Russian Science Citation Index on the WoS platform: a critical assessment

Alexei Kassian (Institute of Linguistics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russian Federation) (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Moscow, Russian Federation)
Larisa Melikhova (Dissernet, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Publication date: 9 September 2019



The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the journals of the Russian Science Citation Index (RSCI) (Web of Science platform) in respect to publication misconduct and predatory practices.


The paper employs formal criteria developed by the Disseropedia of Russian Journals (a.k.a. the Journal Project of the Russian Dissernet).


A substantial number of the RSCI journals violate publishing ethics and/or are involved in predatory practices (fake peer-review, plagiarism and self-plagiarism, publication of pseudoscientific papers and so on). The general trend is negative: the number of such journals was higher in July 2018 than in 2015 when the RSCI was launched. The authors propose that this situation is due to the non-transparent and partly defective process of journal selection involved; primarily it can be attributed to problems with the RSCI expert pool.

Research limitations/implications

Many cases of publication misconduct are inevitably overlooked due to natural limitations of the tools.


The approach and methods were developed by the Disseropedia of Russian Journals and the Dissernet for the specific local Russian situation, where the scientific and editorial community is corrupt and the institution of reputation does not work properly. The authors believe that the experience may also be helpful for scientists and academic officials from other countries.



Kassian, A. and Melikhova, L. (2019), "Russian Science Citation Index on the WoS platform: a critical assessment", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 75 No. 5, pp. 1162-1168.

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