Publications and Publishing Houses of the Russian Academy of Sciences

This section contains information on all issues related to the RAS publishing activity. Here you can find integrated information on publishing houses and library system of the Russian Academy of Sciences and directly go to websites of corresponding organizations; gain access to the most actual catalogues, databases and request services, browse index of published magazines and get information on latest issues.

The Russian Academy of Sciences paid attention to publishing activity at all periods of its history almost from the very foundation.

Publishing is one of the most important activity of the Academy aimed at fulfillment of its principal charter objectives. Publishing of scientific magazines and scientific papers where the Academy’s scientists and scientific groups research results are published represents not only a report on scientific institutions activities and academic science level indicator but also the final stage of research and the first step towards practical use of science achievements.

The RAS Presidium controls publishing activity of the Academy. Common Academy’s publishing, printing, and distribution houses are attached to the RAS Presidium. Scientific and Publishing Council of the Russian Academy of Sciences headed by the RAS Vice President in charge of publishing activity carries out publishing activity on behalf of the RAS Presidium.

Publishing house  ‘Nauka’ was and remains the basis of publishing, printing, and distribution system of the RAS. The house combines common academic publishing, printing, and distribution houses. Publishing house of the Academy was established as independent institution in 1923. It was reorganized into publishing house ‘Nauka’ in 1963 after amalgamation with physic and mathematic literature publishing house and eastern literature publishing house.

Publishing activity of the Academy of Sciences and its infrastructure (printing and bookselling houses) suffered heavy losses in 1991-1992. Volumes of domestic publications decreased significantly and structure of published literature changed negatively. Nevertheless, due to the RAS Presidium support and efforts of academic publishing and printing houses it became possible to keep the face of academic publishing and its high authority in Russia and worldwide. Unity and infrastructure of publishing, printing and bookselling system of the Academy, and its editorial advisory and production potential was preserved. None scientific magazine was closed. Publication of outstanding academic series and continuing editions, literature classicists collected editions, works of the Academy’s scientific institutions, leading scientific schools and famous scientists was performed as before though in smaller volumes. Some financial sources were successfully attracted including extra-budgetary ones.

As the result, the main thematic directions managed to survive, and during last years publishing repertory was systematically expanded and ‘frozen’ series and continuing editions were renewed. Nauka publishing house issues academic omnibus editions of literature classicists, monographs, subject collections, works of institutes, educational books, reference books, hundreds of annals and other continuing editions – more than 100 series recognized worldwide.

Demand for publications of the Academy remains stable both in Russia and in global publishing market. Books and magazines published by Nauka publishing house can be found at all leading international exhibitions and fairs. Academic publications are annually mentioned at contests and professional ratings and in press. More than 80% of published magazines are fully or partly translated and published in English. Nauka publishing house has experience of long-lasting cooperation with such partners as publishers and distributors from USA, UK, Germany, Japan, China, Poland, Bulgaria and other countries. Its publications can be found in reading rooms of hundreds of national and scientific libraries of dozens countries worldwide.

Academic book distribution network escaped collapse. Now Akademkniga remains the only government organization who receives requests and sells academic literature, and maintains contacts with its readers – scientists of the Academy, universities and higher education institutions, as well as with libraries and collectors.

At the same time the Academy sought for new forms of its publishing activity improvement under conditions of permanent lack of finance. So, in compliance with resolution of the RAS Presidium of June 30, 1992, the Russian Academy of Sciences, Nauka publishing house and Pleiades publishing house (USA) established International Academic Publishing House ‘Nauka’ (MAIK Nauka). The main objective of MAIK Nauka who created publishing and production facilities in Russia consists in translation and publishing of academic magazines without cession of rights to foreign companies.

Main publishing activity, printing houses and bookselling shops are now concentrated in the publishing complex of the Academy which solves common academic tasks. Academic Scientific and Publishing, Production, Printing and Distribution Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences ‘Nauka Publishing House’ (Akademizdattsenter Nauka RAN) is the oldest scientific publishing house in Russia, and one of the largest integrated structures of the Academy attached to the RAS Presidium. Akademizdattsenter still maintains position of the leading domestic publisher and one of the largest publishers in the world.

