Biological Journals

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Biological Journals


Reports on biological topics by outstanding naturalists were published in the first scientific journals immediately after they were founded in the second half of the 17th century: Journal des sçavans (Paris, 1665–1792), Philosophical Transactions (London, 1665–1886), and Acta eruditorum (Leipzig, 1682–1731). The appearance of special biological journals is associated with the emergence of scientific societies and academies. The oldest of them, the Leopoldine Academy (Schweinfurt, Germany) began to publish its transactions in 1670 (Miscelánea curiosa médicophysica ...), which to this day appear under various titles. Biological problems occupied a substantial place in these transactions. The state academies of sciences that arose later in most European countries (the Paris, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Swedish, and other academies of sciences) also began to publish their transactions.

Prerevolutionary Russia and the USSR. The biological articles by the first Russian academicians, which were written for specialists primarily in Latin, were published in the Russian scientific periodicals that appeared in the 18th century. Issued by the St. Petersburg Academy, these periodicals included Commentarii Academiae Scientiarum Imperialis Petropolitanae (1728–51), Novi commentarii Academiae Scientiarum Imperialis Petropolitanae (1750–76), Acta Academiae Scientiarum Imperialis Petropolitanae (1778–86), and Nova acta Academiae Scientiarum Imperialis Petropolitanae (1787–1806). The academy also published abstracts of these publications in Russian–for example, Kratkoe opisanie kommentariev Akademii nauk na 1726 god (St. Petersburg, 1728) and Soderzhanie uchenykh rassuzhdenii imp. Akademii nauk (St. Petersburg; 1748, 1750, 1752, and 1754). The first popular scientific publications of the Academy of Sciences in Russian enjoyed much wider distribution: Ezhemesiachnye Sochineniia k pol’ze i uveseleniiu sluzhashchie (St. Petersburg, 1755–57); Sochineniia i perevody k pol’ze i uveseleniiu sluzhashchie (St. Petersburg, 1758–62), Ezhemesiachnye sochineniia i izvestiia o uchenykh delakh (St. Petersburg, 1763–64), Akademicheskie izvestiia (St. Petersburg, 1779–81), and Novye exheme-siachnye sochineniia (St. Petersburg, 1786–96). The first publication completely devoted to natural science, including biology, was A. A. Prokopovich-Antonskii’s journal Magazin natural’noi istorii, fiziki i khimii (Journal of Natural History, Physics, and Chemistry; Moscow, 1788–90), which contained only translated articles. The Novyi magazin estest-vennoi istorii fiziki, khimii i svedenii ekonomicheskikh (New Journal of Natural History, Physics, Chemistry, and Economic Information; Moscow, 1820–30), published by I. A. Dvigubskii, featured translated articles and surveys of the history of science and abstracts of and reports on new discoveries and books. These surveys, abstracts, and reports were compiled by Dvigubskii, together with A. L. Lovetskii and M. A. Maksimovich. The Vestnik estestvennykh nauk i meditsiny (Herald of Natural Sciences and Medicine; Moscow, 1828–29 and 1831–32), published by A. A. Iovskii, devoted considerable space to achievements in physiology and to critiques of trends in natural philosophy.

The appearance of special journals on natural science in Russia is associated with the emergence of scientific societies at the beginning of the 19th century. The scientific journal Biulleten’ Moskovskogo obshchestva ispytatelei prirody (Moscow, 1829—) was intended for specialists and devoted primarily to biology. In addition, the Moscow Society of Naturalists, on the initiative of K. F. Rul’e, published the popular scientific Vestnik estestvennykh nauk (Moscow, 1854–60), which was the first scientific periodical intended for a broad circle of readers. The journal Naturalist, which continued the scientific traditions of the Vestnik estestvennykh nauk i meditsiny and which was also intended for specialists, was published from 1865 to 1868 in St. Petersburg. Journals connected with the activities of the new scientific societies appeared in the 1860’s; among them was Trudy Russkogo entomologicheskogo obshchestva (St. Petersburg-Leningrad, 1861–1932). The Society of Amateur Natural Scientists, Anthropologists, and Ethnologists was founded in Moscow in 1863; it published Izvestiia (Moscow, 1866–1917), which contained articles on anthropology, paleontology, embryology, zoology, and plant morphology and physiology. Later there appeared Trudy Obshchestva ispytatelei prirody pri imp. Khar’kovskom un-te (University of Kharkov, 1869–), Trudy Sankt-Petersburgskogo obshchestva estestvoispytatelei (St. Petersburg, 1870–1914; 1915–17, Trudy Petrogradskogo obshchestva estestvoispytatelei; since 1917, Trudy Leningradskogo obshchestva estestvoispytatelei); Trudy Obshchestva estestvoispytatelei pri imp. Kazanskom un-te (University of Kazan, 1871–), Zapiski Kievskogo obshchestva estestvoispytatelei (Kiev, 1870–), and Zapiski Novorossiiskogo obshchestva estestvoispytatelei (Odessa, 1872–1918; 1927–29, Zapiski Odessko-go obshchestva estestvoispytatelei). Space was also set aside for problems in biology in the collection Priroda (Nature, 1873–77).

