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The role of the scientific journal in the world of science


Scientific Journals are a crucial interface in the life of the scientific community: researchers, professors, experts, administrators. Personal communication of scientists has its unique value, but individual intellectual property rights are recorded "on paper." Further, the increase in knowledge in a more integrated form is presented in lecture courses, books (textbooks). The scientific discussion is led, naturally, by scientific researchers. However, the role of science teachers is huge since they must systematize knowledge for students, quickly include new research in programs, etc. Experts need to keep up with the increase in awareness, instead, in their applied fields, to remain competitive and meet the expectations of contractors (customers). Finally, administrators on various grounds try to rank scientists for career goals, pay, the image of a university or institute. Each scientist usually has several properties (parameters) for performing all four functions but is not always able to assess his real (and not imputed by position) abilities and advantages.


v Definition of scientific journals

A scientific journal is a periodical (print or electronic) relating to the scientific literature and is one of the primary sources of scientific information. Typically, such journals are peer-reviewed (or refereed). This means that before publication, all articles submitted by the authors for publication in the journal are tested by independent experts in areas close to the subject of the items. Such a mechanism allows publishing only those scientific texts that do not contain methodological errors and false information.


v Origins of scientific journals

The creation of a scientific journal was a turning point in the history of science. This type of publication arose from the first unformed and then the regular exchange of letters between scientists about the results of their research. The need to create a more stable system of scientific communication led to the emergence of scientific circles, as well as the so-called "invisible teams", which served as the basis for the almost simultaneous creation of both a scientific journal and some scientific societies. The first ever scientific journals were published by:

1-      The French Academy of Sciences (1665). 

2-      The Royal Society of London (1665).

3-      The Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin (1682). 

They became the official bodies of scientific publications of this era. For a century and a half scientific journals published only information about new books and excerpts from them, as well as chronicles. The publication of the results of scientific research was initially preliminary and clothed in the traditional form of letters. Only in the XIX century, a scientific journal from a means of merely disseminating information about new achievements began to turn into the primary tool for collecting, storing, and disseminating scientific knowledge. By the 1st quarter of the 19th century, Attempts are made to organize bibliographic notification of journal publications, which at the beginning of the 20th century took the modern form of abstract journals.


v What is covered in scientific journals, and who is the target audience?

Scientific and theoretical journals reflect the latest achievements of fundamental and applied sciences. The content of experimental and theoretical journals is science itself. Along with the results of scientific research, they set out the course and methods of conducting research, discusses the problems of scientific, technical, social, economic, spiritual, environmental progress. Recording the results of scientific research - ideas, facts (laws, categories, etc.), the journals under consideration serve as a means of transmitting scientific information in space and time, ensuring the continuity and cooperation of scientific work.

Readers of scientific journals are, first of all, researchers of all ranks working both in the system of the Academy of Sciences and in the operation of higher education. The readers of these journals also include university professors, specialists from enterprises, and design institutes. We can say that in general, the readers of this group of journals are mainly scientists and highly qualified specialists.


v Special scientific journals

A particular type of scientific journals is a scientific and practical journal. In current conditions, when science has become a direct productive force when the high technology of production is one of the main factors of scientific and technological progress, the need for such a publication is very significant. This journal is intended for specialists whose professional activities are based on the results of scientific research, require the understanding of practical experience at a theoretical level, and are associated with the implementation of scientific developments in practice.

The purpose of scientific journals of a practical nature is to help specialists of various professions in solving possible problems, to help improve their skills, and to be able to reasonably approach the choice of promising areas and methods for the development of production and technology. This determines the nature of the information of scientific and practical journals. They include both theoretical materials of an applied quality and elements of a purely functional content, and they publish messages on industrial topics, guidelines, information on new technical solutions, technologies. The subjects of such magazines are quite diverse — an independent group, including scientific and technical journals, whose profile is related to the technical sciences.


v What role do scientific journals play in the world of science?

The scientific journal remains the primary operational source of new information on the achievements of science and technology and, therefore, an essential tool to accelerate scientific and technological progress. It contains information on the results and methods of scientific research, the organization, and planning of scientific research, discussions are held on methodological issues in the development of science. Besides, major scientific problems are put forward in the journal in the production plan. Scientific fields are evaluated, information on experimental forms, etc. are provided. The essential functions of a scientific journal are scientific, communicative, and informative. Depending on the purpose, scientific journals can be subdivided into scientific-theoretical, scientific-practical, and scientific-methodical.

Scientific journals also act as the most crucial channel of communication between scientists and researchers and the third circle of readers - those who bring the contents of articles in the form of lectures, examinations, secondary education to administrators, and finally to people in business, practical economists, politicians, and statesmen. From this environment, they follow a stream of links to articles in scientific journals that reflect agreement with the author-researcher on a particular issue. Then they use his thoughts to reinforce his own, formulate new research tasks, borrow a method, demonstrate loyalty inside the school, criticize the result, etc. Therefore, for many leading economists, the impact factor of publications is two times higher than the publications citing it.

Obviously, Scientific journals influence and often even determine not only the level but also the direction of research. The most promising areas of science, or the areas most urgently needed, are distinguished by the appearance of entire families of new journals and the selection of especially prestigious ones among them. This is especially evident in the fields of molecular biology, genetic engineering, and biotechnology. These areas of fundamental and applied biology have arisen before our very eyes, over the past decades, they have come out of biochemistry and genetics, but have created their own world, on many of their own Scientific journals.