National Scholarly Journals in the Era of Globalized Science: Problems of Adaptation Encountered By Russian Titles

Monday, 16 July 2018: 16:10
Oral Presentation
Natalia POPOVA, Institute of Philosophy and Law, Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Federation
Without the scholarly journals that provide a medium for disseminating scientific knowledge, communication within scientific communities would be impossible. Today, when science has become a global collaborative enterprise, journals are striving to make their content accessible to a broad international readership. One solution is to be incorporated in reputable citation indexes; however, national journals often fail to meet their strict quality criteria. This paper analyzes the process of integration of Russian scientific journals into international databases that began about three years ago, primarily focusing on the research questions: what difficulties Russian journals encounter in bringing their editorial practices into compliance with international publication standards; whether the required changes are mainly of technical nature or involve fundamental reconstruction of the editorial work; what positive or negative effects this process entails for all the participants in scientific communication both within the country and globally. The hypotheses were formulated following a series of in-depth interviews (N=20) with experts of the Scopus Content Selection and Advisory Board (CSAB) and the Russian Expert Content Selection and Advisory Committee (ECSAC), and with editors-in-chief of Russian journals that have been included into Scopus. Subsequently, 145 editors of Russian journals, which were either preparing for inclusion or had already been included in international indexes, were questioned. Preparation for inclusion into international databases is shown to involve fundamental reconstruction of editorial practices in national journals in terms of content selection, peer-review procedure, requirements for authors and open access policy. Among the main difficulties experienced by Russian journals are the different traditions of peer-review, referencing literature sources, argumentation and text composition; the need to publish content in the English language and to select topics that are interesting for a foreign audience. Insufficient funding and a lack of trained personnel continue to hamper the transition to conformity with international publication standards.