Akademizdattsenter combines 7 publishing houses, 5 printing establishments, bookselling facilities of specialized academic book distribution network ‘Akademkniga’ (wholesale and retail departments, book stores and stalls), and a foreign trade company. These organizations are located in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk, Vladivostok and other cities.

Transition to free prices on books resulted in sharp drop of publications volume and serious distortion of publishing repertory. Having preserved all scientific magazines, the Academy in 1992-1997 was not able to maintain former level of books publishing. Serious organizational changes in the RAS publishing activity took place under those conditions. These changes were expressed in emergence of new publishing structures and, as consequence, decentralization of the academic publishing activity. In this respect, Akademizdattsenter Nauka was entrusted to perform methodical management of publishing activities carried out not only by common academic publishing organizations comprising Nauka publishing house but also by the RAS regional branches, institutions, and independent organizations publishing literature under the trademark of the Academy and its institutions.

Besides Akademizdattsenter Nauka, the following organizations perform publication of scientific works: publishing houses of Siberian, Ural and Far East branches of the RAS, publishing house ‘Nasledie’ of A.M. Gorky’s Institute of World Literature, Scientific and Production and Publishing Union of N.D. Zelinskiy’s Institute of Organic Chemistry, publishing house ‘Institute of Psychology of the RAS', publishing houses of Institutes of Russian History and Latin America, publishing houses of scientific centers and institutes of the RAS Siberian Branch. Scientific, scientific informational and bibliographic literature is also published by academic libraries and leading scientific informational institutes - All-Russian Institute of Scientific and Technical Information (VINITI) and Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences (INION).

Strategic directions of the Academy’s publishing activities improvement deserve special attention. First of all, they concern publication of scientific magazines under today market conditions by way of expansion of volumes and sphere of activities of the International Academic Publishing House MAIK Nauka/Interperiodika.

According to the structure of founders, the RAS magazines are divided to common academic magazines (published on behalf of and under trademark of the RAS), regional magazines (published on behalf of and under signature of the RAS regional branches), and corporate magazines (published by the RAS institutions under their signature). Common academic magazines are published by the Nauka publishing house and its subsidiaries – publishing companies. 154 magazines are published under the Nauka publishing house trademark including 132 magazines in Moscow and 22 magazines in St. Petersburg. Regional branches of the Academy (Siberian, Ural and Far East) publish more than 20 magazines. About 30 magazines are published by the RAS divisions and/or institutes (sometimes in partnership with third parties).

When formerly the Russian Academy of Sciences had acted as the main founder of magazines, then during several last years specialized and regional branches of the Academy began publishing their own magazines as well as other scientific institutions. For example, Institute of Applied Mechanics publishes 'Mechanics of Composite Materials and Structures' magazine, Institute of Social and Economic Problems of Population - 'Population' magazine, Institute of International Economic and Politic Research – ‘Scientific Information Bulletin’ magazine, INOIN – ‘Russia and Modern World’ magazine and ‘Russia and Islamic World’ informational bulletin in Russian and in English. These magazines are published both by regional branches publishing houses and academic institutions.
The Academy continues to publish a number of magazines jointly with foreign scientific institutions (‘Neurochemistry’ magazine is published jointly with the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia, and ‘Analysis mathematica’ magazine is edited by V.A. Steklov’s Institute of Mathematics jointly with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and published in Hungary).
Majority of academic magazines are simultaneously published in English.

7 common academic magazines were established, resumed, or reorganized during the last 10 years despite difficulties of the period. Circulations of magazines became steady, and according to the results of subscription for the first six months of 2001, circulations of some magazines even grew. By the beginning of 2001, the largest circulations hold such magazines as: 'State and Right' (5136, growth of 465 copies), ‘Philosophy Matters’ (4864; +165), ‘World Economy and International Relations’ (4195; +327), ‘Social Research’ (3446; +331), ‘National History' (3312; +73), ‘Bulleting of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ (2358; +182), ‘New and Newest History’ (2158; +57), ‘Psychology Magazine’ (2022; +323).

Subject distribution of magazines published by Akademizdattsenter Nauka RAN is given in the table below.

