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Open Education

Patrick Blessinger
TJ Bliss

14. Promoting Open Science and Research in Higher Education: A Finnish Perspective

Ilkka Väänänen et Kati Peltonen


This chapter presents the current state of open science and research in Finland. The Ministry of Education and Culture has established the Open Science and Research Initiative for 2014–17, which aims to promote the availability of open research information and open publication procedures. Along with this initiative, Finland aims to become the leading country for openness in science and research by 2017, covering a broad range of activities on many levels, and thus enabling the more effective utilization of research data and results for the greater benefit of society. Finnish Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) play an important role in fulfilling this vision. In this contribution we investigate Finland’s open science and research framework by examining Lahti University of Applied Sciences as a case study of the implementation of open science and research (OSR) policies. As this example shows, the implementation of OSR policies is an iterative development process through repeated cycles in which raising awareness, sharing knowledge and building networks and capacity development are central issues in the creation of an open working culture for an HEI, and which is needed to achieve strategic goals and to increase the impact and quality of research

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1The open education (OE) movement is built around the idea of open society and free sharing and the use of knowledge and educational resources. This movement is rooted in various historical backgrounds starting from the age of Enlightenment and the work of educational philosophers and reformists like Rousseau, Pestalozzi, Montessori and Dewey, who all advocated the open classroom, freedom and equality of learners and openness to experiences as essential elements in learning (Peter and Deimann, 2008). Since these early days, the ideals of open education have assumed new meaning and thrust by the invention of the internet and the rise of the open knowledge movement which translated in the rapid expansion in and the expansion of open and distance learning (Atkins, Brown and Hammond, 2007).

  • 1 The GNU operating system is a complete free software system, upward-compatible with Unix. GNU stan (...)

2Today, open education can be seen as an umbrella concept covering a number of projects revolving around “openness” in the digital world, such as Open Educational Resources, open source, open access, open science, open archiving and open publishing (Peters, 2008; Peter and Deimann, 2013). Open Educational Resources (OER) refer to teaching, learning and research materials that are released under non-proprietorial licenses allowing for their free access and reuse (Atkins et al., 2007). The basic idea informing OER is that all knowledge should be freely shared and disseminated (Yuan, MacNeill and Kraan, 2008). On a larger scale, this approach and term was adopted in a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) meeting in 2002, which was seen as a starting point for the OER movement (D’Antoni, 2009; Atkins et al., 2007). According to the definition provided by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD, 2007, 10), OER refers to “digitised materials offered freely and openly for educators, students, and self-learners to use and reuse for teaching, learning, and research”. This approach to learning has its roots in the Open Source Movement, i. e. the provision of computer software that is publicly accessible and can be openly modified and shared, which started in the 1980’s alongside the GNU free operating system project lead by Richard Stallman, the current president of the Free Software Foundation (Stallman, 2002).1

  • 2 See For a list of further declarations with links to (...)
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  • 4 The European-funded project Facilitate Open Science Training for European Research (FOSTER, https: (...)

3Open access, a term which was given currency with the Budapest Open Access Initiative of 2002,2 refers to the free online availability of scientific knowledge and research outputs e.g. research articles, academic monographs and textbooks. Open science, following the definition given by Wikimedia, can be described as “the movement to make scientific research, data and dissemination accessible to all levels of an inquiring society, amateur or professional. It encompasses practices such as publishing open research, campaigning for open access, encouraging scientists to practice open notebook science, and generally making it easier to publish and communicate scientific knowledge”.3 This movement promotes a more efficient use of research results and data leading to increased open innovations (European Commission, 2015).4 Open science encompasses open archiving (the practice of uploading of scholarly research papers into networked repositories which are openly accessible to all), as well as open access publishing. Under the EU research and innovation funding program Horizon 2020, open access to publications is now mandatory. The European Commission launched a pilot project to open up publicly funded research data available from 2013 onwards. In 2015, the Competitiveness Council adopted Council Conclusions on open, data-intensive and networked research as a driver for faster and wider innovation (Council of the European Union, 2015) in which it stated that member states like Finland look forward to the possible development of action plans or strategies for open science.

4Open science and research (OSR) principles are encouraged by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and EU policy makers. Governments are key players in developing national OSR policies, as these guide the initiatives adopted at university level worldwide.

5In “A New Start for Europe: Opening up to an ERA of Innovation” Conference 2015, Carlos Moedas (2015), Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation at the European Commission, stated: “We are moving into a world of open innovation and user innovation. A world where the digital and physical are coming together. A world where new knowledge is created through global collaborations involving thousands of people from across the world and from all walks of life”. He went on to identify Open Innovation, Open Science and Openness to the World as the three strategic priorities for EU research.

6Open innovation is about widening the involvement of a wide range of groups, from users to governments and civil society, into the process of creating and providing open digital content. Openness is needed in order to capitalize on the results of research and innovation. This meant creating the right ecosystems, increasing investment and bringing more companies and regions into the knowledge economy.

7Open science describes the transformations in the way research is being performed: researchers collaborate and knowledge is shared so that everybody can contribute to scientific advancements through a more effective use of research results. Open science represents a systemic change in the modus operandi of science and research as the principle of “openness” affects the whole research cycle and its stakeholders: by requires transparency and facilitating networking and collaboration, open science shifts research from the “publish or perish” mantra to a knowledge-sharing ideal. Open science is also about making sure that science serves innovation and growth. It guarantees open access to publicly-funded research results and the possibility of knowledge sharing by providing infrastructures. Facilitating access to research data also encourages its re-use outside academia. For example, companies, and particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), can access and re-use data, infrastructures and tools easily and at a reasonable cost, thus accelerating the implementation of ideas for innovative products and services.

8Openness to the World means global scientific collaboration. It is not sufficient to only support collaborative projects; we must enable partnerships between regions and countries. Challenges in areas like energy, health, food and water are global challenges which can only be tackled through international collaborations.

9Several countries of the OECD are adopting policies to promote open science and research including Finland, and Finnish Higher Education Institutes are playing an important role in the implementation of OSR. We analyze here the case of Lahti UAS to uncover the challenges and benefits of translating the principles of open science into the practice of university research within and beyond academia.

An Open Science and Research Framework in Finland

10In 2014, the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture (EduMin) established The Open Science and Research (OSR) Initiative for 2014 – 17, which aims at fostering the openness and quality of research as well as promoting the faster transfer and greater visibility of information (Forsström, 2014). In Finland open research refers to adopting practices available to anyone in research including free access to research results and raw data, methods which are published openly and it signifies free availability of research publications and the utilization of accessible standards in terms of quality of research. Along with this initiative, Finland aims at becoming the leading country for openness in science and research by 2017. “Openness” covers a broad range of activities on many levels with the common goal of achieving a more effective utilization of research data and results for the greater benefit of society. The ambition is to promote the trustworthiness of open science and research and to incorporate them into a whole research process, thus improving the visibility and impact of science throughout Finland’s innovation system. This involves public and private stakeholders such as companies, business angels and funding bodies, universities and other research organizations. By supporting the culture of open science within the research community, society’s awareness of open science will increase. The overall goal of this initiative is to boost the competitiveness and quality of the Finnish research system. According to recent global innovation surveys (Schwab 2013; Dutta, Geiger and Lanvin 2015; Dutta, Lanvin and Wunsch-Vincent 2015), Finland is ranked among the top 10 countries in innovation and competitiveness. However, in order to maintain this position and to strengthen Finland’s competitiveness, the impact and visibility of both science and research need to be boosted. This requires more transparent and collaborative actions between various stakeholders in the Finnish research and innovation system (Forsström, 2014).

11The Open Science and Research Initiative also aims at creating a sustainable information infrastructure and a variety of sophisticated tools and methods that will promote the long-term availability and accessibility of results (e.g. long term data storage system). In practice, the aim is to provide researchers with specific knowledge about how they can implement openness. Open science is promoted by directing special attention to three central constituents that complement each other: open scientific publications, open research data and open research methods, all of which have their corresponding storage facilities, metadata and access services. Furthermore, cutting-edge research environments, advanced skills and knowledge, comprehensive guidelines and other diverse support services and tools are included in the initiative.

12The initiative also entails closer international collaborations for the possibilities and outcomes of open science are likely to be widely utilized both at a national and international level. In the Finnish research system, HEIs are very important. The Finnish higher education system is a dual system consisting of fourteen academic universities and twenty-four universities of applied sciences (UAS) (Melin et al., 2015). In this research system, the task of the academic universities is to conduct scientific research, whereas the role of the UAS is to carry out practice based applied research, development and innovation (RDI) activities in close co-operation with local stakeholders.

13Finland’s OSR Vision 2017 is “Open research leads to surprising discoveries and creative insights” (Ministry of Education and Culture, 2014, p. 13). The aim is that research data and materials will move freely throughout society from one researcher or research group to another, between disciplines, to innovative businesses and to decision-makers and citizens. It is intended that information flow will be facilitated by clear policies and best practices, and by providing services to safeguard the availability of scientific and research results. Openness is seen as a joint operating model which combines operations between business and research, and between HEIs and the private sector, and that gives Finnish research a competitive edge in the international arena.

14The key objective of the Finnish Open Science and Research Roadmap 2014–17 (Ministry of Education and Culture, 2014, p. 14) is to publish research results, research data and the methods used, so that they can be examined and used by any interested party. Open science includes practices such as promoting open access publishing, publishing research materials on open platforms, harnessing open-source software and open standards, and the public documentation of the research process through the act of recording reflective notes about what is learnt from the data i. e. “memoing”.

15The roadmap will be implemented via four sub-objectives (Ministry of Education and Culture, 2014, pp. 14–18) which are: 1) Reinforcing the intrinsic nature of science and research: openness and repeatability increase the reliability and quality of science and research; 2) Strengthening openness-related expertise: those working in the Finnish research system know how to harness the opportunities afforded by openness to boost Finland’s competitive edge; 3) Ensuring a stable foundation for the research process: good, clear, basic structures and services will enable new opportunities to be harnessed at the right time thus ensuring a stable basis for research; and 4) Increasing the societal impact of research: open science will create new opportunities for researchers, decision-makers, business, public bodies and citizens.

Figure 1. The vision for 2017 and the objectives of The Open science and Research Initiative. Image from The Ministry of Education and Culture’s Open Science and Research Initiative (2014), CC BY 4.0

16According to the OSR Initiative, the main activities that will enhance the open science and research principles of research and education organizations in Finland are the following:

  • Openness as a part of organizational strategies
  • Open and collaborative working culture
  • Clear guidelines for publishing research results, licensing and immaterial property rights (IPR) questions
  • Clear descriptions of the liabilities and rights of a researcher regarding openness
  • Developing knowledge, skills and expertise related to OSR
  • Supporting the utilization of shared service infrastructures
  • Exploitation of local quality systems
  • Fostering interoperability
  • Increasing preconditions for research reproducibility
  • Introduction and implementation of services that support openness, availability, visibility and utilization

17Finland has several strengths that facilitate the implementation of its Open Science and Research Roadmap: Finland is one of the leading countries with regard to investments in R & D as a percentage of GDP; according to many indicators, Finland’s infrastructures for science and research are of high quality; indicators show Finland has excellent skills and infrastructure for promoting innovation; Finland aims for equality in its researchers’ working environments; the Finnish population is highly educated; Finland has an extensive library network and is the world’s leader in library usage and the societal appreciation of libraries; Finland’s scientific libraries are proactive in organizing events and exhibitions, and are continually increasing their own publishing activities; people in Finland respect science and research and are interested in the results of research; second only to Iceland, Finland has the most researchers per capita; research institutions and universities are linked by a comprehensive network and are engaging in closer cooperation; Finland is launching many initiatives that support research objectives on many fronts, such as furthering open government and initiatives targeting the availability of mass data and public administration information; and Finland’s national structures are advanced and include those inherited from previous initiatives (Academy of Finland, 2012; Melin et al., 2015, p. 38).

