The National Library of Finland promotes open access to materials

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Universities Finland (UNIFI), the National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) and university libraries have appealed to the National Library of Finland, scientific publishers and distributors to ensure broad access to digital materials and publications needed in teaching and research. The appeal is highly relevant in the present exceptional circumstances. It also supports national policies regarding the importance of openly accessible material. The National Library of Finland has adopted every possible measure to promote open access to course materials and materials needed for research purposes.  

Publications and other materials can be made available for research and learning purposes and to the general public in many different ways. Examples of key materials include those that have been licensed and opened through FinELib, as well as repositories, the openly accessible content provided by libraries, archives and museums, tailored learning services, copyrighted materials provided to research organisations and various data services.  

However, the National Library cannot independently decide to make available material that is subject to the Copyright Act and governed by agreements made with the holders of rights. 

The materials made available through the National Library of Finland are either openly accessible to everyone or available, irrespective of time and location, to the researchers, students and other staff of the organisations that participate in the acquisition of materials.  

The central objective of FinELib is to increase the volume of scientific publications openly accessible to the general public by concluding agreements with key scientific publishers that enable open access publishing. In 2019, a total of 1,754 scholarly articles were published under FinELib agreements. Finnish users can also access openly available articles published under agreements concluded by other countries.    

FinELib’s licensing principles ensure that even materials that are not yet openly accessible can nevertheless be used as widely as possible. Thanks to the agreements, the materials can be used remotely throughout the organisation.   

The platform for repositories, used by nearly fifty Finnish organisations, contains, for example, theses, self-archived articles and organisations’ own publications. The repositories housed in the infrastructure maintained by the National Library of Finland contain over 300,000 openly accessible full-text publications.  

Finna services offer various alternatives for locating and using openly accessible materials. International openly accessible scientific publications can be found through the university libraries’ search services, which run on the Finna platform. By using their university credentials to log in to their organisation’s search service, students and staff also gain access to materials that are not openly accessible, but for which their organisation has acquired access rights. These materials can also be used remotely.    

The service pools the materials of Finnish libraries, archives and museums, offering a good source especially for domestic online materials, such as articles, theses and cultural heritage resources. contains over two million instances of online materials, nearly 750,000 of which have a CC licence enabling their further distribution.  

Materials digitised by the National Library will be made accessible to all through the service, provided that they are not protected by copyright. The Library has also opened copyrighted material by concluding agreements on fixed-term licences with copyright organisations and paying the related remuneration. These licensing agreements now provide access to newspapers and periodicals dating back to the end of 1929 as well as to 1,000 reference works. In addition, digitised periodicals dating back to the end of 2018 have been made accessible to 15 higher education institutions, and 1,000 works of classic literature can now be accessed by all researchers. Research use requires the user to log in through Haka and, in the case of newspapers and periodicals, to indicate the purpose of use.    

In line with its strategy, the National Library of Finland strives to secure open access to a variety of materials and publications. Its long-term efforts are based on collaboration with research organisations, researchers, libraries and scientific publishers both in Finland and abroad. The Library’s mission is to operate at the heart of the scientific community and serve as a resource for learning. The National Library of Finland will continue to focus on these efforts during and after the exceptional circumstances. 

Further information:

Kristiina Hormia-Poutanen, Director, Library Network Services
Phone: +358 50 552 3056

Johanna Lilja, Service Director
Phone: +358 50 311 9610


National Library of Finland website:

National Library of Finland search service:

National Library of Finland Digital Collections:

FinELib Consortium:

National Finna service:

Repository maintained by the National Library of Finland: