Need guidance in data management? Check out RDM and DMP courses in autumn!

Are you taking part in the Academy of Finland’s September call, and need help with data management planning? The Data Support at the University of Helsinki organizes research data management (RDM) basics lectures and data management plan (DMP) workshops on every UH campus during autumn 2019.

You’ll find an up-to-date course schedule on our website.

About RDM lectures and DMP workshops

RDM Basics is an introductory lecture to the key concepts and best practices of research data management. We will answer some central questions on data management, such as: How to define and describe research data? How to make them openly available and where to store them safely? A RDM Basics lecture with the same content is running throughout the year.

In the DMPTuuli workshops, we will concentrate on the best practices of research data management and hands-on training of data management planning (DMP). During the workshop we will go through the general structure of a DMP and give tips on what to write to the different sections. You can work with your own DMP with the help of experts from Data Support.

Events are open for all UH researchers, postgraduate students and staff members. The primary language of the workshop will be English. Help and instructions are also available in Finnish.


Enroll to the courses at Suffeli (SAP SuccessFactors): Home > Learning > type “RDM” to see all courses available. If you have any problems with enrollment or other questions, please contact

NB! If this is the first time you are writing a DMP or otherwise new to these issues, it is recommended that you start with the RDM Basics lecture, or otherwise acquaint yourself with the basic terminology and data management planning tool DMPTuuli. Check out our Research data management web site and guide for data documentation.

Come and work with your data management plan! Spring 2019 DMPTuuli workshops

Do you wish to learn the best practices of research data management and get hands-on training of data management planning (DMP)? Take part in the DMPTuuli workshop!

In the DMPTuuli workshops, we will concentrate on the best practices of research data management and hands-on training of data management planning (DMP). During the workshop, we go through the Academy of Finland’s current DMP template (see Academy’s Call texts, under Upcoming calls). The DMPs are drafted with DMPTuuli (data management planning tool) – please, sign up for DMPTuuli account in advance!

Workshops are open and free of charge for all UH students, researchers and staff members. The primary language of the workshop will be English. Help and instructions are also available in Finnish.

DMPTuuli workshops / Spring 2019

City Centre Campus
The 5th floor IT class of Kaisa house (5057)

  • Tuesday 2 April at 12 pm–2 pm
  • Monday 8 April at 10 am–12 pm
  • Wednesday 17 April at 2 pm–4 pm

Meilahti Campus
The 1st floor PC-classroom of Terkko Health Hub (Haartmaninkatu 4)

  • Tuesday 2 April at 1 pm–3 pm

Viikki Campus
Infocenter Korona (Viikinkaari 11 A)

  • Friday 5 April at 9 am–11 am (IT class 139) – bring your own laptop!

Enrollments & more information

Enrollments in Henkka: You find our courses in Henkka “Training program” beneath the Topic: “Digital tools and procedures”, and Arranging organisation: “Helsinki University Library”.

The workshops are organized by the University of Helsinki DataSupport. Contact us ( if you have any problems or questions about enrollment.

NB! If this is the first time you are writing a DMP or otherwise new to these issues, it is recommended that you start with the RDM basics lecture, or otherwise acquaint yourself with the basic terminology and DMPTuuli. See all our courses and workshops: Check out also our guides:

New guide helps researchers to improve the visibility of their research outputs

More than 4000 research papers are published daily. Activities aimed at promoting research are increasingly important in researcher’s work. By making your research visible and accessible you increase chances of your research being noticed, used and having impact, thus increasing your own reputation and chances of success in your academic work.

Altmetric Explorer, Kudos and PlumX are Helsinki University Library subscriptions.

Helsinki University Library’s new guide for researchers, Research Visibility & Altmetrics, offers tips and information on how to use different tools to improve the visibility of research. The guide answers following questions:

  • How to improve your academic visibility?
  • Which tools are recommendable and how to use them?
  • How researchers at the University of Helsinki have used these tools?
  • What are altmetrics and how to make use of social media metrics?
  • What are pros and cons of social networks for researchers (i.a., ResearchGate)?

The guide presents many tools and it gives a closer look on Kudos, PlumX and Altmetric Explorer. These services are Helsinki University Library subscriptions and thus supported by the library.

Research Visibility & Altmetrics guide has been carried out by HULib information specialists and liaison librarians from various disciplines, Jukka Englund, Terhi Sandgren, Markku Roinila and Mika Holopainen.

