Public access to theses
Master’s theses included in second-cycle (master’s) degrees are public documents. Public access to them is based on the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999). Public access to theses means that the University must make theses available to anyone upon request.
Public access to theses also includes their abstracts.
Secret material and theses
Because a thesis is available for public access immediately after its assessment and approval at a meeting of the faculty council, degree programme steering group or grading committee, the thesis must include no secret information. You can include secret information in the background material, which is not part of the thesis to be assessed.
The Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999) contains provisions on secret official documents. Secret information includes that related to private business or commercial activities or a private individual’s health, assets, political convictions or family life.
You cannot include secret material in thesis appendices or abstracts. The thesis supervisor can gain access to secret background material, but must ensure that such material is not included in the thesis itself. The thesis examiner conducts their assessment based on the student’s written thesis, which must not include secret information. The examiner is not entitled to access secret background material.
Publication of theses
The University recommends the open publication of master’s theses and corresponding licentiate theses.
If you permit the online publishing of your thesis, it will be published in the University of Helsinki’s open publication repository Helda, where it will be available to the general public. Search engines will display resources contained in the publication repository prominently in search results.
Storing your thesis in the E-thesis system does not mean giving permission for the publication of the thesis. This permission will be requested separately in a message you receive from the E-thesis system after your thesis has been approved. If you do not permit the online publication of your thesis, it will be available for viewing only on the library terminals of Helsinki University Library.
The abstracts of master’s theses are always public and published in the open Helda repository.
If your thesis includes an article published in a journal, or an article is being prepared on the basis of your thesis, it is possible that your thesis cannot be published openly as such. If your article is published in a scholarly journal or other scholarly publication, its publisher can often provide information on the terms and conditions of open publishing. If you require further information on publishing your thesis in the open publication repository, please send a message to the following email address: e-thesis(at)helsinki.fi.
Delayed publication (embargo)
As a student, you may request that the publication of your thesis in the open publication repository Helda is delayed. A need for delayed publication (embargo) may arise, for example, if a thesis has been written in a research group and is closely related to research to be published later.
If the publication of your thesis needs to be delayed, please report this need on the thesis submission form under the item ‘Other notes’ when submitting your thesis for assessment. The dean may grant a delay of one year.
An embargoed thesis cannot be viewed in full even on the library terminals, but since the thesis is a public document, it must always be made available upon request. Description data (including the abstract) are always public and are openly available in the Helda repository. If you give permission to publish a thesis which has been embargoed, it will become available in the open publication repository on the date the embargo ends. Otherwise, your thesis will only be available on library terminals.