Open Access

FMI, like many other research institutes and universities in Finland, advocates open availability of scientific publications, from scientific peer-reviewed articles to reports, posters, conference abstracts etc.

Open Access (OA) is be implemented in three primary ways:

Green: Authors publish in a journal and then self-archive a version of the article (usually the accepted version) in a repository (institutional, subject-based, general or some other type).

Golden: Authors publish in a journal which provides immediate Open Access to the article through the publisher’s website. The version published as Gold OA is the publisher's final version.

Hybrid: Authors publish in a journal that requires a subscription fee, but which allows individual articles to be made OA for a (often high) fee. Such journals are called hybrid journals.

Open access to research results promotes the work’s visibility, applicability, and impact, accelerates research, and increases opportunities for cross-border cooperation. In addition, openness delivers a scientist more merit, for openly accessible scientific publications increase citation impact more than articles published in subscription-based journals.

Many funding bodies are now requiring the results to be made openly accessible. By endorsing OA, FMI ensures compliance with research funder’s policies.

On March 15th 2021 the FMI’s Open Access policy was approved by the Board of Directors. It sets out responsibilities for the institute and for researchers.


FMI's long-serving publications registry system TAVI has been replaced with the JUSTUS service provided and hosted by CSC. Publications’ metadata entered in JUSTUS will be automatically transferred to other national and European services (e.g., the VIRTA service, which is used among others by the Academy of Finland in its funding calls and processes).

During 2021 JUSTUS will be integrated with self-archiving of open access publications. This means, that not only publications metadata, but also the self-archived version and copy of the publication can be entered via JUSTUS.

The FMI’s publications saved to JUSTUS can be accessed through service and JUULI-portal.

Documentation and instructions

What is Open Access Literature? Definitions, terminology and trends

Open access (OA) literature is digital, online, access to it is free of charge and free of other access barriers. The lack of barriers promotes the dissemination of the research results within the scientific community but also to the general public.

In the current business model of scientific literature cost of publishing is covered by charging for access (keeping the literature behind paywalls) and publishing, e.g., a peer-reviewed article is often free of charge. In OA the costs are associated with publishing via processing charges and similar, while the access is free of charge.

OA may also influence copyright and licensing practices as well as assessment of merit of scientists. These topics and FMI policy are addressed in greater detail below.

There are currently a few variants or types of OA:

  • Golden OA: the publisher makes all articles and related content available for free immediately on the journal's website. The journal does not charge subscription fees from the readers.

  • Green OA (also known as self-archiving): The publisher permits the author(s) to self-archive a nearly final version of the manuscript in an open repository. The near-final version of the manuscript refers usually to an accepted manuscript as returned by the journal to the author.

  • Hybrid OA: subscription-based journals allow by means of a per-article publication charge making individual articles OA immediately upon publication. Articles not opened this way remain behind a paywall.

Embargoes are also a factor in OA: a publisher may require a publication to remain initially behind a paywall and made open only after a predetermined time.

At the time of release of this policy, several major research funding agencies and research organisations are pushing towards immediate Open Access (i.e., Golden OA). In case of funding agencies, they are increasingly requiring that research results generated with their funding must be made fully OA immediately upon publication. Examples of such funding agencies are the European Union (Plan S; Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe programmes) and the Academy of Finland.

Guidelines for authors and supporting actions

FMI policy of open access applies as a baseline to all scientific literature, in which at least one author is affiliated with FMI (see section c. below). In publications with authors from multiple organisations, the publications and OA policies of the of the organisation the first author is affiliated with have precedence if there are differences between the different organisations policies.

As a result of this policy, OA, OA type and embargo shall be among journal or publication channel selection criteria. However, many of the most high-quality and high-impact publication channels relevant to FMI research activities are not yet fully OA. Since scientific quality and impact are significant factors, publication in these channels shall not be excluded, but non-OA publishing requires explicit higher management approval.

FMI recommends the authors of the scientific articles to choose the publication based on the level of openness. You can check Sherpa Romeo for information of publishers’ copyright policies and self-archiving on journal-by-journal basis.

Please note that FMI is a participating institution at the Finland Read and Publish (Springer Compact) agreement. This means one can publish his/her article open access at no cost in Springer hybrid journals.

Article Processing Charges (APCs) and similar costs are primarily covered by the organisational units and funding agencies (projects). Part of the publication processing charges are covered at the institute level via FinELib consortium journal subscriptions and the included OA publication opportunities and quotas. FMI may also set up an institute-level publication charge fund to support OA publishing even when costs cannot be covered by projects or other project-type funding sources.

In case of Green OA (self-archiving) FMI authors are responsible for compliance with the publisher’s policy for OA, including the version allowed to be published and embargo times. FMI authors are required to report their publications’ access type in the institute’s publications registry as of beginning of 2021. If the authors find themselves under contractual obligation to deposit their scientific articles in a specific repository, then at least metadata for the articles and the link to the external repository are to be included in the FMI publications registry.

FMI requires that a scientific publication is stored in a publicly accessible repository immediately when it is ready for publication. FMI provides by the end of 2021 an institutional repository openly available to the public. This repository supplements (and in time will replace) the HELDA system, where FMI’s own publication series are currently openly available.

If an embargo period is required by the journal, six (6) months is the strongly recommended maximum duration. Should the publisher require a longer embargo period, the authors are to seek alternative publication channels. The authors are responsible for making the article openly available immediately at the end of the embargo period.

FMI considers that it is vital and fair that the sources and creators (persons and organisations including funding sources) of original scientific output are appropriately credited and acknowledged for and retain appropriate rights to their creations. Regarding licensing, FMI recommends the libre route (all publications to be accompanied by a CC By 4.0 license to ensure citation). However, if the researcher desires so, the gratis (CC0 license) can also be used (this is about everything else except the scientific articles that are already on libre route) Current and prospective authors are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the details and implications of licensing practices.

FMI reviews/evaluates and reports the level, the progress, and the impact of OA as a baseline continuously, but at minimum annually. Reporting is done both internally as well as to the relevant stakeholders.

Predatory journals

“Predatory journals and publishers are entities that prioritize self-interest at the expense of scholarship and are characterized by false or misleading information, deviation from best editorial and publication practices, a lack of transparency, and/or the use of aggressive and indiscriminate solicitation practices.” (Quoted from Nature)

In research environment there is more value in quantity over quality, fact that allows predatory journals to prosper. They usually ask researchers for manuscripts, have no peer review system and no true editorial board and are often found to publish mediocre or even worthless papers. They also ask for huge publication charges. To avoid falling into their trap, consider checking whether your target journal is listed by the Directory of Open Access Journals and also the following list of predatory journals.

If the journal doesn’t appear in any of the lists above, consider checking Beall’s criteria for identification of predatory journals and publishers.