The FinELib negotiations aim to make research available at affordable prices

Today, researchers, teachers and students at Finnish universities lose access to hundreds of scientific publications as the negotiations between the national FinELib library consortium and scientific publisher Taylor & Francis ended without result. Negotiations with another major international publisher, Wiley, are still ongoing, and access to Wiley journals has been extended until 18 February 2019.

Arja Tuuliniemi, who is in charge of FinELib services, considers the result of the Taylor & Francis negotiations unfortunate. However, the door is open for further negotiations.

“We are ready to continue the negotiations, provided that the publisher sets more reasonable demand”, says Tuuliniemi in the FinELib news release.

Extensive support for FinELib goals

The reason for the difficulties in the negotiations is money. So far, Taylor & Francis has not been willing to compromise on its profitable business model for the benefit of FinELib’s negotiating goals.

FinELib’s goal is an agreement that covers, without any additional charge, authors’ fees (article processing charges, APCs) for open access publishing – in brief: the subscription fees of scholarly journals should cover the APCs. This goal is aimed at curbing ever-increasing costs, and it also aims to transform an unsustainable system into one that is more beneficial to the scientific community.

Similar negotiations are taking place in different countries, and FinELib’s negotiating goals are also in line with the aims of the European Union and the Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland. Universities Finland (UNIFI), which represents all 15 Finnish universities in Finland, also supports the FinELib.

“UNIFI considers the continuation of the current subscription agreements to scholarly journals as unsustainable, and is therefore committed to achieve the goal of making publicly funded research openly available through a constructive dialogue with the publishers. The university rectors will participate actively in formulating and executing the negotiation strategy. UNIFI will not recommend the renewal of agreements that fail to meet the aforementioned principles”, states the UNIFI news release of 19 September 2018 (pdf link).

The University of Helsinki also supports the negotiation goals.

“At the University of Helsinki, open science is one of the strategic priorities, and therefore the university fully supports FinELib’s negotiation goals. The offers made by both publishers have so far been unacceptable from the point of view of costs as well as openness”, says Paula Eerola, Vice-Rector of the University of Helsinki, responsible for research and research infrastructures.

Eerola understands the concerns of researchers when access to journals is blocked, but she is convinced that “it is time to shift scientific publishing into a new position”.

“Since the reputation of a scientific journal does not increase or decrease rapidly, it is important to focus the pressure of openness especially on reputable journals and their publishers. The need for this change is recognised globally”, says Eerola.

The library helps researchers, teachers and students

There is, of course, another side to the negotiations: researchers’, teachers’ and students’ access to most of Taylor & Francis’s journals is now blocked – some of the T&F journals are still accessible through old agreements. The Helsinki University Library (HULib) has been preparing for the no deal situation for some time.

“Implementing openness at a reasonable cost serves the interests of the entire academic community. During the transition period, the library wants to help researchers and students to gain access to both new and older scientific articles. We will also report on the progress of the negotiations and develop our guidelines on how to get access to articles”, says Kimmo Tuominen, University Librarian of the Helsinki University Library.

On the HULib website, there is an Alternative Access webpage, which offers tips on how to get access to Taylor & Francis articles that are not available through the Helka service. Alternative Access also provides up to date information on the negotiations. The library will continue to explore various ways to make the necessary articles available.

“In the near future, we will also start using the Get It Now article delivery service (by Copyright Clearance Center), and we hope it will help ease the discovery of articles. We are happy to answer questions from researchers, teachers and students by email, face to face as well as via chat”, says Tuominen.

The easiest way to get in touch with the library is by sending an email to:

The centralised management of APCs will build a knowledge from open access charges

Last week we reported on APC discounts in Elsevier’s publications for researchers at the University of Helsinki. This has sparked a debate in the scientific community. For its part, the Helsinki University Library is answering some of the questions the debate has raised.

The agreement between the national FinELib consortium and Elsevier offers researchers an opportunity to publish open access articles with a 50 percent discount on article processing charges (APC). The discount covers 1500 subscription journals and over 100 open access journals. All corresponding authors in organisations that are parties to the agreement are entitled to the discount.

Furthermore, researchers affiliated with the University of Helsinki are able to publish their open access articles in Elsevier journals free of charge, because the University of Helsinki pays the remaining half of the APC for the researcher. This has also raised questions. From the point of view of the Helsinki University Library, it is a practical solution. The purpose of this arrangement is to acquire centralised information on how many articles attached to the Elsevier agreement are published and how much this increases the University of Helsinki’s costs. The monitoring of APC payments without centralised management of APCs is very difficult, especially in a large and research-intensive university such as the University of Helsinki.