Groups of magazines by subject Quantity Share, %
Titles Issues per year
1. Common academic inter-industry scientific magazines 2 48 3.9
2. Specialized scientific magazines, including: 145 1138 91.7
2.1. Physical and mathematical sciences 29 300 24.2
2.2. Technical sciences 14 98 7.9
2.3. Chemical sciences and material sciences 22 190 15.3
2.4. Life sciences 35 248 20.0
2.5. Geosciences 18 118 9.5
2.6. Humanitarian and social sciences 27 184 14.8
3. Popular science magazines 7 54 4.4
Total 154 1240 100

One of the main tasks of the MAIK Nauka/Interperiodika publishing house consists in observance of the principle of simultaneous issue of magazines in Russian and in English. This circumstance was of special importance because majority of foreign publishers of Russian academic magazines have formerly allowed lagging English version publishing from several months to two years as compared with issue of corresponding Russian edition. As the result, scientific information became obsolete. Magazines of the RAS virtually were not listed in the bibliographic system of scientific publications registration by the same reason. This led to a situation when Russian scientists published results of their research in foreign rather in domestic periodicals. Magazines portfolios became thinner and their content – poorer.

The situation drastically changed after establishment of the Company in 1992. Unlike foreign companies who published English versions of magazines basing on already issued original in Russian, the Company proposed new production technology based on simultaneous publishing of both versions (Russian and English) using modern computer hardware and software. As the result is became possible to shorten the cycle of English version production to 90 days and to ensure its delivery to international distribution network at one time with issuing of the magazine in Russian. Revenues from publishing of English versions of magazines are applied for editors offices equipping with modern facilities, payments of honoraria to articles’ authors, editors offices and editorial staff support, polygraph base development and support of the RAS books and magazines publishing which are not translated into foreign languages and are loss-making.

Having started its publishing activities with issuing of few magazines in English, MAIK Nauka/Interperiodika presently publishes more than 100 magazines in English, and together with Akademizdattsenter Nauka RAN – more than 130 magazines in Russian.

To enhance the Russian science status, and to stimulate scientists and increase their interest in cooperation with magazines published by MAIK Nauka/Interperiodika, the company instituted its awards in March of 1955. The competition winners are awarded 55 prizes, among them – 5 Grand Prix. Award winners are selected among authors of the most original works or series (for 3 years) published in the company’s magazines for the first time.

MAIK Nauka began to publish books in 1997. At present, wide publishing program is carried out that includes publishing of scientific works of domestic and foreign authors both of natural science subjects and of social and humanitarian subjects including educational and popular science literature.

In connection with the crisis situation in educational and scientific physical and mathematical literature publishing formed in the second part of the nineties, the RAS jointly with MAIK took steps towards revival of formerly richest publishing program of the Fizmatlit. Research advisory council composed of outstanding physicians and mathematicians was established. The company provided financial, organizational and personnel support, and virtually created a new Fizmatlit. This enabled to increase publishing of physical and mathematical literature more than twice as early as in 2000-2001.

The share of academic publishing in the whole volume of books publication in Russia exceeds 1.3%, in scientific publications – almost 35%, and in volume of books published by government publishing houses – more than 50%. Taking into account publications of common academic publishing houses outside Nauka, today share of academic publications exceed 70-80% of total scientific publications published by government publishing houses.

In 1991-2001 common academic publishing houses affiliated to Nauka publishing complex issued almost 23 thousand of publications (about 9 thousand of books and more than 14 thousand of magazines) with total volume of 380 thousand sheets (almost 160 thousand sheets of scientific works and 220 thousand sheets – issues of magazines). Total quantity of published copies got around 68 million (38 million copies of books and 30 million copies of issues of magazines). During the period under consideration, publication of academic magazines remained relatively stable in terms of number of issues and publisher’s signatures. At the same time, circulations of magazines fell 12.5 times during last 10 years (they became too expensive for the majority of individual subscribers). After 1992, indicators of magazines publishing exceeded those of books for the first time ever, and this trend still persists at present. Scientific magazines have actually become the man tribune for basic research results publication.

