The Palgrave Handbook of Digital Russia Studies
This open access handbook presents a multidisciplinary and multifaceted perspective on how the ‘digital’ is simultaneously changing Russia and the research methods scholars use to study Russia. It provides a critical update on how Russian society, politics, economy, and culture are reconfigured in the context of ubiquitous connectivity and accounts for the political and societal responses to digitalization. In addition, it answers practical and methodological questions in handling Russian data and a wide array of digital methods. The volume makes a timely intervention in our understanding of the changing field of Russian Studies and is an essential guide for scholars, advanced undergraduate and graduate students studying Russia today.
Plagiarism currently tends to be viewed as a problem connected primarily with students, albeit more prominent authors such as William Shakespeare and George Friedrich Handel were accused of it long ago. The plagiarism continues to be widespread in educational institutions, predominantly due to single-click technology, but another contributing factor that helps make it common practice is the tolerance of plagiarism on the part of educators and academia in general. In 2004, for instance, it was estimated that 10 percent of student projects in the United States and Australia involved plagiarism (Oakes 2014, 60). By contrast, in Russia, 36 percent of respondents admitted to having regularly copied the texts of others (Kicherova et al. 2013, 2); as many as 36.7 percent of undergraduate students in 8 Russian universities took personal credit for the material they had, in fact, downloaded from the Internet
The “digital” is profoundly changing Russia today. While in the mid-1990s less than 1 percent of the Russian population had Internet access, today Russia ranks sixth globally with approximately 110 million Internet users, or three-quarters of the population (The World Factbook 2019). The proliferation of affordable smartphones in the 2010s has made Internet access a commonplace by 2020, with over 60 percent of users connecting through mobile devices, and Russia’s Internet market is the largest in Europe (GfK 2019). According to the Russian Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media, the Russian Internet industry amounted to an estimated value of "ve trillion rubles in 2019, or 5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) (TASS 2019). Taking into account the additional 25 million Russians who live outside of Russia, it is no surprise that Russian is the second most popular language on the Net after English (Historical trends 2019). These figures alone make Russia an attractive object for researchers interested in the development of today’s digital society. The Russian information technologies (IT) industry, moreover, is an ample provider of highly sophisticated digital tools and well-organized software solutions
This chapter focuses on textual data that is collected for a specific purpose, which are usually referred to as corpora. Scholars use corpora when they examine existing instances of a certain phenomenon or to conduct systematic quantitative analyses of occurrences, which in turn re#ect habits, attitudes, opinions, or trends. For these contexts, it is extremely useful to combine different approaches. For example, a linguist might analyze the frequency of a certain buzzword, whereas a scholar in the political, cultural, or sociological sciences might attempt to explain the change in language usage from the data in question.