Best Russian Journals to Go on Web of Science
On September 25 a presentation of the Russian Science Citation Index (RSCI), of which HSE is a partner, took place. The purpose of the project is to integrate Russian academic journals into the international exchange network of scientific information. RSCI has listed 1000 journals, based on bibliometric indicators and expert reviews, to go on the Web of Science platform.
Why we need the RSCI
There are two institutions used to assess the quality of academic journals and publishing activity levels in Russia - the list of journals of the Higher Attestation Commission (VAK) and the database of the Russian index of academic citations (RINTS). Both lists have been subject to considerable criticism and being on them is no guarantee of the quality of a journal. At the same time, a journal’s appearance on the either VAK on RINTS is not just a formality. For example, many regulatory documents on measuring standards in Russian research centres and universities refer to RINTS.
Constructed on the basis of RINTS and VAK, the Russian Science Citation Index will include journals which are checked assiduously for quality and quantity. Putting RSCI on the Web of Science platform (one of the world’s most extensive databases of academic citations) will give Russian journals a higher profile in the global information space.
How the 1000 best are chosen
There are two stages to the compilation of the RSCI list. First, journals are checked against the relevant formal criteria. A specially created expert group including specialists from different research fields will propose a method to estimate bibliometric indicators used to select journals. In the second stage, journals which have been selected will undergo qualitative analysis by recognised experts in the field.
The authors of the project suggest that a wider circle of academics could be brought in to discuss the list of journals if they are registered in the Science Index and have a certain number of publications and citations on the themes of the journals being evaluated.
Strict deadlines has been drawn up for the RSCI to be set up. The first 400 participating journals will be entered in January 2015 and in April RSCI will be included in Web of Science, while the list from 1000 best journals should be confirmed in December 2015.
Who are the judges?
The RSCI project is supported by Thomson Reuters (the owners of Web of Science). Anatoly Grigoriev, vice-president of the Russian Academy of Sciences is director of the project’s working group and HSE’s first deputy Rector Leonid Gokhberg, Director of ISSEK is deputy chairman.
The HSE will become one of the main expert centres, discussing issues on the methodology of assessing and selecting journals for the RSCI. It was chosen because the university has devised its own systems in scientometrics and bibliometrics.
The RSCI project organisers have planned a series of seminars for Russian academic journal editors. The first one will be at the HSE on October 14.
Topics for discussion: how the project will be put into practice, principles and criteria for the selection of journals, ethical issues on academic publishing, the role of professionals and public associations in improving quality, etc.
Oleg Seregin, HSE News Service
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