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‘Journal of Mining Institute’ recognised as the best scientific journal in Russia

записки горного института
© Форпост Северо-Запад

SCImago research group has updated its influential annual international ranking of scientific journals. The publication of St. Petersburg Mining University 'Journal of Mining Institute' has become the best of 566 Russian journals indexed by the world's leading Scopus database. It ranks first in the country in all three of its subject areas - geology, geotechnology and economics. In the latter two, 'Journal of Mining Institute' became the only journal with Russian jurisdiction to make it into the first quartile.

The first issue was published at the dawn of the 20th century - on 12 November 1907. Since then the publications have appeared regularly, though with two long breaks during the periods of revolutions, wars and post-war reconstruction - from 1917 to 1926 and from 1941 to 1951.

In the last three years, the trend of declining investment in traditional areas of the global mineral complex, such as oil and gas extraction, has been replaced by growth. At the same time, the importance of innovations is growing. The experience of Russian scientists in this area is in high demand. If in 2020 there were 411 citations of ‘Journal of Mining Institute’ articles by other Scopus journals, in 2023 there will be 780 citations. For the last year the general indicator of influence, by which SCImago ranks scientific editions, has grown up to 1.135 from 0.782 in 2022.

In the top three journals from Russia are also exclusively English-language ‘Moscow Mathematical Journal’ (SJR indicator - 0.916) and ‘Uspekhi Chemii’ (Russian Chemical Reviews, SJR - 0.89). As can be seen from these data, "Journal of Mining Institute" is in the lead with a significant gap.

Записки Горного института
© Форпост Северо-Запад / Андрей Кучеренко

Among the most popular materials are articles on the efficiency of state regulation and methodology for analysing investment projects in the mineral resources complex, on automation in metallurgy and raw materials processing, and on the use of artificial intelligence in monitoring the development of hydrocarbon deposits.

The interest in domestic research in mining proved to be stronger than the trend towards Russia's scientific isolation. As practice has shown, the West can prevent the participation of our country's representatives in scientific conferences, can use a policy of double standards when considering applications for publications in its journals. However, it is much harder for supporters of the witch-hunt to reach Russian publications.

'Journal of Mining Institute' and other quality Russian journals remain table reading for European and American scientists. Moreover, they continue to publish in Russian editions.

For example, a joint article by Carsten Drebenstedt, Director of the Mining Institute of the Freiberg Mining Academy (Germany), and Mining University scientists (Gennady Korshunov and Angelika Yeremeeva) with a proposal to improve the environmental friendliness of diesel monorail transport in coal mines was highly appreciated by the international academic community. It was cited by leading scientific publications in the USA, Great Britain, Switzerland, South Korea and Poland.

By the way, the environmental safety issues touched upon in the article will be the unifying line of the next thematic issue of the ‘Journal of Mining Institute’, which will be published in June 2024. This format helps to attract the attention of major scientists in this or that research area worldwide. As a result, the share of articles by foreign authors is consistently kept at around 30%. Over the 2 years of Western anti-Russian sanctions, only the geography of correspondents has changed - the ratio of authors from Europe and Asia has shifted in favour of the latter.

Despite the importance of international academic co-operation, the main criterion for the effectiveness of a scientific journal is still the transformation of research ideas into real economic projects and solutions in the field of state regulation. One example of such a link is the article by Oleg Zhdaneyev, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Senior Advisor to the Director General of the Russian Energy Agency, ‘Ensuring the technological sovereignty of the fuel and energy industries of the Russian Federation’. The author identified promising areas for the development of innovative technologies in the country's fuel and energy complex, and outlined the most promising formats of co-operation between industry, business, science and the state from the point of view of economic sovereignty.

Записки статья Жданеева
© Форпост Северо-Запад / Павел Долганов

Zhdaneev's proposals were reflected in the Russian Government Resolution No. 603 (April 2023), which came out four months after the publication, with priority directions in the development of infrastructure and a specific range of industrial products, investments in the production of which are critical for technological sovereignty.

Another example of a scientific journal going beyond the purely academic space is the story of the publication of the results of a study by Mining University scientists on the prospects of preserving the Alexander Column, a creation by Auguste Montferrand that adorns St. Petersburg's Palace Square. For the first time the features of the underground part of the monument were analysed in detail, and a geological and lithographic analysis of the base of the column to a depth of 25 metres was carried out.

Geologists drew the attention of the restorers to the hidden internal cracks in the column's granite. Although its stability is not in doubt at present, the positive prognosis of the monument's preservation will be reconsidered.

Александрийский столп
© Форпост Северо-Запад / Павел Долганов

A small team of several editors, typesetters and a designer publishes an average of 90 articles per year. The texts submitted by authors are pre-screened for compliance with the format and plagiarism. Then the editorial board with the participation of scientists from China, Sweden, Australia, Germany and Slovakia evaluates the articles for relevance and novelty. On average, about 60 per cent of submissions are rejected.

It would be much more difficult for the editorial board to carry out the input control of author's texts if Mining University did not attach such a high importance to instilling publication culture in its undergraduate and postgraduate students. Its elements are taught within the framework of a special course ‘History and Philosophy of Science’. Among other things, future research engineers are familiarised with the methodology of scientific experimentation, assessment of the reliability of its results, learn to find information about the works of colleagues on the chosen topic, and properly prepare materials for publication.