Responsible Research

The Program of Responsible Research of the University of Oulu describes the principles and guidelines of the research activities at the university level. The separately published Action Plan describes the Program's implementation, services and their practical implementation, responsible parties, scheduling and monitoring of the implementation.

The Program of Responsible Research helps the University to promote open utilization of knowledge both in scientific research and in society. As for data, publications, education and infrastructures, the national Open Science policies are to be respected if no separate agreement has been made. The foundations of the Program are quality of research, transparency, open access, equality, cooperation and societal impact. According to the University of Oulu's strategy, openness of research is an integral part of the actions of the university community. The Program also aims to support new practices that promote open and responsible research.

The Program of Responsible Research is based mainly on the Recommendation of the European Commision on access to and preservation of scientific information (2018), UNIFI’s Action Plan (2018), FCRD’s Data Citation Roadmap (2018) and the material of TUHA network and site. 

Concepts in this Program:

  • Research data is data that is in digital form, and intended to produce new knowledge and original research results.
  • Research outputs are raw data, data, publications, methods etc. generated during the research process. A separate instruction has been provided for source code. 
  • Research infrastructures are centralized, decentralized or virtual resources of research equipment, hardware, software, databases, materials and services that make research and development possible. They also support innovation capacity and researchers' training.


Main Goal

Responsible research at all levels is a guiding principle of the University's research activities, researcher's work and career development. The University supports this process so that the researcher receives the necessary support and services easily. Achieving these objectives requires the development of infrastructure, investment in support of responsible and transparent investigation, as well as cultural change.


Open and Responsible Research

  1. Research outputs of publicly funded and published research findings are, in principle, open and available for joint use.
  2. Level of openness is influenced by agreements, commercial interests, benefit to the university community, interests of those involved in the study, sensitivity of the data, research ethical principles, security and data protection and other legislation.
  3. Legislation, the general principles of research ethics, good scientific practices and the guidelines of the University are followed at all stages of the research. 
  4. The University of Oulu's lines of action of open research comply with national and EU policies.
  5. Knowledge and actions related to open research are part of achieving academic merit and are taken into account in recruitment and career development.
  6. The progress of openness is evaluated and incentives are provided for pioneers.
  7. The University supports operating models that utilize openness in corporate co-operation.
  8. The University recommends that every researcher acquires and uses a personal ORCID identifier. 
  9. The University recommends licensing open research outputs under the Creative Commons - CCBY 4.0 license.
  10. The awareness of openness is promoted through informing, training and guidance.
  11. The University provides new services required for openness. The services required for research are provided through a single service channel. 
  12. The University's open research services are compatible with national and international services.



  1. The research outputs are published following good scientific practice.
  2. The researcher selects the most important and highest-quality publication channels in his or her discipline from the point of view of the quality and effectiveness of the research.To promote the social impact of the of research, the results are also reported in professional and general journals and other publications.
  3. The University encourages the researcher to publish in open publishing channels in areas with highly regarded open journals.
  4. The University requires that the publications of researchers are self-archived in the Jultika publishing repository according to the terms of the publisher. The prerequisite also applies to openly published articles.
  5. Theses and dissertations are primarily made openly available in electronic form.


Research Data

Publicly funded research and its outputs are subject to the FAIR data principles, a set of guiding principles intended to make data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. 

  1. Every member of the University community shares responsibility for good  data management throughout the research lifecycle. 
  2. The researcher draws up a data management plan (DMP) at the planning stage of the research. The DMP is to be updated as the research proceeds. 
  3. The University requires metadata for data sets to be stored in the national Fairdata services or to international discipline-specific data repositories.
  4. The research data are to be stored and opened in a trusted national or international storage service or data archive whenever possible.
  5. The University requires that research data authorship, ownership, access rights, terms and conditions, as well as long-term preservation, will be agreed as early and clearly as possible.
  6. Support is offered to researchers for legal and ethical issues related to research data.
  7. When using other researchers' data, the appropriate laws, ethical principles and regulations must be followed. Data citations must always be used properly.
  8. The University provides a research data infrastructure that supports management and sharing of data.
  9. The University enhances the deployment and utilization of national Fairdata services.


