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Open Access Publishing Is the Predominant Publishing Method at Aalto University – From 13% to 82% in Eight Years

We have come a long way in just eight years with open access publishing. How did we get here, where are we now, and what does the future hold?
An arrow on a yellow background

Aalto University published its first open access recommendation in 2014. The recommendation was impactful: the open access publishing % of all peer-reviewed scientific publications rose from 13% in 2014 to 22% in 2015.

The next step was to mandate the publishing of scientific publications in green open access. In 2018, the former vice president of research, professor Tuija Pulkkinen, required that the final accepted manuscripts of all peer-reviewed scientific publications should be parallel published in ACRIS, Aalto’s research information management system. As a result, the percentage of open access publications rose from 65% in 2018 to 75% in 2019.  

In 2019, The Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland decided that it will start paying a 1,2 coefficient for open publication from 2021 onwards. In addition, in 2020, Aalto University published a comprehensive Open Science and Research Policy. These changes had a minor impact: the percentage of open access publications from all publications rose from 80% in 2020 to 82% in 2021.

The figure below shows the percentage of open access scientific publications of all scientific publications and its steady increase – although at decreasing speed in recent years. 

A big change is the proportions of open access types. The current open access agreements apply mostly to hybrid journals, thus, hybrid open access is likely to become the most common type of open access publishing in the future.

The article continues after the picture.

Graph showing all open access types increasing from 2014 to 2021 with a slight decrease in green open access from 2019 to 2021.

According to Plan S, transformative journals (hybrid journals in which it is possible to buy articles open) should be flipped to open channel journals by the end of 2024. We are eagerly awaiting if this actually occurs. To add to the uncertainty, we will have two definitions of open access publishing, especially regarding green open access. The Ministry of Education accepts publications as open publications with embargoes and without a CC BY license whereas Horizon Europe demands immediate open access with a CC BY license. We are still awaiting the Academy of Finland’s definition of green open access.

More information on open access publishing development is available for Aalto users: Open access publications - Power BI Report Server.

Related information

Open science and research

The principle of openness is the key principle of science and research. At Aalto University, the most visible forms of open science are open access publications, open research data and metadata, and combining openness and commercialisation.

Close-up of two students making notes on a research article while reading it.

Aalto University Open Science and Research Policy

The goals of open science are responsible research and societal impact.
Open science means open access to scientific publications, research data, methods, software codes, and infrastructure. It is a key instrument for increasing the impact of the research conducted at Aalto University.


Aalto University BIZ main building, photographer Mika Huisman

ACRIS, open access publishing and manuscript service

Instructions on open access publishing in ACRIS

A book and a pen with Aalto logo. Photo by Aino Huovio.

Open Access Publishing

Open access to publications ensures that scientific publications are accessible to everyone free of charge.

An image describing the benefits of open access (for example findability, impact, visibility, higher citation rates, compliance with grant rules, value for taxpayers)
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