Dr.Hab., Professor L.I. Lubysheva1
PhD, Associate Professor S.A. Pronin2
1Russian State University of Physical Education, Sport, Youth and Tourism (GTSOLIFK), Moscow
2St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg
Keywords: thematic structure of publications, age of reference literature, problems of sport science, Teoriya i Praktika Fizicheskoy Kultury Journal.
Background. The Teoriya i Praktika Fizicheskoy Kultury Journal, a leading national periodical analyzing the theoretical and practical issues of modern physical culture and sports, was designed to provide objective coverage of the problems of the national sport science. The TPFK editorial has always given a top priority to the fundamental developments of the national science striving to harmoniously combine theoretical, methodological and practical materials in its publications.
Objective of the study was to highlight the core problems of the national sport science based on the TPFK-2017 coverage analysis.
Study results and discussion. 509 articles have been published in the Teoriya i Praktika Fizicheskoy Kultury (TPFK) Journal for 2017, with the figure being around the average for the last few years, and with the thematic blocks the Journal apparently remaining quite stable as well. The physical education block of the Journal was still dominated by the education matters related materials (71.3% versus 75.0% in 2016 ) and general matters of physical education (28.7% versus 25.0%) that have kept at the reasonably stable level. The share of the academic physical education coverage in the above material was found to drop by 10% for 2017 (49.5% vs. 57.0% in 2016), with the trend expected to drive the coverage to an adequate proportion with time.
The sports block in the yearly coverage may be broken down into general sport matters (36.2% vs. 32.0%), martial arts (16.0% vs. 18.8%), team sports (17.6% vs. 20.5%) and intellectual sports (2.1% vs. 2.5%) sub-blocks. The cyclic sports coverage was found to sag (10.6% vs. 16.0%) with the sag being offset by the relevant growth of the acyclic sport coverage for the year (17.6% vs. 10.2%) albeit this trend appears occasional in all likelihood. The yearly coverage categorization, on the face of it, gives some reasons to expect that the thematic structure has not changed much – but it is not the case in fact.
It was the drastic fall of the long-standing fifty-fifty percent (1:1) physical education to sports coverage ratio in the TPFK Journal publications for 2017 to around 64 to 36 percent (2:1) that may be ranked the most striking regress for the period.
Since the Teoriya i Praktika Fizicheskoy Kultury Journal is the leading national periodical covering the physical culture and sports theory and practice to objectively analyze the problems and development trends of the national sport science [1, 2], such drastic and spontaneous changes in the coverage categories (with no changes in the editorial policies and practices) cannot but raise concerns over the potential negative trends. Let us make a brief historical overview in this context.
In the period of 1970-1980ies the coverage was largely dictated by the flow of dissertations with the relevant publications required for defense, with the publishing activities of the successful defendants normally falling thereafter . Most of the dissertations in the above period addressed the athletic training process related issues that dominated the physical education related ones, with the ratio varying around 1:4.
In the crisis period of the early 1990ies, the requirements to and flow of dissertations drastically fell, with the particularly serious fall in the sport-specific training systems related dissertations (that cannot be easily botched). The numbers of the latter dissertations and related publications had fallen twice (1:2) for the period in fact. Since early 2000s, however, the flow of dissertations has grown up (almost twice) albeit the share of the sport-specific training matters related dissertations (with the relevant publications) had sagged even further. By the year of 2010 the flow of dissertations, however, was back on track to reach almost the starting level, with the physical education to sports coverage ratio coming to the relatively stable 1:1 level.
We have made an attempt to analyze the reasons for the above trends with a special consideration for the scientific congresses and conferences scheduled and reported by the Ministry of Sports Tourism and Youth Policies and the Federal Agency for Physical Education and Sports for the period of 2007-2016. We found that the number of the conferences had virtually doubled for the period from 50-60 to 90-120 events per year, with the numbers of all other conferences on the matters of physical education and sports in the country reported to grow about as fast. As things now stand, more than 200 theoretical and/or practical events on the matters of physical education and sports of different levels are held in the Russian Federation per year. It means that such conferences are launched every day at this juncture with the only exception for the summer months and weekends. It should also be noted that the share of conferences on the matters of elite sports scheduled by the Ministry of Sports was reported to grow up from 25-30% to 45-50% of the total, i.e. the ratio of 1:1 is still there.
