University of Helsinki is centralising funding for open access publishing at Helsinki University Library

The University of Helsinki Open Access Hub covers the article processing charges, if any, of a journal which meets Plan S criteria. Publishing in a fully hybrid journal is not supported.

The University of Helsinki Open Access Hub supports scholars in open access publishing in two ways. Scholars can use the open access publishing agreements included in Helsinki University Library’s journal subscriptions. Alternatively, they can apply to Helsinki University Library for funding to cover the article processing charges of open access journals. This service is primarily intended for scholars who have no personal funding for open access publishing.

Scholars can apply for the funding by submitting the relevant online form. Helsinki University Library processes the funding requests on the following weekday.

“Our aim is to make open access publishing as easy and simple as possible for scholars,” states Director Kimmo Tuominen of Helsinki University Library.

Read more on publishing fees and services on the service guide for APCs.

Open access publishing made easy

According to Hannu Toivonen, professor of computer science, the easier it is for scholars to choose an open access publishing channel, the more likely it is they will do so: “The diverse practices of publishers and publications as well as the costs of open access publishing have proved challenging. The costs can, in fact, be a deal-breaker. The wide range of practices by publishers and publications also makes it less likely that scholars will try to negotiate the obstacles. In the worst-case scenario, they will choose a non-open publishing channel simply because they don’t know about an open option available free of charge.”

Assistant Professor Tuomo Hiippala says that the Open Access Hub increases the visibility and availability of research.

“From the perspective of individual scholars, the service reduces the red tape associated with open access publishing.”

Tuominen agrees: “For researchers, openness increases their visibility and enhances their reputation. Research conducted at the University of Helsinki deserves maximum visibility.”

Towards a more sustainable funding model for publishing

The goal of Plan S, an initiative by major research funders, is to provide, as of 2021, full and immediate open access to all of the research publications that they fund. The University of Helsinki Open Access Hub will make the academic community more aware of the costs of open access publishing.

“There are many routes to open access. Helsinki University Library has concluded several agreements permitting open access with publishers. In addition to the publishing charges, the University is investing in self-archiving. Helsinki University Library also carries out an annual article self-archiving campaign to ensure that an open access version of each article is also available. We work with scholars to ensure that we are able to meet research funders’ open access requirements,” states Kimmo Tuominen. 

The shared goal of the academic community is to manage the rising total costs of publishing. The aim is to transition from a model based on the subscription fees of scholarly journals to one in which publishers are paid for open access publishing services. As a result, the funding available for publishing charges through the Open Access Hub is targeted not only to open access publishing channels, but also to transformative agreements, i.e., publications that aim at a business model based on publishing services. Publishing in traditional, fully hybrid journals is no longer supported.