Open sign

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