Publishing activity of academic institutes, who publish small materials of conferences, congresses and symposiums, preprints, and collected works outside common academic publishing houses, contributes heavily in development of the Russian Academy of Sciences publishing activity, and in implementation of research results into scientific community and national economy.

Scope of publishing activities of the RAS Scientific Information Institutes (VINITI and INION) rendering scientific and informational service of basic research is significant too.

Aggregate figures characterizing scope of publishing activities of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2000 are given in the table below

Publishing structure Number of publications
Volume in publisher’s signatures Circulation,
thousand of copies
Publishing houses inside Akademizdattsenter Nauka RAN 1860 32 618 1455
International Academic Publishing Company (MAIK) Nauka/Interperiodika, including 46 2677 140
Fizmatlit publishing company 35 2497 86
Publishing houses and editorial advisory structures of the RAS regional branches and academic institutions,
1065 15 091 370
academic publishing houses outside Akademizdattsenter Nauka 302 4734 104
RAS Scientific information institutes (VINITI, INION) 2619 39 400 420
Total: 5590 89 786 2285

The RAS publishing activity main characteristics dynamics analysis shows that despite decrease in volume of publications (including academic ones) and multiply drop in financing of the science, the Academy retains its position of one of the leading centers of national and world science publishing.

Publishing activity of the Academy of Sciences was distinguished by unique repertory of subjects during the whole its history.

First of all, attention shall be drawn to the ratio between natural and humanitarian subjects. While in the seventies and eighties this ratio in the whole volume of publications was equal to 60% and 40% correspondingly, then by the beginning of the nineties this ratio reversed: 36% - natural science literature, and 64% - humanitarian literature. There are several reasons behind this. Under insufficient financing conditions, scientists specialized in natural science concentrated their attention at publications in magazines where natural subjects prevail and which were completely retained by the Academy as against books. Small offset printing facilities of institutes had been used more effectively for publishing of narrowly specialized publications. Many articles and monographs were printed abroad without issuing of Russian version. Humanitarian academic literature was seriously supported by the Russian Humanitarian Scientific Foundation.

As the result of long-term research performed by collectives of humanitarian institutions of the RAS, in 1991-2001 the Academy published 13 omnibus (academic) editions of literature classicists. This group of publications contains all known versions of scientifically verified copies; it is distinguished by maximum possible scientific and reference aids, and includes comprehensive comments. These omnibus editions which first volumes were published before 1991 ware continued in the following decade too. At the same time, despite very difficult years for the country and the Academy, new publishing projects were started – omnibus editions of S.A. Yesenin, A.M. Gorky (correspondence), A.S. Pushkin, A. Blok, I.A. Goncharov, L.N. Tolstoy, D.I. Pisarev, V.S. Soloviev.
Multivolume editions were represented by such publications as 6-volume scientific heritage in letters (international correspondence) of N.I. Vavilov, Protein Problems (4 volumes), World Literature History (9 volumes), Europe History (8 volumes), Astrobiology and Astromedicine (5 volumes), Academician Yu.V. Yariomenko Selectas (3 volumes), Winter War. 1939-1940 (2 volumes), Great Patriotic War (4 volumes), Minerals (4-volume reference book), Languages of the Russian Federation and Neighboring Countries (3-volume encyclopedia), History of the Orient (6 volumes), Caliphate History (8 volumes), I.I. Puschin Oeuvre and Correspondence (2 volumes) and others.

As it was mentioned above, the publishing repertory was based on series and continuing editions. Eight common academic open series constitute the leading group among these editions. Books published in the framework of these series are approved for printing by interindustry editorial staffs formed by the RAS Scientific and Publishing Council and approved by the RAS Presidium upon advice of the Council. Scientific works were published in all series: Science. World View. Life, Science Classicists, Russian Scientists. Essays, Memoirs, Materials, Scientific Heritage (numbered volumes), Scientific and Biographical Literature, Literature Monuments, Materials on Scientists’ Biobibliographies (including subseries and numbered volumes), Cybernetics: Unlimited Possibilities and Possible Limitations (subseries: Logic and Computer with numbered volumes), Popular Science Literature (including subseries: Human and Environment, Countries and Nations, etc.).