If we now consider the flow of the MS-sponsored conference materials/ anthologies, the ‘Physical education and mass sports’ coverage is found to be 1.5-2 times higher (in pages) than the ‘Elite Sports’ coverage. To double-check these data, we made a comprehensive analysis of the published conference materials using the bibliographic accounting module of the Saint Petersburg State University Sport Science System (SPSU-SSS) database plus some other authoritative sources of information including the Russian National Library [http://www.nlr.ru], Russian Science Citation Index [https://elibrary.ru/project_risc.asp], and Central Physical Education and Sports Sector Library [http://lib.sportedu.ru] databases.
The data generated by this comprehensive bibliographical analysis were just shocking! Of the total number of the Ministry of Sports sponsored conferences, only some 20% events may be traced by some materials available in the web or the largest librarian databases. Nobody knows where the proceedings of the other 80% of the research conferences may be found.
We can only wonder now if these dreams have come true. The web browser responds – yes, they have! Most of the MS-reported conferences have distributed their announcements, promised publications of the conference proceedings, set requirements to the would-be publications and even priced these publications. All seems nice and good, and the only question is – where on earth these conference materials can be found?
The facts found by our analysis are no trifle since the national research turnover appears to have ‘thrown away’ about four of five articles on the physical education and sports for at least the last decade (we have still to make a full account of this disastrous loss). If these materials can be found nowhere today, what are the chances to find them in 10-15 years!? The situation is further aggravated by the ethical considerations related to the MS reports of the published material citation indices – since these publications are known to nobody except their authors and, hence, their citation indices are zero.
- The TPFK coverage structure has drastically changed for 2017 with the physical education to elite sports coverage ratio now estimated at 64.2% to 35.8%.
- Reasons for the above transformation still need to be found and analyzed.
- The ongoing transformation may have a variety of impacts including those on the thematic structure of the flow of dissertations on the physical education and sports matters.
- Lubysheva L.I. Sovremennaya sportivnaya nauka: ot stagnatsii k novoy paradigme razvitiya [Modern sport science: from stagnation to new development paradigm]. Teoriya i praktika fiz. kultury, 2017, no. 5, pp. 3-5.
- Lubysheva L.I., Pronin S.A. Aktualizatsiya problem sportivnoy nauki v ramkah informatsionnogo segmenta zhurnala «Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kultury» – 2016 [Priority problems of modern sport science covered by informational segment of "Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kultury" journal in 2016]. Teoriya i praktika fiz. kultury, 2017, no. 2, pp. 94-96.
- Polozhenie ob organizatsii i provedenii nauchnykh kongressov i konferentsiy Ministerstva sporta Rossiyskoy Federatsii: Utverzhdeno prikazom Minsporta Rossii ot 14 avgusta 2014 no. 695 [Regulations on organization of scientific congresses and conferences of the Russian Ministry of Sports: Approved by the order of the Russian Ministry of Sports on August 14, 2014 no. 695]. Available at: https://www.minsport.gov.ru/activities/science/kongressy-i-konferen/
- Pronin S.A. Analiz dokumentalnogo potoka dissertatsiy po problemam fizicheskoy kultury i sporta [Analysis of documentary flow of theses on the issues of physical culture and sport]. Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kultury, 2007, no. 6, pp. 60–62.
Corresponding author: teoriya.ru
The Teoriya i Praktika Fizicheskoy Kultury (TPFK) Journal, a leading periodical focused on the theoretical and practical issues of the modern physical culture and sports, sees its mission in the problems of the national sport science being objectively covered. Objective of the study was to highlight the core problems of the national sport science based on the TPFK-2017 coverage analysis.
It was the drastic fall of the long-standing fifty-fifty percent (1:1) physical education to sports coverage ratio in the TPFK Journal publications for 2017 that may be ranked the most striking event for the period. Now this ratio varies at around 64 to 36 percent (2:1). The annual coverage analysis found significant lacunas in the coverage of conferences on the problems of physical education and sports processes, with the precise shares of the physical education to elite sports analyzing articles in the publications estimated at 64.2% to 35.8%, respectively. The exact reasons for the landslide change of the coverage ratio are still not clear enough albeit there are grounds to expect the relevant transformations in the thematic structure of the flow dissertations on the issues of the national physical education and sports.