The aim of the Helsinki Initiative on Multilingualism in Scholarly Communication is to encourage sharing research results beyond academia, support the national publication channels that enable multilingual publication, and promote multilingualism in the assessment and funding processes of research.
Responsibly produced research results must be of high scientific quality and based on sustainable research ethics. They must also be accessible to citizens and decision-makers alike. Despite English being the international lingua franca of science, multilingual science communication enables scientific understanding among different audiences and their interaction with researchers.
Multilingual science communication requires a robust national infrastructure for journals and book publishers publishing in national and foreign languages. National journals and book publishers support local scientific communities and promote scientific discussion regarding locally relevant research questions.
As assessment directs and steers research and researchers, multilingualism must be considered an important merit advancing research careers and funding. Research published in a language other than English may also be international and fulfil the requirements of high-quality research.
The Helsinki Initiative, published in 2019, was first signed by the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies (TSV), the Committee for Public Information (TJNK), the Finnish Association for Scholarly Publishing, and the international partners Universities Norway (UHR) and the COST Action "European Network for Research Evaluation in the Social Sciences and the Humanities" (ENRESSH).