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What is RISC

Citation by


Russian Index Science Citation

          Federal Agency for Science and Innovation (FASI)  announced a competition in 2005  "Development of system of statistical analysis of Russian science based on the citation index" that was held within the federal target scientific and technical program "Research and development with respect to priority directions of science and technics". In spring 2005, the Scientific Electronic Library (NEB)  signed a contract with FASI № 02.447.11.7001 after winning this competition and became the main executor of the project purposed on creation of the Russian Science Citation Index (RINTS) with fulfillment period from  June 2005 up to December 2006 . Thus, a new period in the history of NEB began last summer that was connected with the complex development of  national electronic resources for science and education, systematic promotion of the Russian scientific publications in Internet, creation of the national bibliographic database covering the scientific periodicals,  development of tools and services for analytics, science and bibliometric researches and measurements of scientific activity. 
          What is the database of citation of journal articles or, in other words,  citation index? It is  specialized information product that accumulates and processes the full bibliographic information on journal articles, annotations and article reference lists. This base allows finding both the publications cited in separate article and publications citing this article. Thus, the user can enjoy the effective full search of bibliographies covering the entire front of publications on the topic of interest or subject. Besides the bibliographic information and quotations, the RINTS includes information regarding the authors of publications and organizations for which they work. This mechanism makes it possible to integrate the publication and quotation indices along the full vertical of social institution of science: from the researcher-author, department and agency where the ring of authors works up to the ministries and departments or even entire administrative and geographic regions. This kind of statistical information, in its turn,  helps to conduct the objective assessment of various scientific and educational organizations, scientific groups and individual researchers activities, and aggregate journals citation data, the so-called impact factors, allow  listing the periodicals ratings .
          The main problems related to the  RISC project may be summarized briefly as follows: 
  • creation of the multi-purpose search engine for publications of Russian scientists, including the first stage of  articles project development from the scientific journals (number of journals is not less than 1000 items)
  • development of  mechanisms and tools for statistical analysis of national science
  • creation and formation of the Unified Registry of publications of Russian scientists, authoritative database providing the the most complete and accurate information about the publication flow of Russian scientists regardless of the source, time, place and type of publication
  • creation of an effective navigation system fot the scientific information and contribution to the access of the Russian users to full-text publications through the mechanisms of the unified access.
          Why does the need for a national citation index appeared taking into account that the foreign analogues exist (such as Web of Science by company Thomson Scientific and Scopus company Elsevier)? There are several reasons for it:
  • Unrepresentative presentation of Russian scientific periodicals in foreign editions. From 3000-Russian scientific journals only about 150 are introduced in foreign bases (ie, no more than 5%). It is basically translated journals. Until now the vast majority of Russian scientific publications is  "invisible" and not available online. There are both objective and subjective reasons:  language barrier,  level of journals, their availability, national characteristics of quoting, local isolation of some areas of science, etc. Some of these reasons, in principle, can be eliminated. For example,  translation of the journal or at least the bibliographic English descriptions, electronic form of the journal significantly increase the chances of the journal to be included in the list of the indexed in the databases of Web of Science or Scopus. It is certainly important, and we do support the movement in that direction, but how does this relate to the scientific level of the journal,  quality of the published articles? Such similar issues are common not only in Russia but also in other non-English speaking countries. For example, from more than 4000 Chinese scientific journals the SCI has  representation only up to 30, and it is less than 1 percent. For  solving the problem of objective quantitative evaluation of the scientific results in China in 1989 there was created its own citation index named Chinese Science Citation Index, covering now more than 1000 leading Chinese journals. Similar projects exist in Japan (Citation Database for Japanese Papers, part of the national scientific information search system CiNii), Taiwan (Taiwan Humanities Citation Index) and Europe (for example, the project Euro-Factor).
  • Complexity of  the foreign databases usage for the statistical analysis. But this is the main objective of this project. Here are  number of problems, begining with the fact that the interface is not suited for this purpose and ending with serious problems of identification of organizations and authors.
  • Absence of the full-fledged global search system for Russian scientific journals, including at least tables of contents of magazines not even mentioning the full text.
  • Necessity in stimulating the Russian publishing houses, increasing the level and competitiveness of the journals. The task is not  to promote the mediocrity while comparing frankly the weak scientific journals or articles. On the contrary, RINTS provides opportunity for objective comparison of these journals with the best international journals. Besides, inclusion of the journal in RINTS contributes to its distribution in the world and, accordingly, it increases the citation index of published articles.
  • Finally, considerable importance is given to the question of cost and availability of such systems. Unfortunately, the cost of foreign systems, even as subscription inside the consortium is at least 10-20 thousand dollars per year that  is simply unacceptable for the majority of Russian companies.Sometimes we face with the opinion that the national citation index is not needed or even harmful, it is pointless to support Russian scientific journals, as there are enough high impact foreign magazines, where it is possible to publish the scientific works, that all this will only lead finally to the isolation of Russian science and its final degradation. To our opinion, academic journals, search systems, databases and other information resources and services are the elements of  common information infrastructure of science and education in any developed country. It is impossible to develop the science and education and promote it to the modern level without developing the information component, the role of wich in improving the efficiency of scientific research started actually increasing because new knowledge comes only through the understanding of already gained experience of mankind. Therefore, promotion of national citation index reflects the level of scientific culture of the nation, its information technology capabilities and intellectual potential.