140 lat pisma kosmos


  • Kazimierz Lech Wierzchowski Instytut Biochemii i Biofizyki PAN, Pawińskiego 5a, 01-106 Warszawa, Polska

Słowa kluczowe:

historia pisma Kosmos, Polskie Towarzystwo Pzryrodników im. Kopernika


The history of KOSMOS and present standing of the journal are shortly outlined on the occasion of its 140. anniversary.
KOSMOS has been founded by The Polish Copernicus Society of Naturalists, as a monthly scientific almanac, the first volume of which has been published 140 years ago in 1886. The aim of the journal was to help the Society to fulfill its statuary objectives - advancement of knowledge in the field of natural sciences, in particular of physiographical ones, as well as cataloguing and protection of monuments of nature. Therefore, content of the journal included both original and review papers, chronical and bibliographic notes. Although the seat of the Society and the journal was then in the city of Lwow, within the Austrian Partition of Poland (called The Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria), KOSMOS served also polish authors and readers from the Russian and Prussian Partitions, and from abroad. The journal has been published in Lwow also after formation of the Polish Republic (1918) until the II World War. Appearance of specialized learned societies and journals, forced The Polish Copernicus Society of Naturalists in 1928 to split KOSMOS into two series with identical numeration of the volumes: Series A, Dissertations (original papers with English or French summaries), and Series B, Reviews (devoted to popularization of science). After the War, KOSMOS was reactivated in 1952, in Warsaw, as a review journal devoted solely to popularization of biological sciences and with anew volume's numeration. For a couple of years (1952-1956) the journal has been extensively used for insemination of pseudo-scientific ideas of Lysenkoism in genetics and evolutionary biology, recognized at that time as obligatory ones in the USSR. With the appearance of a younger generation of editors, in the middle of 70-thies of the former century, a stepwise modernization of the journal has begun. There were introduced: thematic issues devoted to current topics and organized mostly by invited guest-editors, English summaries of articles, modern graphical layout with an added journal's subtitle "Problems of biological sciences" (1997), and finally - a parallel, freely accessible, internet edition (since 2002). Information about the content, editor(s) names and their institutional affiliation, and year of publication of the thematic issues in the period 1983-2015 is presented in tabular form in the text. Also tabulated is statistical information about the number of researchers affiliated with particular scientific institutions who authored or co-authored papers published in the period of 2000-2015, documenting that majority of the authors were affiliated with universities and institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences of broadly recognized high scientific standing. Statistical information indicating high popularity of the journal's internet edition is presented in the form of plots: (i) of the number of visits from individual IP's of the readers and the number of articles downloaded monthly between 2002 and 2015, and (ii) of the number of articles downloaded during the whole year 2015 from particular archival volumes 2002-2014. In spite of the high standing and popularity of the journal, the Society encounters steady financial problems with coverage of its publication cost. This is mainly due to insufficient and fluctuating support from the public funds. A helping hand has been offered recently by the authorities of the Nicolas Copernicus University in Toruń, the Scientific Publishing House of which became co-publisher of KOSMOS since 2012.


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