AGRIS Hubs - Russian Federation

In this short document, the work and experience of the AGRIS Hub in the Russian Federation is described, along with an overview of food and agricultural science and the role of AGRIS in the country.

Food and agricultural science in the Russian Federation

The agrarian science sector employs about 10 000 researchers working in 235 research institutions and 57 agrarian institutions of higher education in the Russian Federation (see Figure 1). The Ministry of Science and Higher Education’s Department for Coordination of the Activities of Organizations in the Field of Agricultural Sciences manages all the projects in the field of agricultural sciences. The Department of Agricultural Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences supervises and coordinates all current scientific works concerning agriculture, including specific projects.

The Government of the Russian Federation developed and approved a programme of fundamental scientific research for 2021-2030. Section four of the programme of fundamental scientific research in the Russian Federation for 2021-2030 concerns agricultural sciences and includes the following areas of scope:

  • agriculture, forestry, fisheries;
  • livestock and dairy business;
  • veterinary sciences; and
  • agricultural biotechnology.

A list of 34 priorities was compiled covering topics such as:

  • social development of the village and mechanisms for improving the quality of life of the rural population; and
  • development of a complex of genomic-embryonic technologies for the accelerated creation and replication of the best genotypes of animals, birds, insects and fish in aquaculture for agricultural purposes.

Agrarian sciences in the Russian Federation (2019)

Figure 1. Agrarian sciences in the Russian Federation (2019). Source: data processing by CSAL

Publications of Russian scientists in international databases (Scopus and Web of Science) can be seen in Figure 2 and Figure 3.

Publications from Russian scientists in Scopus

Figure 2 (Left). Publications from Russian scientists in the international database Scopus
Figure 3 (Right). Publications from Russian scientists in the international database Web of Science

Within the framework of the Russian Federation´s national project called "Science", large-scale research in agriculture is planned, including the creation of at least five agrobio parks, and the development and implementation of 100 selected breeding results. About 100 new marketable varieties or breeds have to be created and then cultivated or fattened within the frame of the project.

The Central Scientific Agricultural Library

The Central Scientific Agricultural Library (CSAL) is a Federal State Budgetary Scientific Institution founded in 1930. It is the largest library in the Russian Federation, with more than three million items stored (CSAL, 2021). It generates electronic catalogues, abstract and full-text databases, and electronic libraries. It is a modern information centre at the federal level that deals with problems related to the agro-industrial complex (AIC) and publishes quarterly electronic abstract publications on different AIC fields.

CSAL is the centre of agricultural bibliography in the country and publishes current and retrospective bibliographic information. It also takes care of the digital registration organ of national agricultural bibliography, namely the systematic index "Agricultural literature," registering more than 42 000 records every year (CSAL, 2021).

The specialists working at CSAL are engaged in research in the field of informatics, library science and bibliography as they relate to agriculture. They develop sectoral linguistic tools such as the national information retrieval thesaurus on food and agriculture, the sectoral classification index for food and agriculture and the special Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) tables for AIC.

In 1992, CSAL created AGROS, the largest agricultural database in the world in Russian. It contains information about books and articles published in Russian, and foreign periodical or serial editions. In 2020, AGROS contained more than two million records, with an annual increment of about 40 000 records (CSAL, 2021).

CSAL and AGRIS

CSAL has operated as the AGRIS Hub in the country since 2007. The aim of the centre is to promote internationally the knowledge and research results produced by Russian scientists in Russian scientific publications.

The establishment of the AGRIS Hub at CSAL made it possible for the library to familiarize itself with the standards of international databases. Working with AGRIS linguistic software and developing the Russian translation of concepts and terms in AGROVOC facilitated the thematic search for Russian users and increased its efficiency (FAOe, 2021). Over the years, the quality assessment criteria for publications to be included in AGRIS, as well as the regulations and the protocol of the expert assessment, have been improved. Recommendations for composing abstracts were compiled, and a system of interaction with editorial staff of agricultural magazines is now established.

For inclusion in AGRIS, CSAL selects only those journals that meet the following criteria:

  • correspond to the FAO areas of interest in terms of the subject covered;
  • have a scientific or scientific-practical character;
  • have a state registration number;
  • have an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) identifier;
  • apply the peer review procedure;
  • have been published for more than two years and keep the declared periodicity; and
  • articles are available on the journal's website or in another publicly accessible source.