The following series can be emphasized among the ones with predetermined number of volumes: Code of Architectural Monuments and Monumental Art of Russia (number of volumes corresponds to the number of regions of Russia), Nations and Cultures (preliminary estimate – 80 volumes), Archeology (20 volumes), Code of Russian Folklore. Russian Epic (25 volumes), Academician V.I. Vernadskiy Papers Library (17 volumes), Ancient Russia Literature Library (20 volumes).

Program of periodic serial publications included the following dated annals: American Annals, Archeographic Annals, Astronomic Annals, European Almanac, SIPRI Annals, Earthquakes, Historical and Philosophic Annals, Context, Mutagenesis, Odysseus. Man in History, Cultural Monuments. New Discoveries, All-Russian Paleontological Society Annals, Pushkin House Manuscript Section Annals, Minor Planets Ephemeredes, and others.
The following continuing numbered series were published: Byzantium Chronograph, Antarctic, History of Russian Peasantry, Races and Nations, Middle Ages, Slavs and Their Neighbors, Dostoevsky. Materials, Research, Pushkin and His Contemporaries, History of Lakes, Nekrasov Album, Eighteenth Century, Indicators of Lichens of Russia and Adjoining Countries, Indicators of Freshwater Algae of Russia and Adjoining Countries, Fauna Indicators, Fauna Species of Russia and Adjoining Countries, Fauna of North-Eastern region of the European Part of Russia, Scientific Heritage, Literature Heritage, Logic Research, Acta Historical, and others.
During the period under consideration, non-periodic continuing series were most widely presented in the Academy’s publishing repertory. The following groups of series can be emphasized among them: Monuments, Readings, History of Foreign Countries and Their Relationships with Russia, and others. The following series were published: Monuments of Historical Thought, Monuments of Economic Thought, Monuments of Philosophical Thought, Cultural Monuments. New Discoveries, Monuments of Folklore of Siberian and Far East Nations, Monuments of Orient Literature, Monuments of Orient Nations Literature, Literature Monuments.

Works of scientific institutions, news, notes, annals, bulletins, dictionaries, etc. were published in 1991-2001 and are published today. The following 'works’ can be distinguished: Works of Paleontological, Geological, Mathematical, Physical, Physical and Technological, and Zoological Institutes; Institute of Inland Waters Biology, Interdepartmental Stratigraphical Committee, Old Russian Literature Department of the Institute of Russian Literature (Pushkin House), Biogeochemical Laboratory, P.P. Shirshov’s Institute of Ocean Science, Joint Committee on Study of Academician V.I. Vernadskiy Scientific Heritage, and others.

Dictionaries constituted a special group among published continuing issues: Dictionary of Russian Folk Dialects, Dictionary of Russian Writers of the Eighteenth Century, Dictionary of Russian Language of XI-XVII centuries, Dictionary of Russian Siberian Dialects, Dictionary of Scribes and Book Learning of the Ancient Russia, Etymologicon of Slavic Languages, and others.

Academic libraries and scientific information institutes (VINITI and INION) published wide spectrum of scientific and informational, bibliographic, abstractive and review publications.

Subject of published non-periodic monopublications covered almost every trend of basic science, education and culture. During the last 10 years, Nauka publishing complex together with the RAS institutes has managed to prepare and commence publications within the framework of significant publication projects aimed at revival of leading role of the national academic publishing. The first book ‘Philosophic and Theological Ideas in Monuments of Ancient Russian Thought’ saw the light in the new series ‘Monuments of Theological and Philosophical Thought of Ancient Russia’. In 1991 academician A.L. Yanshin founded 17-volume series ‘V.I. Vernadskiy Papers Library (10 volumes of the series was published in last 10 years). Encyclopedic series ‘Low Temperature Plasma Encyclopedia’ was founded. Introductory volume in 4 books published jointly with MAIK Nauka/Interperiodika under its edition won ‘Book Oscar’ as the best scientific and technical publication of XIV International Moscow Book Fair (2001). Fundamental work of academician G.A. Mesyats ‘Ectones in vacuum discharge: disruption, spark, arc’ was published in Rissian and in English. Academician V.A. Koptyug selectas first volume first book ‘Carbon Cations. Structure and Reactivity’ has seen the light.

