Open science
On this page, you can find information on how the University of Helsinki promotes open science.
What is open science?

Science is, by its very nature, an open activity. Research results are intended to be publicly assessed and utilised, both within the scientific community and in all other contexts in which research-based knowledge is used.

Open science refers to the mechanisms by which the findability, accessibility and use of scientific knowledge is promoted in the digital era. This encompasses open research outcomes, including:

  • Publications
  • Research data
  • Research methods
  • Open source code

In addition to the above, open science refers to:

  • Open research infrastructures
  • Research-based open learning material
  • Inclusive research processes such as citizen science

Open science contributes to the reliability and self-correction of science. Open access to research-based knowledge is also key for the societal and global impact of universities.

Principles of open science

The University of Helsinki is strongly committed to the principles and practices of open science.

The University’s own guidelines, according to which research publications and research data produced at the University are, as a rule, made openly available, apply to all members of the University community.

In addition, the University is committed to following various Finnish and international principles of open science.

 

  1. Research results produced at the University of Helsinki are published in high-quality scientific channels.
  2. Scholarly publications produced at the University are, as a rule, made openly available. Openly available publications can be read by anyone, at any time and anywhere via the internet. The requirement of open access publishing applies to all members of the University community and their scholarly publications.
  3. All scholarly publications produced at the University are self-archived in the University’s digital repository HELDA. The publications are entered into the repository through the TUHAT research database. The obligation to self-archive also pertains to publications which are published directly in an open access publication channel (also known as “gold open access”). If necessary, the University can self-archive a publication on behalf of the author or authors. Comprehensive self-archiving of the publications in HELDA ensures that the University’s research activities are documented, permanently preserved and available for further use.
  4. The University of Helsinki does not recommend hybrid publishing, in which the publisher is paid a journal subscription fee and a fee for providing open access to an individual article. However, hybrid publishing may be justified at present if it expedites the transition to fully open publishing. The University monitors the development of open access publishing and of total publishing costs and will take timely action to ensure the openness of research.
  5. At the University of Helsinki, master’s, licentiate and doctoral theses are published in the University’s open digital repository HELDA.
  6. The University of Helsinki offers training, support and instructions for open access publishing and self-archiving. Training is offered to both students and staff.
  7. The University of Helsinki requires that researchers acquire an ORCID identifier, connect it to their TUHAT profile and use it in their scholarly publications and other datasets.
  8. The further use of scholarly publications is not unnecessarily limited, and terms of use are clearly indicated. The University recommends the use of the latest version of the standard, machine-readable CC BY licence, which is part of the Creative Commons family of licences. The licence recommendation also applies to theses.
  9. In accordance with the needs of scientific fields and as provided by copyright legislation, the University’s scholarly publications and theses are digitised retrospectively. The University also promotes the retrospective provision of access to publications with the help of, for example, self-archiving and the retrospective storage of doctoral theses.

Academic and scientific publications are articles and papers in academic journals, series, books and conference publications, independent works as well as master’s, licentiate and doctoral theses.

Whenever possible, the University’s guidelines must also be followed when publishing academic monographs.

