Editor-in-Chief's Note

More than twenty years ago, I first addressed to our readers as Editor-in-Chief of a new scientific journal Region: Economics and Sociology, which started to be issued as an independent publication and not as part of Bulletin of the Siberian Branch of RAS. Having outlined the development concept of the journal and put forward the Editorial Board's intentions, I concluded this appeal with the following: “Dear colleagues and readers, on your support largely depends whether we will bring our ideas to life, whether we will become one of the major Russian scientific journals on regional policy and the problematic of territorial development. And we do not conceal that these are indeed our plans.”

Obviously, it was a rather bold statement, especially considering the time it was made. The early 1990's was a period of grave economic and political crisis in post-Soviet Russia, a time when science was on the brink of self-survival when it severed its old ties with the federal and regional governments, industrial enterprises, and foreign partners. With great difficulty, we published the first issue of the journal that only had five articles.

Twenty years is quite a long period, so we can already draw out some lessons and evaluate all the ideas and initiatives. Our main achievement is that Region: Economics and Sociology has actually become a leader in regional economy, spatial development and economic sociology among Russian scientific periodicals. Moreover, it is not our preconceived belief, but a hard fact. In 2013, the two-year impact factor of RSCI was 1.086, the five-year one accounted for 0.913, i.e. Region: Economics and Sociology was ranking in the top positions among hundreds of economic journals. It has become one of the major scientific and popular scientific journals, with dominant themes such as regional economy and economic sociology. A full-text online version of the journal is published on the website of the Scientific Electronic Library. The journal is included in the list of leading peer-reviewed scientific periodicals recommended by the Higher Attestation Commission for publishing works that reflect the contents of theses and dissertations. Our priority plan is to get enlisted in the Scopus bibliographic database.

Currently, we follow a distinct publishing cycle (four issues per year), which has helped increase the volume of the journal significantly and, as a consequence, the amount of published scientific research. For instance, in 2014, the journal published 64 papers, and its actual volume amounted to 71 published sheets while the standard is 50. The slush pile of our journal is extensive, it is complete for the year ahead. Each paper submitted to Editorial Board is reviewed by qualified experts from among the editors and leading researchers of the RAS. Unfortunately, we have to reject a considerable number (80%) of incoming articles. The main reason is that we are eager to maintain the highest quality of published material, which is characteristic of our journal.

Without a doubt, we could not implement every single plan we had. So, for example, we assumed that in the second half of the 90's we would be able to issue the English version of the journal. It proved to be an extremely difficult project, but four years ago we had a real breakthrough: together with two other journals, Bulletin of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Geography and Bulletin of the Russian Geographical Society we founded a scientific journal in English named Regional Research of Russia (published by Pleiades Publishing, MAIK Nauka/Interperiodica and spread via Springer). In fact, it is a digest of the three journals, which makes it possible to publish most interesting articles published earlier in Region: Economics and Sociology for an international audience.

The past 20 years have affirmed that the Editorial Board had made a right choice in terms of our policy: the journal publishes articles that include the findings of both theoretical (basic) and applied research, within the works of both Russian and international authors. The primary sections remain the same: Regional Policy and Economic Issues of Federalism; Economic Issues of Regional Development, Social Issues of Regional Development; Regional Aspects of Structural and Investment Policy; Foreign Experience of Regional Science, Regional Policy and Spatial Development; Environmental Issues of Regional Development. However, we do occasionally include new sections that live as long as related critical research projects or programs in Russia or abroad. Thus, our readers got acquainted with a very important and interesting papers in sections Project TACIS: Regional Policy Aimed at Reducing Socioeconomic and Legal Asymmetry, and Program of the Presidium of the RAS “Basic problems of spatial development: interdisciplinary synthesis”. We have also introduced a new section: Russian North and Arctic in the Context of Global Challenges of the XXI century. It presents the findings of the joint research of RAS institutes that concern the Arctic. All this is crucial in light of the reform of the RAS, whose activists clearly underestimate the high level of Russian science in general and regional science in particular.

We are proud to have the leading Russian and foreign regionalists and sociologists as our authors and very grateful for their loyalty!

Dr. V.Ye. Seliverstov, Editor-in-Chief of the scientific journal Region: Economics and Sociology