18The Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland published a study (Melin et al., 2015, p. 38) highlighting the strengths of research in Finland: several important reforms have already been made, including an autonomy reform and new acts for universities and for UASs, which gave them an independent legal personality. It separated HEIs from the state and they had the choice of becoming either corporations subject to public law or foundations subject to private law. Furthermore, an important step towards a more transparent funding stream for UAS has been taken with the recent reform of UASs; academic leadership has also been strengthened through the reforms, such as increased connections to wider society, for example, through the inclusion of external members on HEI boards; lastly, mergers between HEIs have contributed to there being slightly fewer HEIs and better centralization, which means greater productiveness relative to cost. There is also a well-developed innovation system according to the Innovation Union scoreboard, while the strong connection between UASs and regional business aids research, as does the regional coverage of the UASs.

19The same study (Melin et al., 2015, p. 38) noted the weaknesses of research in Finland: there are only a few internationally top-ranked HEIs; there exist barriers towards transfer across the dual systems for students; only a small amount of foreign academic staff are recruited by HEIs; the HEI landscape is scattered with many HEIs, some of which are quite small; the level of internationalization in the system as a whole is low; and there is an underdeveloped level of cooperation between universities and UASs; there are legal barriers towards deeper cooperation and mergers between universities and UASs; and the innovation system does not contribute sufficiently to the commercialization of knowledge and the creation of new jobs. The study by Melin et al. (2015) proposed an increase in open research infrastructure cooperation on the European level in order to contribute to open science within European infrastructure networks, such as the Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research.

The Role of Higher Education Institutes in Promoting OSR Initiative

20The Finnish higher education system consists of two complementary sectors: universities of applied sciences (UAS) and universities. The mission of universities is to conduct scientific research and provide instruction and postgraduate education based upon it. Universities of applied sciences train professionals in response to labor market needs and conduct RDI which supports instruction and promotes regional development in particular. Such universities are multi-field regional institutions focusing on contacts with working life and on regional development.

21All HEIs have an essential role in fulfilling the OSR vision because they are in charge of delivering educational and research activities which benefit society in social, economic and cultural ways. The OSR Initiative challenges the Finnish HEIs to adopt and apply the open science and research principles of the OSR Initiative in their policies, operations and practices. As a result of the launching of the OSR Initiative, the HEIs in Finland are currently conducting university level policies and guidelines in order to make what OSR means in the context of research and teaching visible. These policies address why openness of research is important and give instructions concerning open research methods and open access publishing. At the same time, HEIs are planning and developing services and infrastructures as well as providing training for researchers related to data management planning and data preservation. From a teaching perspective, OSR means that open research results should be more rigorously applied as a teaching material and also new teaching materials need to be openly released under open licenses. In order to achieve this, HEIs are offering guidance and support for teaching staff for the creation of online courses. Regional development is a statutory task of HEIs and by being the forerunners of open science in their regions, the HEIs could help local industries and businesses to benefit from these openly available research results. However, this does not happen automatically and requires that, firstly, the HEIs develop processes through which they are able to provide this kind of support for the other regional stakeholders and, secondly, HEIs need to communicate clearly what kind of services are available and how local stakeholders can take advantage of them.

Lahti University of Applied Sciences (Lahti UAS)

22The following section presents Lahti University of Applied Sciences (Lahti UAS) as an OSR case study and discusses the challenges and possibilities surrounding the implementation of the policies of OSR in practice, focusing on openness within RDI activities.

23Lahti UAS is a multidisciplinary higher education institute located in the city of Lahti in southern Finland. With over 5,000 students and approximately 400 full-time teaching staff, Lahti UAS employs about 70 part-time teachers from other academic institutions, business and industry.