The majority of biological journals founded at the turn of the 20th century were publications of scientific institutions. Examples of these were Trudy Sankt-Petersburgskogo botanicheskogo sada (Transactions of the St. Petersburg Botanical Gardens, 1871–1915; 1920–31, Trudy Botanicheskogo sada AN SSSR; since 1933, Trudy Botanicheskogo in-ta AN SSSR [Transactions of the Botanical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR]); Botanicheskie zapiski, published by the Botanical Gardens of the University of St. Petersburg (1886–1916); Arkhiv biologicheskikh nauk (St. Petersburg-Moscow, 1892–1941), the organ of the Institute of Experimental Medicine, which published works mainly in biochemistry, microbiology, and physiology; Ezhegodnik Zoologicheskogo muzeia AN (St. Petersburg-Leningrad, 1896–1931; since 1932, Trudy Zoologicheskogo instituta AN); and Trudy Botanicheskogo sada Iur’evskogo un-ta (1900–14). In Moscow the Society of Amateur Natural Scientists began to publish Russkii antropologicheskii zhurnal (1900–30; 1932–37, Antropologicheskii zhurnal) and Biologicheskii zhurnal (1910–11). The journal Le Physiologiste russe was published from 1898 to 1914. The St. Petersburg Society of Natural Scientists published articles on botany in the Trudy Sankt-Petersburgskogo obshchestva estestvoispytatelei (1870–87) and in separate issues entitled Russkii botanicheskii zhurnal (St. Petersburg, 1908–15). Valuable articles on cultivated and wild plants were contained in the Trudy Biuro po prikladnoi botanike (St. Petersburg, 1908–17). Priroda, the popular scientific journal founded in 1912, was also devoted in considerable measure to problems in biology. Later there appeared Zhurnal mi-krobiologii (Petrograd, 1914–30), Russkii arkhiv anatomii, gistologii i embriologii (Petrograd, 1916–30; since 1931, Arkhiv anatomii, gistologii i embriologii), Zoologicheskii vestnik (Petrograd, 1916–18), Vestnik russkoi flory (Iur’ev, 1915–17), Russkii zoologicheskii zhurnal (founded 1916 by A. N. Severtsov; since 1931, Zoologicheskii zhurnal), Zhurnal Russkogo botanicheskogo obshchestva (founded 1916 by I. P. Borodin; since 1932, Botanicheskii zhurnal SSSR), and Russkii fiziologicheskii zhurnal (founded 1917 by I. P. Pavlov; since 1932, Fiziologicheskii zhurnal SSSR im. I. M. Sechenova).

