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Debts, mediator and footage: what happens to the logs of the RAS
Material posted: Publication date: 14-05-2018
What a difficult situation with scientific journals of RAS and the Academy of Sciences is planning to do in order to raise the scientific level of the journals, said the Vice-President of the RAS Alexei Khokhlov and his Advisor, scientific Secretary of the Scientific-publishing Council of (InAs RAS) Andrey Nazarenko.

— Editorial staff of scientific journals are now highly concerned about the situation with the publishing house "Science". What happens?

Andriy Nazarenko: "Science" more than 500 million debt, its size has grown significantly over the last few years when the publisher is acting within the framework of FANO. In October 2017 the leadership of "Science" officially we were informed, plunging into a shock that in connection with the debt to fiscal, budgetary and extrabudgetary funds, it cannot take part in any tenders for the publishing of journals. The Academy of Sciences was put in a very tight time frame and did everything that magazines continued to be published. Let me emphasize that in 2018, the publishing house "Science" have not only publishes academic journals, but do not provide any of the services ran within the framework of the given assignment.

— Do you understand how had such a huge debt?

An: the debt is surprising. In "Science" refer to the situation in the publishing market. But now most of the commercial publishers, and they are put even in a more rigid framework than "Science". Publisher as FSUE enjoys the fact that he didn't need to rent space. Moreover, they have, in my opinion, 20 or 30 properties which they rent out. And still have accumulated such a huge debt. So maybe don't blame this on someone, maybe they just do not know how to work effectively?

Alexei Khokhlov: I would like to emphasize that since August 2013, when "Science" began to belong to FANO, the debts of the publishing house only increased, and significantly. It would seem that in publishing there is no actual scientific activities, so in this example, FANO, designed to professionally manage academic property, could show its effectiveness. It are unable to do so, and the debt only increased. So, of course, a certain share of responsibility for the modern condition of the publishing house "Science" carries FANO.

— Which relations and publishing house "Science" was to 2013?

EN: Until August 2013, "Science" was subordinated to the Academy of Sciences. And after the reform of 2013, the publishing house has to answer FANO, as well as for the Institute.

— What about copyright on the articles of Russian scientists in the RAS logs?

An: Official publisher of the Russian version of the Academy of Sciences. On behalf of RAS publisher enters into an agreement with the author, and the authors transferred their rights ran – as the founder and publisher.

AH: Our recent efforts have been directed to copyright was passed to the publishing house "Science" or some other publishing house, Russian Academy of Sciences. And now magazine publisher signed a contract under which copyright is transferred wounds.

But ran has no publishing facilities, so part of the services for publishing of journals we order from other organizations. Until January 1, 2018 it was a publishing house "Science", "RIPOL-media", which, in turn, signed a contract with "Science". In April 2018 held auctions for publishing services in the second half of 2018, in which the journals were divided into five groups and won various publishers.

In the group of Humanities and interdisciplinary journals declared the winner, OOO "Integration: Education and Science", it is connected with our State academic University of humanitarian science (GAUGN). For other groups, won the publishing house "Akademkniga", long operating in the market.

— What "MAIK"?

An: "MAIK" not the publisher. It is a company which is engaged in the translation and production of mock-UPS of the English versions. She renders services, and any intellectual property rights never received. Plus one time she did the original models Russian versions on order from "Science," and, as it turned out, she did it much cheaper and better quality than it did "Science."

— What amount of wounds allocated to the publishing of magazines?

AH: 140 journals of the Academy of Sciences allocate about 130 million rubles. It is the money of the state budget. Publishing house "Science" has even produced extra copies of magazines by subscription. For 2016, this amount was also about 130 million rubles, so that a total of 260 million. This is a significant amount. Plus the money for the distribution of Russian-language journals abroad. Over the years "Science" has never presented to the Academy of Sciences report on how they are sold. There was a large contract with East View, but the amount is not known to us. To request from the state these figures can only be FANO.

— A request from FANO these numbers can't you?

EN: They don't give. They say that this is a business entity, and it is a trade secret...

AH: Although in this case they just take the intellectual property of the Academy of science because the journals publishes his wounds. In fact, they carried out the distribution of magazines, not informing the Academy of Sciences.

An: it is Important to say that the new composition of Presidium of the RAS acts well in the framework of our laws. For those journals that we have published with state support in the framework of the state assignment, it was decided that they should be free. The logs ran (produced with state support) placed in a full access, you can download them on the website and on the website of "Science", and the current versions we have in the preview mode, that is, any Internet user can read the article for free. Access journals open from 1 January 2018.

Now the terms of reference for tenders for the second half was formulated additional requirements. Publishers must provide: 1) the online submission of manuscripts; 2) online review; 3) the opportunity to give electronic versions of supplementary material: tables, experimental data, color images in good quality.

AH: the Digitalization of editorial activity included in the requirements of the tender for the second half. To finally not been couriers carrying paper versions of the articles.

— Is it possible to hold the competition publishers not once in six months, but much less often?

AH: The long-term possible – once a year. Competition we hold every six months, as a subscription to the printed version is semi-annual.

