Reviewed by: Christine Oka, Research & Instruction, Northeastern University Libraries, Boston, MA
Published continuously since 2011 by the Northern Arctic Federal University, Russian Federation, Arktika i Sever (Арктика и Север) / Arctic and North is an online journal in English and Russian about the Arctic and North related to Russian studies on “economics, sociology, politology and culturology.” While article submissions undergo a double blind peer-review process, the publishers want the journal content to reach a wide audience, ranging from members of “the scientific community, universities, research institutions, Russian federal, regional and local governments, business, culture and for everyone involved or interested in the Arctic and North both in Russia and abroad.”
All issues published in 2016 had a section for “Politics, Political Science, Society and Culture.” Articles covered such topics as “Innovative development vector of the coastal areas of the Russian Arctic,” where the author examines innovation policy for further development of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation. She stresses that a transition from traditional science and technology policy to new innovation is necessary in “the process of creating new knowledge and its use in order to obtain the greatest economic benefits.”
Special thematic sections in each issue include “Problems on the Northern Sea Route Development,” “Arctic Tourism in Russia,” and a section celebrating the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Arctic Council, “The Arctic Twenty: 12 Observer Countries of the Arctic Council.” The Arctic Council provides an intergovernmental forum “to enhance cooperation, coordination anx interaction among the Arctic States with the active involvement of Arctic indigenous peoples and other Arctic inhabitants on common Arctic issues.” In addition to permanent member states, the Arctic Council has a number of observer states; this section reports on policy and strategies of a number of Arctic Council Observer countries, such as Germany, the United Kingdom, and Italy.
The journal webpages include a Find Articles link for searching by author, title and keyword. The keyword search for “environment” retrieved a number of articles. “Germany’s Strategy for the Arctic” describes Germany’s involvement in the Arctic region from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, where “the German-Russian cooperation until now has been concentrated in the area of research and education.” There also is interest in collaborative issues such as “climate protection, sustainable development of Arctic ecosystems, indigenous peoples’ rights, scientific research” along with the more profitable aspects of cooperation. “The German government aims to ensure guaranteed access of their corporate groups to the mineral resources and transport infrastructure of the Arctic region. The Arctic Council is one of the most important sites for it, where Germany is looking for a variety of formats for cooperation with its members, including Russia.” Another geopolitical and economic potential of the region is reviewed in “Ecological tourism in protected natural areas of the Russian Arctic: prospects and challenges.”
In September 2016, the publisher adopted the Creative Commons DD-BY-SA license for the journal and articles. There also is a link to a Declaration of Ethics, which covers reponsibilities of both authors and members of the Editorial Board. Additional information on the responsibilities of authors, the Editorial Board and details about the publication process are accessible via a number of publication links. As with many open access journals, authors are not charged an article processing fee for submitting manuscripts; readers do not have to pay for access. The journal opens the geopolitical window to a region of emerging study and interest by academics as well as laypersons.