In 1995-2000 Nauka publishing company of St. Petersburg founded a number of series that became popular: Word about Essence, Historical Library, Legends of Russian Family, French Library, and others. The company published 10 volumes of 20-volume ‘Library of the Ancient Russia Literature’ under edition of academician D.S. Likhachev. The company has also started publication of 25-volume series ‘Code of the Russian Folklore. Russian Epic’. Issue of monuments of the Russian folk song epic is prepared for publication, which will allow preservation and further popularization of one of autochthonal forms of national culture.

Demand for Orientalistic literature – philosophical, theological, art – increased in the nineteenth of the ХХ century. ‘Vostochnaya Literatura’ publishing company began publishing a number of new series intended to bring to the book market quality academic literature as a response to the avalanche of antiscientific publications devoted to the Orient. History of the Orient Philosophy series was founded in 1993, The Orient Classical Literature – in 1999, Korea Research series – in 1996, Chinese Classical Canon in Russian Translations – in 1998, and Tibetan Medicine Library – in 2000.

In 2000 the Siberian publishing company issued the first volume of fundamental publication – History of the Baikal Region. The book represents comprehensive characteristics of Tchita region – large administrative-territorial unit of the Russian Federation and unique region on our planet.

Publishing complex of the Academy of Sciences actively responses to significant jubilee events. Regular volume of Archeological Annals for 1997 was dedicated to 850 years jubilee of Moscow. Fundamental work ‘Russian Science to Naval Forces' was dedicated to 300 years anniversary of the Russian navy.

In 1999 all the country celebrated 200 years anniversary of A.S. Pushkin. The Academy celebrated this event by publishing of the first volume of the poet jubilee omnibus edition, and such books as ‘Pushkin and the Orient’ prepared by Russian and foreign pushkinists under edition of academician E.P. Chelyshev, ‘Pushkin. Russia, Contemporaneity. Political, Social and Economic Reforms’ by A.V. Anikin, “Pushkin’s Pattern’ by V.V. Vinogradov, ‘Rely on Pushkin’ by G.G. Krasukhin, ‘Pushkin and Poetical Language of the Twentieth Century', ‘Oeuvres and Correspondence’ of I.I. Puschin in 2 volumes (volume 1 – ‘Notes about Pushkin. Correspondence’), ‘Mental Toiler. A.S. Pushkin in the Context of the Russian Culture’, ‘A.S. Pushkin Poetry (Literature Monuments series), ‘A.S. Pushkin in the Destiny of His Descendants and Relatives’ by V.I. Zagorulko, and others.

Unique facsimile edition ‘A.S. Pushkin. Work Books’ in 8 volumes prepared by the Institute of Russian Literature won the award ‘Book – Event of the Year’ in the year of A.S. Pushkin 200 years anniversary celebration.

In 1999 academic publishing houses paid special attention to preparation and issuing of scientific works dedicated to 275 years jubilee of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The jubilee book program included three directions: first – the program of official publications, second – jubilee publication program consisting of historical and scientific research directly related to foundation and development of the Academy and its participation in creation of scientific and technical potential of the country, and the third direction was represented by a group of publications prepared by the RAS institutes and dedicated to the Academy’s jubilee. As a rule, there were the main results of their activities and works of prominent scientists made significant contribution to science.

A lot of publications were issued that contain new scientific discoveries or represent colligated research. Among them: work of collective author ‘Chemical Physics on the Verge of XXI Century" dedicated to 100 years anniversary of academician N.N. Semenov, academician A.M. Prokhorov selectas ‘Quantum Electronics’, book and academician A.M. Dykhne and G.L. Yudin ‘Sudden Perturbations and Quantum Evolution’, work of the Mathematical Institute authors ‘Algebra. Topology. Differential Equations and their Application’ dedicated to 90 years anniversary of academician L.S. Pontryagin, works of GIN ‘Lithosphere Geodynamics Problems’ dedicated to 90 years anniversary of academician A.V. Peive.

Despite all difficulties and problems of the passed decade, the Academy of Science remains the leading and largest Russian center of scientific literature publication that reflects first of all results of basic research and most important scientific achievements.

©РАН 2018