24Research and development (R&D) input in the Lahti region is low, amounting to only approximately 250 euros/resident, in contrast to the 3300 euros/resident input provided in Finland (the highest regional amount). Thus, in order to promote the strategic choice of RDI at Lahti UAS, RDI activities must be transparent, practice-based and respond to future needs. They must promote the region’s growth, competitiveness, well-being and employment opportunities in the focus areas. RDI activities must also facilitate skills and knowledge transfer, emphasize an international dimension and value networks, especially in terms of multidisciplinary teams and authentic learning environments, which are typical to the mode-2 type of knowledge production identified by Gibbons et al. (1994). Then, research systems will become highly interactive and “socially distributed”. This kind of mode-2 knowledge is produced “in the context of application by so-called trans-disciplinary collaborations. Moreover, scientists are more reflexive and they operate according to different criteria in terms of quality when compared with the traditional disciplinary mode. Lahti UAS has to ensure that open science develops in the right way to contribute to the common effort to make both Finland and the Lahti region more competitive while maintaining excellence in science. This means that regional development can no longer rely solely on a tradition of innovations stemming from research, but instead an open innovation model needs to be applied more efficiently.

25The practice-based innovation model is characterized by market-led thinking and company-driven challenges that work as triggers for innovation and practice-based innovation tools. A special user-driven model of action for R&D and innovation has been developed by university researchers in the Lahti region, based on the needs of local companies. Its strengths and characteristics are the fast application and commercialization of ideas, and it is an efficient means for attracting international expertise to support development. The companies in the region have successfully applied this model within their businesses (Harmaakorpi and Tura, 2012).

26There are 380 staff working for 5,300 students studying within Lahti UAS at BSc or MSc level. Lahti UAS is an innovative partner in regional RDI and one of its statutory tasks is to conduct RDI activities for the benefit of the employment sector, regional development and Lahti UAS education. In addition, it promotes regional competitiveness in close cooperation with the local employment sector and provides students with multidisciplinary real-life business and industry projects to work on. This means that the RDI activities are work-related and aim at finding, developing and producing new or improved products, production systems, and methods and services for the region’s needs. Lahti UAS operates in the global innovation system as part of the regional innovation ecosystems of the wider Helsinki metropolitan area and Päijät-Häme. This regional development is then further integrated into international cooperation as global challenges are also attached to Lahti and surrounding region. The Lahti UAS RDI program for 2016 to 2018 is based idm. to the EU’s growth strategy (European Commission, 2010), whose priorities are to make the EU a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy that has high employment levels, high productivity and social cohesion.

27The mission of Lahti UAS is to educate students so that they become competent professionals and promote the competitiveness of the region. The vision of Lahti UAS for 2020 is to be insightful, experimental and exploratory, becoming an international builder of future learning and a prime mover in creating regional growth. In addition to the vision and the mission, the following values also guide our RDI activities: joy of mutual exploration, the facilitation of insightful learning experiences, valuable work, expertise and success (Lahti University of Applied Sciences, 2015).

Openness in RDI Activities in Lahti UAS

28As a part of the OSR initiative, the current state of the open working culture in Finnish HEIs (including Lahti UAS) was surveyed in 2014–15. This survey was carried out in two phases. In December 2014, all HEIs’ web pages were assessed in terms of how openness was embedded in their strategies and working cultures and what kind of instructions and guidelines concerning openness were offered to the researchers in each organization. In February and March 2015, this assessment was complemented by a questionnaire in which the representatives of HEIs were asked to describe their level of engagement in activities fulfilling the objectives of the OSR initiative in greater detail, whilst also stating what policies and instructions guided these activities. Furthermore, the HEIs were asked to describe how the organizational knowledge and expertise of the OSR Initiative had grown, as well as how the OSR initiative had enhanced regional cooperation in terms of research infrastructures.

29Based on that survey, the Finnish EduMin published an analysis (available only in Finnish) in September 2015 in which the HEIs were evaluated against four level criterions and then rated based on the results of five categories (uncontrolled, partial, specified, managed and strategic). The survey results show that over 50% of HEIs are currently actively enhancing OSR, though none of the HEIs reached the highest level and only two universities reached the second highest level. Generally, the academic universities scored higher than the universities of applied sciences which were all scored within the two lowest levels. Although all Finnish HEIs are based on the Government Program and the operative and financial plans of the Ministry of Education and Culture, not many explicitly mentioned openness as one of their core values. Only a few universities were found to be strongly engaged in promoting an open working culture.