An: For the year 2019 we will try to hold a contest with a validity of at least one year, and the subscription price will be clarified. However, the subscription price – it is not our question, because the Academy due to the budget orders of the basic circulation, and subscriptions are additional copies produced by the publisher.

AH: There is a chance that in 2019 we will contract with publishers for the year. But more than this period, we cannot conclude, as we do not know what will be the funding of the RAS from the budget.

— Why the contest is held in the form of an auction?

AH: Auction differs from the competition because we do not have the right to set eligibility requirements for participants. Publishing business now, unfortunately, included in the list of those businesses, where we are required to conduct auctions.

An: Expert Council of the Federation Council shares our view that e-auction, which we hold in accordance with the decree of the Government of the Russian Federation, is not quite adequate for the publication of scientific journals. After all, as we try to prepare a technical specification that takes into account the qualifications of the reviewers and the experience of editors, in the framework of the auction in accordance with the law do not. We therefore propose that it wasn't electronic auctions, and contests, where there could be issues relating to the qualifications of the reviewers, experience of scientific editors. Now, alas, who will pay smaller wins.

Let's talk about the upcoming changes that await the editors of the scientific journals of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Please tell us what will change when the magazines will publish, not "Science", and some other publisher?

AH: each edition, there are three possibilities. The first possibility, which was realized when he won the "RIPOL" and not "Science" that editorial services are provided at "Science". That is, the revision remains in the state "Science," but she now does as to them the order of the auction winner.

The second possibility – the winner of auction is responsible to its staff members, editorial boards of journals. This professional competent the people for whom we fight. They go from "Science" and shall state the winner of the auction. And many are waiting for this moment, because those salaries are paid by "Science" in any gate do not climb.

There's a third possibility, which applies to logs that are associated with specific institutions. The auction winner concludes the contract with the Institute, and qualified people of the "Science" become the staff of the Institute-co-founder of the magazine, where they in fact often are. And Director of the Institute pays them a salary from the extra-budgetary funds, which lists the winner of the auction.

An: in fact, due to the fact that early "Science" was part of the Academy, a situation that many editors of journals located in institutes, and editorial staff and editors are physically located at the Institute, working with the scientific staff who serve as reviewers, scientific editors. They practically do not depend on "Science", because all life takes place inside of the editorial Board of the scientific Institute.

— The editorial staff are interested in how to change jobs as little as possible. Not once in six months, and less.

AH: We understand that, but now matter what the situation is with the publishing house "Science" is not normal, they need somewhere to transfer, and we offer three outputs.

— How many people this situation concerns directly?

AH: This is about 500 people.

An: There are many experienced and qualified people, and it is important these images to preserve and carefully to treat them. All bidders want these shots to save.

— How are relations now between the Pleiades and wounds? Will be revised by agreement between the logs and this company?

AH: Pleiades is engaged in the translated versions of journals, with 95 journals ran translated into English. This occurs according to this scheme: Pleiades pays RAS a very small amount for the use of the name, these translated versions they registered abroad as a separate log. A large part of the payments (from 95 to 99%) is a royalties for authors and editorial Board members of both compilers. It's not always cover-to-cover translation (full translation — approx. Indicator.Ru). In translated version can be included separate the best articles from other magazines on the profile. Pleiades is engaged in the translation and distribution of these magazines.

For us, the Academy of Sciences, it is important that the journals were qualitatively translated into English and the most widely distributed. In this sense, the company Pleiades provided the important thing: they agreed with Springer Nature that their package is transferable journals included in the basic package Springer Nature.

In fact, now, in the modern world, libraries do not subscribe to individual journals and the packages, Springer, Nature, Elsevier, Wiley... Subscribe to individual magazines, and printed versions of magazines, gradually fades. The fact that all our journals are included in a large package, occupying a substantial market share (about 30%), very important for us. This leads to the fact that maximum number of libraries abroad have our magazines.

Springer'have paid the library, and Springer pays Pleiades, for them it is a profitable activity.

Run it is profitable?

AH: Depends what you mean by benefit. Academy of Sciences is a non – profit organization that is beneficial for us to widely distribute our magazines, and from this point of view it is beneficial to us. All of the magazines that tried to distribute their releases on their own, in fact a very small audience.

— Would like the Academy of Sciences to work with Springer Nature directly, without the Pleiades as a mediator or it does not make sense?

An: the fact that we are in constant contact with major publishers, the Academy of Sciences was held the meeting with Springer, Nature, Elsevier, Wiley, IOP. We asked them: if they want us to submit quotations for the English version of our magazines? Let us speak frankly: all publishers are interested in very small number (up to ten) journals of those that translates Pleiades. Basically, those logs that are in the first or second quartile in the Web of Science. All the other magazines they don't even want to consider. And only Pleiades takes the whole package.

AH: IN the world there is no such thing as bills of logs, most of the articles published in the global language of science is English. If we want to post the conversion log, there should be a special service which is engaged. Pleiades provides such a service. While I have no doubt that they are profiting from this, but it is not as high.

— To what year ran has an agreement with them?

