Politics of higher education institutions and funding agencies

Researchers bear primary responsibility for adherence to the proper conduct of research.  According to the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Ethics: "Nonetheless, the responsibility also rests on the whole research community: research groups and their principal investigators, the directors of research units and the administration of research organisations" (TENK 2012). Organisations conducting scientific research are, first and foremost, responsible for promoting the proper conduct of research and dealing with suspected violations of this conduct. In any case, measures that ensure the long life and usability of research data are also needed. Indeed, many higher education institutions and funding agencies have established guidelines and obligations for the standardisation of data management practices

Higher education institutions

The Finnish Council of University Rectors signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities in 2005. In 2017, most of the universities have published their data policies.

The commitment of higher education institutions to the standardisation of data management practices and supporting the collection, use, storage and reuse planning of data is crucial. Data management practices should be clearly defined at the beginning of research, when the openness of research data and possibility for its reuse can be assured.  Higher education institutions should also make every effort to offer the necessary support services for making a sensible data policy possible.

Research Data Policies:

Funding agencies

Many funding agencies require that a data management plan is included as a part of the funding application. Drafting a data management plan requires planning the collection, use, storage and reuse of data.

Many foreign research funding agencies require a data management plan which includes a plan for the reuse of data. The National Science Foundation requires that project applications include a detailed data management plan. European Research Council, Trust, Wellcome Trust and National Institutes of Health (NIH) are  foreign funding agencies that require openness of the data which the research results are based on.

Academy of Finland

One of the Academy of Finland's science policy objectives is to promote open science. The Academy of Finland requires that applicant research plans include information on how the project research data will be obtained, used, stored and protected as well as how its future use will be made possible for other users. This plan should also specify the ownership and user rights of data used and produced in the project. The Academy recommends that, wherever possible, the possibilities for long-term preservation of research data should be investigated by the projects it is funding.

The Academy of Finland requires that researchers publish their work following the principles of open access and open data. When applying for funding from the Academy, researchers must include in their research plans a publication plan and a data management plan.

The Academy of Finland recently decided to refine its policy on open access publishing. The updated policy requires that all Academy-funded peer-reviewed scientific articles are published via open access publication channels. Researchers can publish articles following either green or gold open access. Academy funding can be used to cover costs related to scientific publishing using the golden route. Academy research funding may also be used to cover costs of so-called hybrid open access publishing. However, the Academy is keen to emphasise the temporary nature of the hybrid open access solution – it is only part of the transition towards full open access publishing.

The Academy of Finland requires that principal investigators of Academy-funded research projects see to that the projects' data are stored and made available through major national or international archives or storage services that are important in the fields concerned.


In Tekes-funded research projects, special attention is given to the practical exploitation of projects. The results of Tekes-funded projects are public. One of the criteria Tekes uses in granting funding is the assessment of key measures and channels for applying results and disseminating the data produced. Tekes recommends open access publishing and Tekes will recommend opening your research data when possible.