30Lahti UAS received its highest rating, a three, for the category of how well openness was incorporated into its university strategies. However, based on the average of all its scores, Lahti UAS was ranked on level four, indicating that the university is committed to promoting OSR and that preliminary steps in developing an open working culture have been taken, although that needs to be strengthened and openness as a working practice needs to be publicly encouraged and broadened.

Implementing the OSR Policies in RDI Activities in Practice

31For Lahti UAS, promoting OSR and building an open working culture are the key development tasks for RDI activities in 2015 and 2016. Applying and embedding the OSR principles into RDI activities will involve both hard and soft elements. The hard elements include strategic and directive guidelines for RDI activities. The soft side stresses that it is essential to engage and familiarize the RDI staff members with the objectives and guidelines of the OSR Initiative and to build a shared understanding about what openness means with regard to RDI activities as well as the need to strengthen the staff members’ openness-related expertise.

32Several different initiatives are being undertaken to implement these OSR recommendations in Lahti UAS, and here we present the three main steps: the RDI program, OSR principles workshop and OSR Implementation action plan. As a first step, the Lahti UAS RDI program for 2016 to 2018 was revised during the fall of 2015 in a collaborative working process with the RDI staff members and the Lahti UAS board. It is a strategic policy document offering guidelines for RDI activities. As a result of this process, openness has been highlighted as one of the cornerstones of the RDI activities (Figure 2).

Figure 2. The cornerstones of RDI activities in Lahti UAS

33As a second step, a workshop for teaching and RDI staff was arranged in December 2015 in order to build a shared understanding of the OSR principles with a larger audience. The aim of this workshop was to offer basic information about OSR and to debate what OSR means in everyday practices — with regards to both teaching and RDI activities. Over 45 staff members participated in the workshop and raised questions related to OSR. The main questions and challenges relevant to RDI were matters such as how to increase openness in the planning of research projects, how to operate using the data gathered from private company projects, how to deal with IPR issues, how to deal with research ethics and research permit issues, how to decide what research data is worth preserving for further research purposes and where and in which format the data should be saved and how the research data could be measured so that it can be reused. Additionally, staff members asked for more information and clear instructions on OSR issues e.g. concerning open access publications. In order to meet this need, the Lahti UAS administration ensured that the staff knew where to access OSR materials, such as the Open Science and Research Roadmap 2014–17, the Handbook of Open Science and Research, as well as the revised instructions of the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture concerning the gathering of publication data.

34As a third step, an OSR Implementation action plan for Lahti UAS for 2016 was accepted by the board of directors of Lahti UAS in January 2016. It involves several steps focusing on increasing the OSR expertise in Lahti UAS, such as staff training and building services and guidance for open publishing and open data management. One major issue raised at the workshop and training sessions was how authors can provide open access to their work. One way is to publish it and then self-archive it in a repository where it can be accessed for free. Some publishers require delays or an embargo before research put into a repository can become open access. In addition to implementing OSR principles for publication, there is also the implementation of OSR principles in RDI activities, and this requires further training. Lahti UAS representatives have attended workshops and seminars arranged by the OSR initiative and staff members have also participated in the work of the Open Science and Research Strategy Group and the Research Data Long-term Preservation Group, in order to gain the knowledge and expertise needed to develop and establish openness-related practices within Lahti UAS.

35It is also necessary to develop research infrastructures and service processes that enable the storage and replicability of research data. During the fall of 2015, Lahti UAS RDI staff members and staff members from the academic library mapped the potential data material and available research data storage services, with the pilot project to test the service processes and data storage being completed in 2016. The action plan includes a road map devised to build the OSR, improve the way the OSR is structured, develop OSR activities and procedures that staff members engage in, ensure that the core values of Lahti UAS are realized in the OSR culture and the style of OSR leadership adopted, clarify who reports to whom and advance the actual OSR skills and competencies of the employees working for Lahti UAS.


36As an umbrella concept, Open Education forms the basis for many different streams of openness of knowledge and learning. Though these streams address different perceptions, they all stem from the core idea of open access and the sharing of knowledge as well as a collaboration between different actors on producing and building upon shared knowledge.