The decision to subsidise open access publishing in Elsevier’s journals is a fixed-term arrangement with a clear objective. The main purpose is to gather information about the real costs of hybrid open access publishing for the next round of negotiations with major scholarly publishers. The centralised management of APCs provides reliable and valuable basis of information on the total cost of the hybrid OA model, for future contract negotiations.

The position of the University of Helsinki and the Helsinki University Library on hybrid OA publishing is unchanged: hybrid OA publishing is not recommended. This position was stated by the Rector of the University of Helsinki on June 21, 2017 in paragraph four of the Principles of Open Publishing: “The University of Helsinki does not recommend hybrid publication (…) However, hybrid publication may be justified at the moment, if it facilitates the transfer to a fully open publication model. The University monitors the development of open access publication and the overall costs of publishing, and will take the necessary steps in good time to ensure open research.” Hybrid OA publishing is considered justified if it speeds up the transition to an open publication. On this issue, the University of Helsinki holds the same view as the Academy of Finland.

The University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Library support the transition to open access publishing by helping University researchers publish in both open access journals and subscription journals. The starting point for publishing at the University of Helsinki is that researchers publish in high-quality scientific journals – this is also stated in the first paragraph of the Principles of Open Publishing. The Publication Forum (Julkaisufoorumi, JUFO in Finnish) classification system greatly influences which journal a researcher chooses. The library does not make science policy, but it does try to support University of Helsinki researchers in the best possible way with its services.

The potential impact of Elsevier discounts on self-archiving (green OA) has been brought out during the debate. However, the compensation of APC payments does not in any way undermine other open access services offered by the library. Rather, the Helsinki University Library intends to significantly increase its efforts to promote self-archiving in 2018.

How, then, are APC discounts determined in general? The Helsinki University Library coordinates the discounts and negotiates with publishers. The information about current APC charges and discounts has been collected in the APC Guide. Negotiations on the discounts are carried out with one publisher at a time. For this reason, the discounts vary – and there are also many different APC discount models (see Jisc report: Financial and administrative issues around the article publishing costs for open access, 2017, 19). The negotiation process always begins from the proposals of University of Helsinki researchers. Based on these proposals, the library will study the benefits of a possible agreement.

The FinELib agreements represent offsetting deals in which the OA element is included in the subscription contracts with major publishers. APC discounts for Elsevier journals are an example of this. Offset agreements have been made with Taylor & Francis, Sage and Elsevier, and each contract is different.

Bibliometrics from a wide range of perspectives

Three days, 37 lecture presentations, 16 poster presentations and 141 participants from 16 countries. The annual Nordic Workshop on Bibliometrics and Research Policy (NWB) brought the most recent currents of bibliometrics from the Nordic countries and from across Europe to the House of Science and Letters in Helsinki.

The House of Science and Letters in Helsinki was the venue for the 22nd NWB. Photo by Jussi S. Männistö (JSM)

The presentations during the three days from 8–10 November offered a wide range of perspectives on bibliometrics, from mathematical formulae to research policies and the societal impact of science [see the NWB program, incl. abstracts). Many presentations took the perspective of open science, and citation curves favoring OA articles were a common sight. All presentation material has been published in Figshare.

According to Kim Holmberg, altmetrics provides a good insight into the activity of researchers, but not directly to the quality of research. (JSM)

The actual workshop sessions on Thursday and Friday were preceded by Wednesday’s pre-workshop event, which attracted the full hall to the upper floor of the House of Science and Letters. In the pre-workshop’s keynote speech, Kim Holmberg from the RUSE research unit discussed measuring researchers’ online visibility, especially altmetrics.

During the event, NWB tweeters were active on Twitter, and on Thursday #NWB2017 rose momentarily to the top 20 hashtags in Finland along with #Catalonia and #peräkonttigate.

Declining share of Nordic publications

In Thursday’s keynote speech, Fredrik Niclas Piro from the Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU) went through the findings of a recent NordForsk report on Nordic higher education institutions. Comparing Research at Nordic Higher Education Institutions using Bibliometric Indicators was published this year and covers the period 1999 to 2014.

In his speech Piro discussed measurement issues and the differences the report reveales between the Nordic countries. He emphasized that the purpose of the report is to provide higher education institutions with information for developing their research activities. However, the actual use of the report is university-specific.

NordForsk report is not about ranking, but about providing information for comparison, says Fredrik Niclas Piro. (JSM)

“Many universities say that yes, we have read the report and we use it some way. In some cases the use of the report is very specific. For example, one university uses it in their development contract with the Ministry. These reports are useful for many purposes, but the benchmarking of other institutions is the main thing. The report is not about ranking, but about providing information for comparison,” claims Piro.

The comparison shows that although the number of publications in Nordic countries is rising sharply, its global share in production is falling. From the Nordic countries’ point of view, the strong fields in international comparison are the social sciences, business studies, economics, and the health sciences. In Finland, certain areas of medicine are declining in comparison with other Nordic countries.

“Research in the Nordic countries is growing in the social sciences and health-related fields. But in the natural sciences, we are declining. Finland is a bit different. Its growth in material science, geosciences and also mathematics and statistics is higher than in other Nordic countries. But on the other hand, the growth of biomedicine and clinical medicine in Finland was negative from 1999 to 2014. That’s very unique,” says Piro.

Research culture eroding scientific credibility

In Friday’s keynote speech, Jesper Schneider from Aarhus University discussed the phenomenon of science crisis. Schneider pointed out that it is easy to find strong opinions on the subject, but verifying these views is another case. Instead of scientific scams, Schneider focused on questionable research practices (QRP).

The grey area of questionable research practices requires a lot more research, claims Jesper Schneider. (JSM)

“Fraud cases are rare. Questionable research practices are the grey area, and are frequently overlooked because they don’t seem as serious as misconduct. But the total effect of biases and misuses could really have a huge influence on scientific results. This grey area ranges from sloppy research to errors and biases, and at some point, it becomes a legal issue,” claims Schneider.

According to Schneider, questionable research practices vary by discipline, organization and country. Schneider specifically discussed the problem of reproducibility of research in the soft sciences, i.e. in social and human sciences.

The pressure to publish more and more, and fierce competition – or “perverse incentives in academic capitalism” – are potential causes of the science crisis. However, Schneider emphasizes that the phenomenon requires a lot more research, because the current knowledge basis is hugely incomplete. He argues that further research is worthwhile, as the credibility of science is at stake.

Best moment at NWB?

Hans Jessen Hansen. Kuva: Juuso Ala-Kyyny (JAK)

So, three days of bibliometrics – what was the best moment? According to Hans Jessen Hansen from the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science, the two keynote speeches by Fredrik Niclas Piro and Jesper Schneider summarized shortly above.

“They had a little bit more time, so they got into their subjects more deeply. As for those two presentations, I wrote notes about all the presentations I saw,” says Hansen.

Julie Riisom Wisborg from the University Library of Southern Denmark emphasized the social dimension of the event; the importance of encounters.

Julie Riisom Wisborg. (JAK)

“I’m impressed by the very friendly atmosphere here. I did my poster presentation on Thursday, and the comments and questions were great. I think this sort of event gives you totally new possibilities to interact with people you wouldn’t interact with on the internet. And you learn things you wouldn’t even think to look for,” says Riisom Wisborg.

Gunnar Sivertsen from the Norwegian NIFU research institute was the chairman in two NWB sessions and also participated in two presentations.

Gunnar Sivertsen. (JAK)

“It’s difficult to pick out what one best thing, because it’s a combination of presentations and discussions, also discussions outside the formal sessions. So, what I appreciate most is the networking, new contacts and new ideas. This has been one of the most well-organized workshops, so I’d like to congratulate the organizers,” says Sivertsen.

Even though Wi-Fi didn’t work?

“It was even better without Wi-Fi, because we could concentrate more on the here and now,” says Sivertsen.

Next year in Borås

The Nordic Workshop on Bibliometrics and Research Policy has been held since 1996, that is, 22 times so far. This year’s workshop was organized by a consortium consisting of the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies (TSV), Helsinki University Library (HULib) and the University of Tampere Research Centre for Knowledge, Science, Technology and Innovation Studies (TaSTI).

HULib was also present on stage: Eva Isaksson discussed the evaluation of research publications in astronomy and astrophysics, Susanna Nykyri introduced research data metrics from the University of Helsinki’s perspective and Terhi Sandgren asked in her presentation, “Are publication databases suitable for studying the publishing practices of a multidisciplinary research field at subdisciplinary level?”

Next year the event will take place in Borås, Sweden. Lycka till!

See the seminar on Twitter