Russia is slowly rebuilding its scientific workforce and capacity, Nature News reports, noting there have been hiccups along the way.
Following the decline of the Soviet Union, the Russian economy fell and investment in science with it, it adds, noting that the scientific workforce is now about a third of what it once was. But Nature News writes that Russian President Vladimir Putin has pushed for an effort to revive Russia's scientific sector. For instance, it notes that Putin launched a national research in 2018 to last through 2024 that includes increased funding and new labs. Additionally, the Russian Science Foundation was established in 2014 to award research grants based on independent peer review.
While Nature News says there has been a jump in the number of papers published by Russian researchers, it adds that earlier this year hundreds of Russian-language papers were retracted in a plagiarism scandal. A commission put together by the Russian Academy of Sciences called for the retraction of more than 2,500 research articles after finding instances of plagiarism, article duplications, and unclear authorships. The Skoltech Center of Life Sciences' Mikhail Gelfand, a bioinformatician who was part of that review, tells Nature News that "[r]etracting plagiarized papers and shaming the worst offenders is exactly the right thing to do."