Open Education

Openness of learning extends access to learning by lowering barriers and increasing accessibility. Key concepts in the context of openness in learning are: Open Educational Resources that are educational, teaching and research materials made available free of charge or with limited restrictions. Open Teaching Practices, in turn, support the production and use of Open Learning Resources. More information can be found on the Open Science website.

  1. We encourage teachers to publish educational resources and organize open online teaching. We use strategic actions to support teaching that aims for full openness.
  2. It is the responsibility of the openers of the teaching to ensure that they have the necessary rights to publish the resources (e.g. copyright, IPR).
  3. We require that educational resources and other digital content comply with accessibility requirements.
  4. We advise to publish educational resources using a Creative Commons attribution licence - CC BY. If necessary, a non-commercial use or share-alike element can be added. The recommended format for a licence is: © [Author Name], University of Oulu 2020 CC BY.
  5. We require that all those who have made a significant contribution to the educational resources, including students, must be properly acknowledged.
  6. We recommend using the national Library of Open Educational Resources for opening  educational resources.
  7. We recommend that video based educational resources should be published in the University’s Vimeo channel.


Open Research Infrastructures

  1. Research infrastructures are developed on a long-term basis.
  2. The openness and sharing of services is promoted.
  3. The innovation activities are taken into account when developing the use policy and openness of research infrastructures.
  4. The services are easy to find, well described and their quality, price and accessibility are ensured.
  5. The services are equally and transparently available for data storage, management, analysis, sharing and reuse. 
  6. The obtained research outputs are subject to University's Responsible Research guidelines unless a separate agreement has been made (e.g. commercial users).
  7. National and international services are utilized wherever possible.
  8. Infrastructures acquire and use persistent identifiers (PID).
  9. The essential processes of the infrastructures can be connected to the national or international processes via open interfaces.
  10. The aim is to build research infrastructures using open interfaces and standards.
  11. The development of operations and sharing of good practices are promoted through directions and training.
  12. Usability and usage statistics of the services are openly available.
  13. The impact and relevance of research infrastructures is assessed.
  14. The quality assurance system of research infrastructures is openly described.


Open Source

The University recommends that researchers use open source, open standards and interfaces in software development. When using open source code, one must become acquainted with a separate instruction given by the university. The use of the open source code also requires the commitment to its licence conditions. In these licence conditions there are often binding regulations, among others, from the division of the code and from the use of the result material. The use of open source code has to be always thought about on the basis of the conditions of the project agreement and, among others, on the basis of the commercialising of the software. The choice must be discussed according to the situation with a project manager, supervisor, innovation services and/or lawyer.


Further Studies

Universities Finland UNIFI recommends in the Open Science and Data Action Programme that Finnish universities commit themselves to the European Open Science Cloud and the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment declarations. 


The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) is an initiative of the European Commission, which aims to promote the mobility of data across borders and disciplines, and thus improve the effectiveness of science and research as part of the EU's digital single market. The University of Oulu sees EOSC as an important part of European research services, which, when completed, will provide researchers with competitive data and computing services. The University of Oulu endorses the objectives of the EOSC Brussels Declaration and supports their implementation within its resources. The objective for the year 2020 is to get involved and promote the use of EOSC services.

The EOSC portal

The EOSC portal provides access to research-related data, services and resources. In addition, the portal provides information on EOSC services, best practices, governance models and service use cases.


The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) is an initiative to change the way that research is evaluated. DORA makes a general recommendation that bibliometrics should not be used as a substitute measure for the quality of research. DORA also makes  specific recommendations for publishers, academic institutions, research funders and individual researchers.

Rector Jouko Niinimäki signed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment on January 1, 2020. The signing of the declaration was the starting point for the University's development work on responsible assessment.


Last updated: 30.9.2020