Changes in publication languages and citation practices and their effect on the scientific impact of Russian science (1993–2010)
Article [Accepted Manuscript]
Is part ofJournal of the American society for information science and technology ; vol. 63, no. 7, pp. 1411-1419.
This paper analyses the effects of publication language on international scientific visibility of Russia using the Web of Science. Like other developing and transition countries, it is subject to a growing pressure to “internationalize” its scientific activities, which primarily means a shift to English as a language of scientific communication. But to what extent does the transition to English effectively improve the impact of research? The case of Russia is of interest in this respect as the existence of many combinations of national journals and languages of publications (namely Russian and English, including translated journals) provides a kind of natural experiment to test the effects of language and of publisher's country on the international visibility of research through citations as well as on the referencing practices of authors. Our analysis points to the conclusion that the production of original English-language papers in foreign journals is a more efficient strategy of internationalization than the mere translation of domestic journals. Still, if the objective of a country is to maximize the international visibility of its scientific work, then the efforts should go into the promotion of publication in reputed English language journals in order to profit from the added impact provided by the Matthew effect of these venues.