Metaknowledge Perspective on Russian Studies

The aim of this project “Metaknowledge Perspective on Russian Studies” is to analyze the social and institutional dynamics by which knowledge in the field of Russian studies is produced in the English-using academic world, over the long term (1990–2020).

We consider published articles the most important manifestation of research and, thanks to the rise of computational technics, we now have the possibility to extract and systematically analyze information across thousands of scientific papers. The growth of electronic publications makes it possible to access vast amounts of information to study knowledge production in general and the effect of knowledge context on the substance and direction of research in particular. Research on research has already demonstrated that collaboration networks, institutional prestige, available resources, local research traditions, national institutional settings, and new technologies all shape the analysis of what is known, how, and by whom.

However, while modern citation databases offer the opportunity for detailed overviews of entire disciplines, due to the unique characteristics of specific databases, researchers have limited capacities to conduct research on interdisciplinary fields, such as area studies focusing on Russia and other post-Soviet countries. For standard bibliometric procedures, Russian studies presents a challenge in that it consists of essentially disjointed, not yet integrated partial studies. Consequently, while some projects in the past have used search queries and looked at papers’ characteristics and citation performance in the field of post-Soviet studies, a quantitative analysis of the entire research field has not yet been presented. In this study, we developed a sophisticated search query to cover the relevant literature as completely as possible not only in area studies journals but also in research published in traditional disciplines.

The results of the project are the following:


A global ranking of expertise in Russia available through an online platform that allows the ranking of organizations by how much the organization is a source of impactful knowledge about Russia. The full results of the ranking can be downloaded in an Excel file.


A methodology based on diverse bibliometric methods that we employ for identifying papers with the focus on Russia.


Academic publications and presentations with analysis of the social and institutional dynamics by which knowledge in the field of Russian studies is produced.