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(Science), the largest scientific publishing house in the USSR.

The beginning of scientific book publishing in Russia dates to 1727, when the “academic printing plant” was opened under the administration of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. In the 18th century the academy was the principal publishing center and issued not only works by members of the academy and by Russian writers but also world classics of science and literature. From 1726 to 1915 the academy published more than 3,000 titles in Russian and foreign languages. During World War I (1914–18) and the Civil War (1918–20), the annual publication of scientific literature was cut by more than half.

In 1923, to reestablish and develop scientific book publishing, the Publishing House of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR was founded. In 1934, in connection with the transfer of the Academy of Sciences from Leningrad to Moscow, the publishing house was also moved to Moscow. In 1963 the Publishing House of Physicomathematical Literature and the Publishing House of Oriental Literature were added to it. The Publishing House of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR was renamed the Nauka Publishing House, and it acquired a dual subordination: to the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and to the State Committee of the Council of Ministers of the USSR on Publishing, Printing, and the Book Trade.

The Nauka Publishing House is a complex of publishing institutions, printing enterprises, and book-trade organizations. It has two branches (in Leningrad and Novosibirsk); two main editorial offices (one for physicomathematical literature and one for Oriental literature); about 50 specialized editorial offices, divided according to subject matter; and a specialized editorial office, Obshchestvennye Nauki i Sovremennost’ (Social Sciences and Modern Times), which publishes materials in foreign languages for readers abroad. Nauka’s administration extends to four printing plants (two in Moscow and one each in Leningrad and Novosibirsk) and the Akademkniga book-trade organization, which has 12 independent distribution offices and 28 stores in the country’s largest cities.

Nauka publishes transactions of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and of its divisions, institutes, scientific councils, and departments. The proportion of publications according to subject matter is as follows: physics and mathematics, 22 percent; geology and geography, 13 percent; chemistry and biology, 17 percent; other natural and technical sciences, 8 percent; and social sciences, about 40 percent.

Nauka publishes mainly monographs (more than 60 percent of the titles), and also topical collections, reference works, textbooks, and translated literature. Among the serial publications are Literaturnoe nasledstvo (Literary Heritage), Literaturnye pamiatniki (Monuments of Literature), Klassiki nauki (Classics of Science), Nauchno-biograficheskaia seriia (Scientific Biography Series), Vtoraia mirovaia voina ν issledovaniiakh, vospominaniiakh i dokumentakh (World War II in Research, Memoirs, and Documents), and the series Nauchno-populiarnaia literatura (Popular-Scientific Literature).

In 1972 the Nauka Publishing House issued 135 scientific journals, including 31 in physics and mathematics, 24 in chemistry, 29 in biology, and five in popular science (Priroda [Nature], Khimiia i zhizn’ [Chemistry and Life], Zemlia i Vselennaia [Earth and the Universe], Kvant [Quantum], and Russkaia rech’ [Russian Speech]).

The total publication output in 1972 was more than 50,500 publisher’s record sheets (including about 2,000 titles, with more than 32,000 sheets, and more than 1,100 issues of journals, with a total of 18,400 sheets).

More than 10 percent of the books printed are exported, and about one-third of the journals are translated into foreign languages abroad.

Nauka was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor in 1973.