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Parallel publishing promotes open-access publishing culture in Karelia UAS

The Karelia University of Applied Sciences is committed to the Declaration for Open Science and Research 2020-2025, made by the Finnish research community. As part of this commitment, one of the areas that Karelia UAS is promoting is open access publishing. This means that all publications produced by the staff of Karelia are openly available to the research community and the general public. One effective way to promote open publishing is through parallel publishing.

What does parallel publishing mean?

Parallel publishing (also known as green open access or self-archiving) makes research articles freely available through an open access repository.

Research and publications produced and funded by public money should be accessible to the general public. However, research articles funded by public money often end up being available only through the paid services of scientific publishers or conference organizers. Republishing such articles in the open digital repository of the researcher’s home organization makes those articles openly available.

For several years now, Finnish universities of applied sciences have been parallel publishing their research in the Theseus online service. Theseus is an open repository where works are stored as open access publications. Theseus functions as the publication repository also for Karelia University of Applied Sciences.

A parallel published article receives a permanent address (URN), making it easy to share with others who are interested in it. In Theseus the article will remain openly available even if the original publishing channel quits operation.

Parallel publishing in Karelia UAS

At Karelia University of Applied Sciences, the obligation for parallel publishing primarily concerns articles published in scientific journals or conference publications. It is also recommended to parallel publish articles intended for professional communities, especially if they are not openly available.

Before parallel publishing, it must be ensured that all authors as well as the publisher have given their permission for parallel publishing. Most scientific publishers allow the final (peer-reviewed) manuscript version (Final draft / Post print) to be parallel-published in the author’s home institution’s open digital repository. However, publishers may impose a publication embargo period, usually lasting for one year from the date of publication, during which the author cannot publish a open access copy of the publication. In many cases scientific publishers’ parallel publishing policies can be checked from the Sherpa Romeo service. The other commonly used option is to request permission directly from the publisher by email.

When the permissions have been obtained, a cover page (see example) will be added to the article. The cover page displays the article’s title, authors, and which version is being used (final draft or publisher’s PDF). The cover page includes the citation of the original article to which the article reader is supposed to cite. Finally, the library staff saves the article in PDF format in the Theseus depository.

Parallel publishing improves discoverability and usage

From the perspective of an article author, the best benefit of parallel publishing is related to the improvement of the discoverability and usage of the article. Therefore, parallel publishing can have a positive impact on the number of citations and the impact of the article when it is freely available online and easily discoverable by search engines.

As an example, let’s examine the discoverability of Tero Mustonen’s and Tarmo Tossavainen’s article from 2018, ‘Brook lampreys of life: towards Holistic monitoring of Boreal Aquatic habitats using ‘subtle signs’ and oral histories’. This article is parallel-published in the Theseus online repository.

Google Scholar finds the article’s parallel-published version among its first search results, if the user uses search terms that describe the article’s topic, such as ‘brook lamprey’ AND ‘ecological restoration’. The same parallel version can also be found in the Finnish services and , from which the Finnish research community usually searches for domestic research (see the video below).

As we can see, parallel publishing has significantly improved the accessibility and the discoverability of the article compared to if the article was available only through the paid services of the publisher.


Pekka Malvela, Head of library and information services, Karelia University of Applied Sciences

Image by Freepik