CSAL recommends translating all the principal information about journals (title, contents, etc.) and articles (title, information about authors, keywords, abstract, etc.) into English. Only some articles by Russian scientists are selected from every journal issue. These articles have to be positively rated by reviewers and also contain relevant sections like an abstract, keywords, an introduction, materials and methods, results and discussions, conclusions and bibliographical references.

The abstracts must reflect the structure of the article, contain newly discovered facts and substantiated conclusions, be supported with numerical or graphic data, and have a predetermined size of 1 000 to 2 000 characters. All information should be presented briefly, but in a complete way. Thanks to these requirements, the quality of Russian agrarian journals and scientific publications has improved noticeably to reach international standards.

Finally, thanks to its participation in AGRIS, CSAL can include some interesting foreign journals in its electronic collection.

Relevance of AGRIS in the Russian Federation

The AGRIS Hub was established in CSAL in 2007, and more than 10 000 records were added to AGRIS in the period 2007-2020, including 1 459 records in 2020 alone. In 2020, the library processed data from journals that provided CSAL with their metadata for further processing for AGRIS. Every year, CSAL composes a list of journal titles that provided the library with metadata in Russian that year. In 2020, this list contained 79 journals.

Number of visits to Russian records created by CSAL as AGRIS Hub

Figure 4. Number of visits to Russian records created by CSAL as AGRIS Hub, Google Analytics. Source: FAO, 2021.

By June 2021, AGRIS contained in total about 31 000 records from the Russian Federation, with about one-third sent by CSAL. Figure 5 shows the number of records generated by CSAL’s AGRIS Hub where the lighter green part indicates the records created using Zotero (a free tool used to collect, organize, cite and share research).

The articles most in demand concerned topics about the food industry, plant cultivation and economics. The users, from the highest to the lowest, are mainly from the Russian Federation, India, the United States of America and China.

Different groups, for a variety of purposes, benefit from AGRIS in the Russian Federation.

  • Researchers
    • search for bibliography, abstracts and full-texts to write scientific papers; and
    • identify the range of possible co-authors and subjects for further research.
  • Librarians
    • retrieve information for user requests; and
    • search for open access electronic journals for acquisition in the fund.
  • Bibliometrists
    • have available journals in special agricultural fields of knowledge (country, language); and
    • have available documents such as journals and articles of different subjects, (country, language), etc.

Number of records generated by CSAL’s AGRIS Hub
Figure 5. Number of records generated by CSAL’s AGRIS Hub. Source: data elaboration by CSAL

Currently, the network of data providers is created around the CSAL AGRIS Hub. It mainly includes representatives of agrarian scientific and educational institutions, publishing houses, etc. The core members of the network provide partially prepared information about selected articles to facilitate the data processing in the AGRIS centre. We are open to consult with any other stakeholders who want to contribute to AGRIS.

Next steps

CSAL will continue providing new publications, improving the quality of the records and increasing the popularity of AGRIS, both as a source of information and as an opportunity for Russian scientists to share the results of their own scientific research.

CSAL will implement and disseminate all available and modern technologies and data harvesting tools developed by FAO to provide the best agricultural information in time.

References

CSAL. 2021. Central Scientific Agricultural Library [online]. Moscow. [Cited 16 July 2021]. http://www.cnshb.ru/

FAOa. 2021a. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [online]. Rome. [Cited 16 July 2021].www.fao.org/ home/en/

FAO. 2021b. Sustainable Development Goals. In: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [online]. Rome. [Cited 16 July 2021]. http://www.fao.org/sustainable-development-goals/en/

FAO. 2021c. AGRIS. In: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [online]. Rome. [Cited 16 July 2021]. http://www.fao.org/agris/

FAO. 2021d. AGRIS. In: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [online]. Rome. [Cited 16 July 2021]. http://www.fao.org/agris/data-providers

FAO. 2021e. AGROVOC. In: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [online]. Rome. [Cited 16 July 2021]. http://www.fao.org/agrovoc/