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The departmental publication series and ISBN identifiers: General guidelines for series editors

General guidelines for series editors

The Publications Committee of the University of Oulu recommends that research results are primarily published in international or domestic scientific publications.

The editors of the departmental publication series are requested to uphold the following instructions approved by the Publications Committee; they are intended to guide and assist editorial work. The editors must determine the publication policy of the series, provide the authors with technical instructions and monitor their use.

1. Establishing a publications series

Series differ from monographs and a multi-volume work in the following ways:

  • a series is published in consecutive issues either regularly or irregularly, but continuously
  • in principle, the publication of a series is never ending
  • the issues of a series are brought together by their shared title.

When establishing a publication series, the department should make clear the aims of the series and define in writing its publication policy. Scientific literature is to be separated from other materials, and in publishing it, sufficient evaluation criteria are to be used. All information related to the series should be sent to the Publications Committee for comment.

The following matters should be defined for the publication series:

  1. the level of contents
  2. criteria used when approving content and style
  3. who approves the articles
  4. distribution.

2. Appointing an editor and editorial board, and their tasks

An editor-in-chief and, if necessary, an editorial board are to be appointed for the series. The names of the editor and members of the editorial board should appear on the reverse side of the title page, or on the inside front cover.

3. Guidelines for contributors

The editor (and the editorial board) provides guidelines on at least the following matters:

  • the style of the text
  • the location of the abstract
  • the bibliography and citing style
  • the use of headings
  • the presentation graphics for figures and tables
  • the font, line-spacing, and column width
  • the numbering of appendices.

4. The naming and numbering of the publication series

It should be clear from the title of the series which university and unit the publication derives from (use the officially accepted names of the units). The series title should preserve the exact same form in every issue and whenever it appears on the front cover, title page, back cover, spine etc. General titles such as 'research', 'reports' or 'publication series' are not, however, recommended. Publications in the series are numbered in a consecutive manner, either continuously or annually.

5. Bibliographic information

Sufficient information for identification must be provided in the publication, and this must systematically be given in the publication in the same place.

The title page should include:

  • the title of the research
  • the author(s)/ editor(s)
  • the series title and issue number
  • the publishing house/ publisher (university, department)
  • the location of the publisher
  • the year of publication.

On the reverse side of the title page, further information should be added:

  • the name of the original work, if the publication is a translation
  • the editor-in-chief and the editorial staff ( this can also be printed on the inside front cover)
  • edition (if not 1st edition)
  • ISBN identifiers(s)
  • ISSN identifier
  • place of publication
  • year of publication.

The front cover and title page should be sent to the University Publications Committee for approval; if changes are made, it should be resent.

6. ISBN and ISNN identifiers

The ISSN identifies continuing resources. The Finnish ISSN Agency is responsible for assigning the identifiers in Finland and for sending the information on publications which have been assigned ISSN identifiers to the ISSN Portal database. Applying for ISSN identifiers for the new serie see more Apply ISSN. - The ISSN is tied to the title of the publication. If the title changes, the identifier must also be changed.

For each issue, a separate ISBN should also be requested; this identifies that particular publication. If a publication is made available in both print and electronic format, both versions are assigned their own ISBN. The Finnish ISBN Agency oversees the assignment of ISBNs.

To obtain an ISBN at the publication of the University of Oulu, please send the ISBN identifier form. Further information acta.toimitus(at), tel. 0294 484098.

7. Online publications

The distribution of all online publications at the University of Oulu has been centralized and it is taken care of by the Library (OuluREPO - University of Oulu repository)

  1. Upon requesting an ISBN, the Library should be informed of the intention to publish online.
  2. Permission to publish online form and the final version of the publication should be sent in PDF format to: openpublishing(at) If the publication contains the abstract please send it also as a Word file. The PDF form should be filled in using Adobe Acrobat.
    Further information: openpublishing(at)

8. Abstract and key words

An abstract is a concise, independent description of the contents of a publication. It presents the purpose, methods, results and conclusions of the research according to the original text. The location and format of the abstract is defined by the publication series. The abstract may be either on the title page, on a separate abstract immediately after the title page, or between the main heading and the body of the text itself. If an issue in the series includes several articles, an abstract is written for every article separately, and it is placed at the beginning of each respective article.

If the abstract is not placed on the title page, bibliographic information for the publication is included with the abstract: author(s), title, series title and issue, publishing house and/or publisher, location of the publishing house and year of publication. For archiving and searching purposes, it is recommended that the author chooses the most important key words that best describe the contents of the publication. These are listed immediately after the abstract.

9. Copyright

If an earlier published article is to be re-published, permission from the copyright owner is required. If, for example, separate articles which form part of a doctoral dissertation are re-published along with the summary part of the thesis, the author should request publishing rights from the copyright owner for the republishing of the articles.

10. Number of copies, distribution and sales

When deciding on the number of copies, the following information on distribution should be taken into account:

  • 6 copies for the Legal Deposits Office of the National Library (delivered by the press)
  • 1 copies for the Secretary of the Publications Committee (for the ISBN check, and for the archives)
  • 1 copy minimum for the department/unit or faculty library

For availability reasons, the University recommends that departments should make sales agreements with PunaMusta online shop.

11. Summary

In the editing of departmental series, the following points are particularly important:

  1. an editor-in-chief for the series is to be appointed
  2. the cover page and the regulations concerning the series are to be sent to the University Publications Committee
  3. an ISSN for the series should be acquired, and a separate ISBN for each issue
  4. copyright and contractual matters are to be cleared
  5. the author delivers the library copies and the ISBN check copies, the printing house sends the legal deposit copies.

For further information contact:

Oulu University Library
PL 7500

E-mail: acta.toimitus(at)