The Expert Analytical Centre’s data for the ‘Subject Ranking of Scientific Productivity of Universities – 2019’ shows that Lomonosov Moscow State University and St Petersburg University are well ahead in overall scientific productivity among leading Russian universities. Both universities are in the top five in 19 out of the 21 ranking categories. In the other categories they are in the top ten.

The annual ranking by the Expert Analytical Centre ‘Subject Ranking of Scientific Productivity of Universities’ assesses universities in different subject areas based on indicators of publication activity. This makes this ranking similar to scientometric rankings such as the CWTS Leiden Ranking Leiden and NTU Ranking released by National Taiwan University. The main indicators include: h-indices; the number of citations per publication; and the quality of journals in which university scientific papers are published. They evaluate the three balanced parameters of university scientific productivity. These are: the extent and sustainability of scientific activity; the demand for scientific activity; and growth degree.

In 2019, the ranking has been compiled for 21 subject areas (nominations): ‘Biochemistry’; ‘Humanities’; ‘Engineering’; ‘Artificial Intelligence’; ‘Computer Science’; ‘Mathematics’; ‘Medicine’; ‘Management’; ‘Metallurgy’; ‘Life Sciences’; ‘Earth Sciences’; ‘Materials Science’; ‘General Ecology’; ‘Social Sciences’; ‘Physics’; ‘Chemical Technologies’; ‘Chemistry’; ‘Ecology in Earth Sciences’; ‘Managerial Economics’; ‘Economics’; and ‘Energy Engineering’. The ranking lists represent only the universities whose number of publications makes it possible to evaluate scientific productivity with sufficient reliability. A total of 127 universities are listed in the tables, but most of them are represented in a limited number of subject areas.

Among the universities that are regarded as classical, which means they conduct academic and research activities in a wide range of scientific areas, are: Moscow State University; St Petersburg University; Kazan (Volga region) Federal University; and Ural Federal University. They are represented in 21 scientific fields. Tomsk State University, Novosibirsk State University and Southern Federal Universities are represented in 20 scientific fields. Among the universities that have slightly fewer nominations are: Far Eastern Federal University (17); Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (17); and Siberian Federal University (16).

At the same time, it is obvious that the borderline between classical and specialised (engineering-technical and socio-economic) universities is gradually blurring. Thus, Peter the Great St Petersburg Polytechnic University is represented in 20 areas of knowledge; Tomsk Polytechnic University in 19, ITMO University in 18; Higher School of Economics - National Research University in 16; and National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute) in 15.

St Petersburg University is represented in 21 subject areas which are ranked in the top seven among all universities. In 19 of them it is in the top five, and in 12 of them it is in the top three.

It should be especially noted that the classical university has been ranked high in new areas of knowledge, which are more likely to be classified as engineering ones rather than classical ones. So, St Petersburg University was ranked sixth in ‘Chemical Technology’; fifth in ‘Engineering’; fourth in ‘Energy Engineering’ and ‘Materials Science’; third in ‘Metallurgy’; and second in ‘Computer Science’.

Such stability indicates the high balance of the University’s scientific strategy and the high productivity of research in all subject areas. Compared with the data of a similar ranking in 2018, St Petersburg University has improved its position in subject areas that include: ‘Sociology’; ‘Earth Sciences’; and ‘Mathematics’. Especially significant is the progress in ‘Engineering’. The University has moved from ninth to fifth position.

The data tabulation of the Expert Analytical Centre ranking for particular subjects makes it possible to estimate with high certainty the overall scientific productivity for the ten top Russian universities using different ranking approaches. Whatever approach is used, Lomonosov Moscow State University and St Petersburg University occupy the first two positions. In particular, both universities in 19 out of 21 nominations are in the top five, while in the other categories they are in the top ten. Such stability indicates the high balance of the scientific strategy of universities in various fields.