Analysis of Cited References in Russian Publications in Web of Science
In this article we analyze nearly 33 million cited references in 1.38 million papers by Russian (co-)authors indexed in the Web of Science database until May 2022. Similarly to the established processes in the so-called Reference Publication Year Spectroscopy, we study the distribution of the references across the cited years and seek to identify the peak years with the publications that attracted the most attention of Russian scholars. In this way, the historical roots of Russian science may be traced and we take a closer look at these most influential works. In addition, we investigate the evolution of the mean age of references and of their average number per paper over time and inspect the most frequently cited sources. The results show that the average number of references in Russian papers has been steadily increasing, but the mean age of references has been declining in the most recent years. Also, the foundations of Russian science seem to be physics of particles and electrochemistry and have recently become based more internationally than in the past. This study is the first of its kind and may help better understand the character of Russian research.