  1. The University of Helsinki teaches, and adheres to, good data management practice. Each member of the University community is responsible for adherence to good data management practice.
  2. Each member of the University community must follow research ethics guidelines in the management and provision of access to research data and datasets, and must ensure information security and the protection of data, including confidential data, in accordance with legislation, good scientific practice and the University’s guidelines and regulations.
  3. The University of Helsinki includes research data skills in the orientation of researchers and takes such skills into account when considering academic qualifications and merits. Faculties, departments and principal investigators are responsible for the orientation of students and research staff in good data management practice.
  4. The University of Helsinki offers training and support for drawing up data management plans and for data management throughout the research lifecycle. Training is offered to both students and staff.
  5. The University of Helsinki provides researchers and research groups with research data infrastructures, including tools and services that support the management, use, findability and sharing of data as well as storage, computation and processing capacity. Data infrastructures are built and developed together with Finnish and international parties, taking their services and infrastructures into account.
  6. The University of Helsinki offers support for identifying and resolving legal issues involved in research data. Principal investigators are responsible for the prompt conclusion of agreements on the ownership and access rights for data generated through research; where applicable, such agreements should be concluded before the beginning of research projects.
  7. Data management plans, to be enclosed with funding applications, must consider the collection, processing, ownership and access rights, (long-term) storage, re-use, publication and planned destruction of data and datasets, and must particularly consider the required resources. Research metadata must mention the owner of the research data as well as any legal restrictions on their use. The processing and storage of personal data and other sensitive material must be taken into account in data management plans.
  8. Research data produced at the University of Helsinki and linked to published research results are, as a rule, open and available for shared use. The findability and citability of data must be ensured. When research data are used, it is good practice to cite their authors and mention the University of Helsinki as the source. Compensation can be charged for datasets refined for commercial and public parties.

 

Research data policies concern digital research datasets, or research data, produced, used and edited in research projects.

Such policies do not apply to physical datasets (e.g., hardcopy sources) on which the research data are based or to the use of biological research material.

The preservation of documents and datasets created during research is guided by the University’s instructions for storing documents, i.e., the archiving plan (2013, link to the Flamma intranet, access requires login) and on the criteria for the preservation of research data, drawn up through inter-university cooperation (Tutkimustoiminta. Asiakirjat, aineistot, dokumentointi. Helsinki 1997).

The use of biological material in research is subject to separate legislation as well as permit practices.

The University’s research data policy was approved in 2015.

Openness is one of the overarching themes of the University of Helsinki strategic plan for 2021–2030.

The University’s operations are based on the aim of responding to societal and global information needs. Openly accessible research-based knowledge is an important tool for achieving this goal.

Open science promotes the quality and impact of research, and offers new cooperation opportunities.

Open learning environments and content create new models of learning and support continuous learning.

Open science enables the University to promote the UN’s sustainable development goals, particularly democracy, justice, global responsibility and the general public’s and society’s trust in science.

Read the strategic plan.

 

The University of Helsinki has signed the Finnish declaration for open science and research.

The declaration for open science and research 2020–2025 represents the shared goals and recommendations of the Finnish research community for the consolidation of open science. The Finnish research community includes

  • Universities
  • Universities of applied sciences
  • Research institutes
  • Funders
  • Libraries
  • Archives

The declaration includes four areas, for which separate guidelines will be drawn up:

  • Open access to research publications
  • Open access to research data and methods
  • Open education and educational resources
  • Culture for open scholarship

By signing the declaration, the University of Helsinki has committed to promoting its goals as part of its strategic work and guidance and to supporting the achievement of the goals in the daily life of University community members.

 

In 2020 the University of Helsinki signed the international Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA).

The key content of the DORA declaration is to promote the primary importance of robust assessment of research quality.

The recommendations concern both research outputs (publications as well as, for example, research data and source code) and research impact. The scholarly merits of publications should always be the primary criterion in assessing them.

The other overarching theme of the declaration is that research outputs and impact should be assessed comprehensively. At a general level, all assessment processes must be open and the methods and criteria applied must be clear.

By signing the DORA declaration, the University of Helsinki wishes to demonstrate its commitment to the development of research assessment as well as to responsible metrics and the promotion of open science.

Open Science Award

Each year, the University of Helsinki presents the Open Science Award in recognition of significant work to promote open science. The aim of this award is to highlight active open science advocates and increase information on good practices at the University.

Recipients of the award have included individual researchers and teachers, projects and units.

Award recipients

2020: Postdoctoral Researcher Laura Riuttanen and open teaching at the Department of Computer Science

2019: Finnish Museum of Natural History Luomus

2018: Professor Jaana Bäck

2017: Professor Tuuli Toivonen (in Finnish only)

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