of e-resources (79%). There were a lot of open answers to the survey, and customers mainly praised the smooth services.

The majority of the university's publications are openly available

The majority of articles produced at University of Helsinki in 2021 are already open access. The library's goal is to make open publishing as easy as possible for researchers.

One topic that is being discussed by the research community is the assessment of the quality of open publication channels. The library offered webinars to support the evaluation and selection of the publication channel.

Open Science Award

University of Helsinki granted its open Science Award to two nominees, who both represent long-term grassroots work in enabling and promoting the use of valuable research data. The award was given to the Language Bank of Finland, and especially its Donate Speech data, and to research coordinator Kati Lassila-Perini’s work in utilizing the open data of particle physics in research and education. 

The library participated in the International Open Access week for the 10th time.

Support for opening data and preserving it long-term

University of Helsinki launched the PAS service for long-term preservation of the university's research materials. The purpose of long-term preservation of digital material is to ensure the preservation and usability of nationally significant research material for decades to come. Permanent DOI tags allow referencing and facilitate data reuse.

The Academy of Finland requires its grantees a commitment to open access of publications and to the opening of research data produced by the project. The webinars organized provided practical information on how to fulfill the open science requirements, e.g. immediate open access to peer-reviewed articles and how to describe the research data management procedure.  

Highlights from the library collections on current themes

Helsinki university library continued its active work towards a more equal university community and society, and was once again involved in the university's Pride Week events.

Reading tips and topical collection displays were also offered throughout the year in connection with various theme days, such as Minna Canth and Equality Day.

Pioneers of open science and bibliometrics

Development manager Kimmo Koskinen, who has had a long career at University of Helsinki, has been able to follow the stages in the development of open science since the 1990s. Services have developed and attitudes and practices towards open science have changed, Koskinen recalls in the Think Open blog (in Finnish) on the eve of retirement.

The open availability of reference data related to scientific publishing, rich metadata and open publications will in the future create services that we can't even imagine yet, says Eva Isaksson, an information specialist specialized in bibliometrics who retired from the library in 2021. In the interview (in Finnish), Isaksson talks about the stages of their long career in publishing metrics, library services and equality work at University of Helsinki.

Remote communication

In late 2021 the library was able to hold a joint farewell ceremony for the staff that had retired in 2020-2021, just before the restrictions in the Helsinki metropolitan area were tightened again due to the weakened corona situation.

Regular contact with supervisors and team members was encouraged, and online meeting and communication practices were streamlined.

To replace the missing spontaneous encounters and coffee breaks, the library's Occupational Well-Being Team and other staff came up with ideas utilizing online voting and other free-form online platforms where it was possible to meet coworkers even though face-to-face meetings were not possible. The library staff's book club was also started, and it met twice during the year.