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Where do good ideas come from? You meet people, you find that you share goals, ideals and challenges. In January 2019 a group of people gathered in Helsinki to discuss languages in scholarly communication. We found out that we all wished to see research shared in multiple languages and how that was often challenged due to ways research is funded, evaluated and valued. We realised together that issues appeared to be similar in many countries and we wanted to initiate change. As a result we started the Helsinki Initiative together as a movement to promote multilingualism in scholarly communication.

The Founding signatories are:

Present in the initial conversations were: Emanuel Kulczycki, Henriikka Mustajoki, Janne Pölönen, Leena Kaakinen, Sami Syrjämäki, Reetta Kettunen and Vidar Røeggen.

Are you interested in supporting the Helsinki Initiative? Here are some suggestions what you can do:

  • Sign the initiative as an individual
  • Convince your organization to sign the initiative (you can use this presentation)
  • Spread the word about the initiative to your colleagues (you can use this presentation)
  • Translate the initiative to your own language
  • Take part in the #InAllLanguages -campaign in the social media. "In all languages" campaign is a wake-up call for policy-makers, leaders, universities, research institutions, research funders, libraries, and researchers to promote multilingualism in scholarly communication. Participate by posting in Twitter or Facebook a statement or video of your or your colleagues' support for multilingualism in scholarly communication, of course #InAllLanguages.
  • Write about the Initiative in your own language. Defining key terms in context is an essential task for signatories of this initiative. The founding signatories are aware of significant structural differences in scholarly communication between countries and disciplines. Thus no universal definitions are valid and dialogue in defining terms is considered an essential element in developing a stronger scholarly communication across the world. For inspiration, read the ENRESSH statement supporting the Helsinki Initiative.

Have you got ideas on how to promote multlingualism in research - send us your suggestions at helsinki-initiative@tsv.fi