Russia withdraws its scientists from international conferences

Russia withdraws its scientists from international conferences


The war in Ukraine continues to strain relations between Russian scientists and the international community. On its Telegram channel, the Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education has indicated that they will no longer participate in international conferences. Scientific schools will also reduce the importance of their publications in international databases.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sparked a wave of condemnation from scientists around the world. Some Western organizations also quickly severed ties with Moscow, cutting resources and ending collaborations with Russian scientists.

A few days ago, we also learned that the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) would not begin new collaborations with Russian scientific institutions. This announcement followed a request from Ukrainian scientists. The International Congress of Mathematicians will also be held virtually in July rather than in Russia as planned. The war has not spared the space sector either.

New measures on the side of the Russians

More recently, Valery Falkov, Minister of Science and Higher Education of Russia, said in a meeting with universities that science schools should get rid of the two main international science databases Web of Science and Scopus .

More concretely, Russian scientists are not prohibited from publishing their research on these two international platforms. On the other hand, they will not rely on these as indicators of the quality of work. As TheVerge explains, both databases are indeed major sources of scientific information that have parameters that are widely used to assess the relative importance of scientific research.

Also, research done with grants from government research programs will not be published in these indexed journals.

These new measures come as Russia has stepped up efforts in recent years to make its research institutions more internationally competitive. In this spirit, many foreign researchers had been recruited. Russian scientific organizations were also invited to verify their work based on metrics from the Web of Science and Scopus platforms.

The company Clarivate Analytics, which offers tools and services around intellectual property and the production of scientific knowledge, which notably manages Web of Science, has already closed its Russian office. She also said she would no longer review new journals from Russia and Belarus.

Finally, Ukrainian researchers also said several weeks ago that Russian scientists should no longer be invited to international conferences. Eventually, Moscow took the lead. The ministry has indeed indicated that they will no longer participate in these conferences, at least this year.