The collections are to be used primarily for scientific research and university teaching, and secondarily for other types of education and environmental education. Research use of the collections takes place in Luomus facilities, and collection material may be loaned outside Luomus free of charge according to international museum practices.
Access to the collections requires authorisation (access control). As a rule, the authorisation to access a collection is provided by the head of the collection team, unless the unit has agreed otherwise. Researchers may be granted special permission to work freely in the collection facilities or to use the specimens under the supervision of the collection staff. Luomus may charge a bench fee for the use of its facilities.
Specimens from the collections may be loaned to other collection organisations and research institutes according to practices outlined in the collection-specific policies. A written print or digital agreement must always be drawn up of the loan and its conditions between the relevant organisations (the person who accepts the loan and signs the agreement must be in a permanent relationship with the organisation requesting the loan, and not a student or similar). As a rule, the leader of the relevant collection team or another person with scientific responsibility for the relevant subcollection will decide on the loan and evaluate the competence and relevance of the organisation and person taking out the loan as well as the risks involved. Loans of collections to and from private individuals are decided on a case-by-case basis and require approval from the head of the collection team.
Information about all incoming and outgoing loans is permanently entered into the database. Loaned specimens must be handled as carefully as other collection specimens. The duration of the loan must be specified according to the recommendations in the collection-specific policies.
Before lending Luomus collection specimens to other organisations, the person responsible for the loan must determine that the person receiving the loan represents a scientific institution or is otherwise undeniably qualified to handle the specimens and to use them for scientific purposes. Restrictions may be set particularly for the lending of type specimens or other exceptionally valuable specimens, and digitised material may be offered in their stead, or Luomus may offer to digitise the material for this purpose. Exceptionally valuable material must always be digitised before releasing it on loan in any case.
Lending specimens for destructive analysis always requires a separate agreement and the approval of the head of the collection unit at the proposal of the head of the collection team. Destructive testing of type specimens is not allowed except in extremely exceptional cases. Procedures for such analyses which destroy or damage the specimen, if permitted due to exceptional circumstances, are outlined in the collection-specific policies. As a general rule, damage to the specimens must be minimised. The tissue and DNA sample collections are intended specifically for research that uses up the samples and are consequently an exception to this rule, as are live plants in the collections. However, any material from such collections which is released for research is formally processed as a loan, meaning that the right to ownership and use of the material remains with Luomus.
Using the collections for exhibitions is governed by the same principles as their maintenance. Exhibitions must not damage the scientific value of the specimens or present the work or content of the Luomus collections in a negative light. Specimens may be rented or loaned to organisations which do not specialise in scientific collections if the intention is to use the specimens in an exhibition according to the Luomus environmental education policy.
Detailed user guidelines and user fees for HUBCRI services are specified under each intrastructure page.