37Maintaining and boosting the competitiveness of the research and innovation systems while preserving accessible and shared materials and knowledge is essential to OER, which also requires the faster transfer of knowledge gained through increased and expanded access to research results and data. In addition, the OER movement has highlighted the importance of enhancing, retaining, revising, redistributing and reusing such educational resources (Jensen and West, 2015, pp. 215–218).

38As it is crucial to advance open science on all levels — regional, national, European and global — the mutual responsiveness of all key stakeholders involved is required, be they organizations performing research or organizations and businesses funding research and businesses. Consequently, a review of how science is evaluated, the creation of new research funding mechanisms and alternative ways of publishing are also required. Secondly, we need to create an open science environment that is friendly to both science and business. Thirdly, open science should be an inclusive process. We need to stimulate further engagement with open science stakeholders: ranging from individual researchers to universities, from start-ups to large companies. Open science is also about making sure that science becomes more responsive to socio-economic and public demands, while enabling faster innovation.

39This chapter focused on an Open Science and Research (OSR) perspective and discussed it in the context of Finnish higher education. As discussed above, Finland is one of the leading countries for incorporating OSR initiatives into whole research and innovation systems. HEIs, including the universities of applied sciences, play a central role in adopting OSR principles in their research practices. The current development and future trends of open education, open science and OER provide many opportunities and challenges for HEIs.

40In this contribution we presented the OSR architecture framework of Finland and illustrated the main findings in terms of implementing the OSR principles in practice by presenting Lahti UAS’s OSR development work as a case study. The implementation of open science and research policies is an iterative development process through repeated cycles in which raising awareness, sharing knowledge and building networks and capacity development are central issues in the creation of an open working culture for an HEI, and which is needed to achieve strategic goals and to increase the impact and quality of research.

41The Lahti UAS case provides an example of open science and research at work. The process began with an analysis and evaluation of the institution’s situation and potential. Government guidance ensured that the process became established in each higher education institute. The case study of Lahti UAS also indicates that a UAS that is given an average rank regarding how well openness was incorporated into its strategies and how strongly it is committed to promoting OSR still needs to continually and systematically strengthen its open working culture.



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1 The GNU operating system is a complete free software system, upward-compatible with Unix. GNU stands for “GNU’s Not Unix”. Richard Stallman made the Initial Announcement of the GNU Project in September 1983. A longer version called the GNU Manifesto was published in March 1985. See

2 See For a list of further declarations with links to the relevant documents and further resources see


4 The European-funded project Facilitate Open Science Training for European Research (FOSTER, has developed an open science taxonomy as an attempt to map the open science field.

Table des illustrations

Légende Figure 1. The vision for 2017 and the objectives of The Open science and Research Initiative. Image from The Ministry of Education and Culture’s Open Science and Research Initiative (2014), CC BY 4.0
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Légende Figure 2. The cornerstones of RDI activities in Lahti UAS
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Ilkka Väänänen has over twenty years’ experience with Finnish higher education institutions. In the last ten years he has worked as a research director at the multidisciplinary Lahti University of Applied Sciences (Lahti UAS) in Lahti, Finland, focusing on strategic management and leadership of research, development and innovation activities (RDI). He currently works as a senior researcher at the Wellbeing and Regenerative Growth Focus Area in Lahti UAS, and is the editor-in-chief of the Finnish University of Applied Sciences journal. He has published recently on user driven innovations, authentic learning environments and open applied research. He is involved in many regional RDI projects, where his specific interest is in RDI integrated learning that promotes regional developing

Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) Director of Wellbeing and Regenerative Growth Focus in Lahti University of Applied Sciences in Finland. She is a member of the quality development team in Lahti University of Applied Sciences and has also worked for several years as a Lecturer in the Faculty of Technology in Lahti University of Applied Sciences. Her research interests focus on entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship education, and teaching. She has published in both national and international peer reviewed journals and publications on topics including entrepreneurial pedagogy, team learning and team teaching and teachers’ competence development. She also has twenty years of experience in various positions in international business as well as being one of the owners of Entre House and the co-founder and CEO of EnTree Academy, both operating in the field of further education and professional development


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