The intense development of all branches of science in the USSR promoted the specialization of periodicals, including biological journals. Not only was publication of a number of biological journals resumed after the October Revolution, but new ones arose: the survey journal Uspekhi eksperi-mental’noi biologii (Moscow-Leningrad, 1922–29), Zhurnal eksperimental’noi biologii (Moscow, 1925–31; 1932–38, Biologicheskii zhurnal), Zhurnal eksperimental’noi biologii i meditsiny (Moscow-Leningrad, 1925–30), Russkii gidrobiologicheskii zhurnal (Russian Hydrobiological Journal, Saratov, 1921–29; since 1930, Gidrobiologicheskii zhurnal SSSR), Russkii arkhiv protistologii (Russian Archives of Protozoology, Moscow, 1924–29; 1922–23, Arkhiv russkogo protistologicheskogo obshchestva), Uspekhi Sovremennoi biologii (Moscow-Leningrad, 1932–), and others. Investigations of problems in biology and medicine were also published in Mikrobiologicheskii zhurnal (Leningrad-Moscow, 1925–31), Zhurnal mikrobiologii, patologii i infektsionnykh boleznei (Journal of Microbiology, Pathology, and Infectious Diseases, Moscow, 1924–29; 1930–34, Zhurnal mikrobiologii i immunobiologii; since 1935, Zhurnal mikrobiologii, epidemiologii i immunobiologii), Vestnik endokrinologii (Moscow, 1925–36; 1936–41, Problemy endokrinologii), and Trudy po prikladnoi botanike, genetike i selektsii (Leningrad, 1918–).

In addition to those named above, the most important contemporary biological journals published in the USSR are Biofizika (Moscow, 1956–), Biokhimiia (Moscow, 1936–), Vestnik zoologii (Kiev, 1967–), Genetika (Moscow, 1965–), Gidrobiologicheskii zhurnal (Kiev, 1965–), Zhurnal vysshei nervnoi deiatel’nosti im. I. P. Pavlova (I. P. Pavlov Journal of Higher Nervous Activity, Moscow, 1951–), Zhurnal obshchei biologii (Moscow, 1940–), Zhurnal evoliutsionnoi biokhimii i fiziologii (Moscow-Leningrad, 1965–), izvestiia Akademii nauk SSSR: Seriia biologicheskaia (Moscow, 1936–), Mikrobiologiia (Moscow-Leningrad, 1932–), Molekuliarnaia biologiia (Moscow, 1967–), Ontogenez (Moscow, 1970–), Paleontologicheskii zhurnal (Moscow, 1959–), Parazitologiia (Moscow, 1967–), Prikladnaia biokhimiia i mikrobiologiia (Moscow, 1965–), Radiobiologiia (Moscow, 1961–), Rastitel’nye resursy (Plant Resources, Leningrad, 1965–), Fiziologiia rastenii (Physiology of Plants, Moscow, 1954–), Tsitologiia (Cytology, Moscow-Leningrad, 1959–), Tsitologiia i genetika (Kiev, 1967–), Ekologiia (includes biogeocenology; Sverdlovsk, 1970–), and Uspekhi fiziologicheskikh nauk (Moscow, 1970–). The biological sciences are also widely represented in the journals Doklady Akademii nauk SSSR (Moscow, 1922–) and Priroda. The academies of sciences of the Union republics publish biological journals in the languages of the peoples of the USSR. Materials on biology are also published in the periodical organs of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the USSR and the Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences. Biological articles also occupy significant positions in numerous periodicals of universities, institutes, and scientific societies. Referativnyi zhurnal (the series Biologiia, since 1954, and Biologicheskaia khimiia, since 1955), the most complete worldwide abstract journal, aids scientists in keeping abreast of the ever-growing number of Soviet, as well as foreign, biological journals.

The tasks of biological journals in the USSR consist in the broad exchange of biological information, active propaganda for new, advanced trends in biology, and an uncompromising struggle against antiscientific views.

