Collection policy

The Library’s principles for the use of its collection of materials to optimally support research, teaching and studies for the attainment of the University’s strategic objectives.

The principles
  1. We primarily serve the teachers, students and researchers at the University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital
  2. Our objective is to acquire high quality, actively used materials
  3. We ensure access to materials for the University community
  4. We promote the visibility of research at the University of Helsinki
What materials does the library ac­quire?

Our materials acquisitions are focused on the needs of research, teaching and learning at the University. We develop our selection of materials in cooperation with the academic community. We acquire materials on the basis of requests from our main customer base, taking into consideration the resources available.

We cooperate with teachers in the selection of materials to be included in the curricula of the various degree programmes. As a rule, all course materials are acquired as digital copies. We promote the findability of course materials in different learning environments. We encourage and instruct teachers to utilize open access materials.

In addition, Library experts choose a selection of materials to supplement customer requests, consisting of as comprehensive a collection of Finnish scientific materials as possible as well as a curated selection of international materials.

The Library collections are based on an extensive selection of high quality digital materials. Our digital materials will be available either to the general public or to users holding a University of Helsinki username and password as outlined in their terms of use.

What materials does the library pre­serve?

The Library collections are based on an extensive selection of high quality digital materials. The printed and digital materials supplement each other. As regards printed collections, we keep copies of definitive works and frequently used, high quality materials in all relevant disciplines.

We maintain and develop the services for publishing and storing digital copies of University of Helsinki theses and dissertations. We instruct and advise thesis authors in the publishing and depositing process. We are responsible for the publishing of digital theses as well as for collecting metadata and other information on theses and their public examinations for other University units.

We maintain and develop the University of Helsinki Research Portal. We increase the number of open access works published by University students and staff. We encourage self-archiving in the open access repository Helda of the University of Helsinki.

The library maintains platforms aimed at University personnel for publishing scientific literature pertaining to research and teaching at the University. The Library will advise and support its customers in questions pertaining to open access publishing.


We only accept donated materials that will benefit research, studies and teaching at the University.

What materials does the library dis­card from the col­lec­tions?

We determine the significance of the available materials to different customer groups and monitor their usage. We continuously assess our annual subscriptions on the basis of the number of users, customer feedback and financial factors. We will discard infrequently used or outdated materials as well as individual works whose condition is such that they cannot be restored without unreasonable costs.

We send copies of discarded books and journals that we deem worth saving to the National Repository Library. The materials of the National Repository Library are available through interlibrary loan services.