EN: In different journals in different ways. It is very important that the agreement with Springer Nature on the distribution of our journal batch until 2022.

AH: I always say to those who criticize the scheme of interaction of the RAS and the Pleiades. Find at least one transferable log out Pleiades, which retains the RAS Foundation or Institute, and which is distributed abroad, being one of the leading full-text databases of journal articles. If I had someone at least one log will indicate that I am ready this model as an alternative to the Pleiades to be considered. I am told there are "Successes of physical Sciences", but there is Russian and English version are two different magazine. Just replace the "Pleiades" — Turpion, and instead Spinger Nature – IOP. While "Phys" is the cream of the crop, the top. And we're talking about a whole package of our magazines, most of which are average. We certainly hope that we can this whole package as something raise, but it's not a quick process....

An: Some of our magazines would go in Elsevier, IOP, etc. were the pilot project of the Mathematical Institute. It is possible to achieve new agreements with the Pleiades, and as it turned out, when they began to compare, these agreements were more favorable than IOP. So when the editor starts interested to compare all proposals received, sitting at the table with the numbers in hand, it appears more accurate understanding of what is happening.

AH: FROM the Pleiades position is that they agree to withdraw from the agreement with any magazine, if he wants to leave. But until more favorable conditions of the publishing market simply does not exist.

— Are there plans for the further promotion of translated versions of scientific journals of RAS?

An: March 27, 2018 we have the meeting of NISO considered publishing English-language magazines. There were approved a serious and ambitious program to promote our magazines. It was developed by Springer and Pleiades. We are now posted on the website of the RAS in the section "Scientific publishing" and has received a lot of positive feedback.

Literally all editors with whom we met said they want a more active participation in this program. There are very important points for inclusion and distribution through all our English Springer archives. You need to collect them together. In addition, there will be a Share option Edit, which allows the author to send a link of any article to my colleague for a free reading.

There are plenty of steps to ensure that our journals become more recognized and in demand.

— Who have copyright issues in cooperation with the Pleades or other companies?

AH: As we said before, the copyright is transferred the Russian Academy of Sciences.

An: There are still rights of the originator, they belong to the editorial Board. There are rights of the author. He signed a contract with the Pleiades, where it agrees only to transfer their article and its dissemination in English. So that the rights to foreign publishers may be given only in translation. And so, when they say that in the existing scheme of cooperation of the RAS and the Pleiades author loses all rights, it's about information. Each author must sign an agreement of copyright transfer with the ran (as with the publisher of the Russian version). If there is a translation, the author himself signed an agreement for translation and distribution of articles in the English language. All other rights remain with the author.

— Is the Academy of science to raise the scientific level of this journal?

AH: of Course! I was having a meeting for all branches of the RAS in December 2017, and there we tried to outline the plans for how the Department can assist in this process. I called and the office agreed that it is necessary to revise the names of a number of journals, and their arrangement. All this must be done very carefully so as not to lose place in WoS and Scopus, and maybe add some new topics that appeared on the profile of a branch, but not yet represented in our magazines. In principle, offices and editors can now do a lot to these magazines would be in demand.

I am a rather popular journal "Macromolecular compounds" (there are three series). I was there the chief editor for ten years.

An: a Series From this magazine are in the first quartile of the WoS was the winner of the competition Clarivate Analytics as the fastest growing magazine.

AH: Recently I had to take on new commitments and to engage in editing the "Bulletin of the Russian Academy of Sciences". I will try to make this magazine became popular, interesting, so he definitely was the Internet version. In the electronic version of the journal will publish current news on RAS. May 15, 2018 will be held the first meeting of the new editorial Board.

EN: through meetings with chief editors in November-December 2017 sounded specific proposals that were included in the technical documentation for the competition: additional materials on electronic document, on the publication of color illustrations, about the possibility of assigning the same DOI (Digital object identifier, digital object identifier — standard notation presented on the Internet information about the object, in the English-speaking scientific community, this standard is adopted for data exchange between scientists, in particular, published online scientific articles — approx. Indicator.Ru) Russian and English versions.

And another important point, which we agreed: option online first, so that after the article is accepted for publication it could be laid out with its DOI available on the website. It is possible to reference, quote, and this, too, will contribute to the promotion of the journal and improve its quality. So it's not just the appeals, and concrete steps. We're working on it.

OH: Academy of Sciences, always open for discussions with the scientific community, the editors and members of editorial boards of scientific journals. We will try to make all the stages of modernization of the logs have gone as smoothly as possible. But change is overdue, to postpone them is impossible. In connection with the development of electronic communications market of scientific journals worldwide is undergoing rapid changes. To publish a scientific result is not a problem, one can, in principle, to publish on the Internet anything. It is important that your result was known to colleagues and evaluated them. That is, the center of gravity is displaced from the actual publication to the widest possible dissemination of this publication.

Therefore, the role of scientific journals will inevitably change. We are moving to a global Bank of scientific knowledge, and the most important function of journals is to put the "quality mark" on some articles (content) from the global Bank. I think we have a chance to use the maximum of this "century wind" in relation to academic journals.

Natalia Demina


Tags: Russia , innovation

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