Foreign countries. At the end of the 18th century repeated attempts were made in Western European countries to publish journals on botany, zoology, entomology, and other biological sciences. Most of these publications were shortlived and only a few continue to this day–for example, the journal on animal physiology founded by J. C. Reil, Archiv für Anatomie und Physiologie (Leipzig, 1796–), which is now published as Müllers Archiv für Anatomie und Physiologie. The following journals, which are still published today, were founded at the beginning of the 19th century: Flora (Jena, 1818–) in Germany ; Annales des sciences naturelles (Paris, 1824–) in France, published in botanical and zoological series; and Annals and Magazine of Natural History (London, 1838–; since 1967, Journal of Natural History) in Great Britain. Many biological journals appeared in the middle of the 19th century, among them the German Botanische Zeitung (Berlin-Leipzig, 1843–), Zeitschrift für wissenschaftliche Zoologie (Leipzig, 1848–), Zeitschrift für Biologie (Munich-Berlin, 1865–), Archiv für mikroskopische Anatomie (Bonn, 1865–1925), Archiv für die gesamte Physiologie des Menschen und der Tiere (Bonn, 1868–; now Pflügers Archiv für die gesamte Physiologie des Menschen und der Tiere, Berlin), Zeitschrift für physiologische Chemie (Strasbourg, 1877–; now Hoppe-Seyler’s Zeitschrift für physiologische Chemie, Berlin), Biologisches Zentralblatt (Leipzig, 1881–), and others. Other journals include the French Archives de zoologie expériméntale et générale (Paris, 1872–), the British Journal of Physiology (London, 1878–), the American American Naturalist (Boston, 1867–) and Journal of Morphology (Boston-Philadelphia, 1887–), and the Belgian La Cellule: Recueil de cytologie et d’histologie générale (Louvain, 1884–). Biological journals on biochemistry, morphology, embryology, experimental zoology, and other topics appeared at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. Characteristic in this connection is W. Roux’s journal, founded in 1894, on the “mechanics of development,” Archiv für Entwicklungsmechanik der Organismen (Leipzig, 1894—; now wilhelm Roux’ Archiv fur Entwicklungsmechanik der Organismen), devoted to a new field of investigation—experimental embryology. The Biological Bulletin, whose publication was begun in the USA in 1898 by the Marine Biology Station at Woods Hole, Mass., also has devoted considerable space to problems of development. The Journal of Experimental Zoology (Baltimore, 1904—) exhibits a broader range. Special publications also appeared on parasitology—the British Parasitology (London, 1908—), and the American Journal of Parasitology (Chicago, 1914—)—as well as on ecology and certain types of animals. The emergence of genetics at the beginning of the 20th century led to the appearance of genetics journals in various countries of the world: Zeitschrift für induktive Abstammungs- und Vererbungslehre (Berlin, 1908; since 1967, Molecular and General Genetics) in Germany, Journal of Heredity (Washington, D. C, 1910—) and Genetics (Princeton, N.J., 1916—) in the USA, and Journal of Genetics (Cambridge, 1910—) in Great Britain. In the past 20 years, no less than 20 new journals of general and medical genetics have been added to their number. Progress in the development of cytology led to the appearance of general and specialized journals on cytology—on cell physiology, experimental cytology, cytochemistry, cytogenetics, and even such narrowly specialized journals as Protoplasma (Leipzig, 1926—), Chromosoma (Berlin-Vienna, 1939—), and Caryologia (Turin, 1948—). The rapid growth of biochemistry and biophysics brought about the appearance of many journals on general biochemistry, such as Biochemische Zeitschrift (Berlin, 1906—) and Biochemical Journal (Liverpool, 1906—), and biophysics, as well as on enzymology, radiobiology, photobiology, and other fields. In the field of physiology, biological journals appeared on comparative biochemical and pharmacological physiology, insect physiology, endocrinology, vitaminology, blood circulation, respiration, neuro- and electrophysiology, gerontology, and many other fields. Journals appeared on general and theoretical biology, evolution, molecular biology, history of biology, and others. A total of more than 600 biological journals are published in foreign countries (1969). Abstract journals help users to find information in these periodicals. The principal ones are Berichteüber die gesamte Physiologie und experimentelle Pharmakologie (first published in Berlin in 1920; published in two series since 1926- Series B, Berichte iiber die gesamte Biologie, and series A, Berichte iiber die wissenschaftliche Biologie, since 1969, Berichte iiber Biochemie und Biologie, West Berlin), the American Biological Abstracts (Philadelphia, 1926—), the British British Abstracts of Medical Sciences (London, 1954; since 1956, International Abstracts of Biological Sciences), the French Bulletin signalétique (Paris, 1956—), and the Danish biological series Excerpta medica (Amsterdam, 1947—).


Referativnyi zhurnal: Biologiia, 1968, no. 7. (List of principal continuing periodicals.)
Garrison, F. H. “The Medical and Scientific Periodicals in the 17th and 18th Centuries.” Bulletin of the Institute of the History of Medicine, 1934, vol. 2. no. 5.
Apstein, C, and K. Wasiekowski. Periodica zoologica. Leipzig, 1938.
Liste de périodiques d’entomologie. Brussels, 1966.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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