Introduction. The article examines the ambiguity of the terms ‘scientist’, ‘research associate’ etc. in Russia and abroad, indicates the absence of a clear, regulation-backed definition of the concept of ‘scientist’ and emphasises the imperfection of the doctrinal approach to defining this term, reflected in the model legislation in particular. The study aims to analyse the legal status of scientists in Russia and abroad, considering the regulatory ambiguity and the existence of numerous adjacent terms. Methods. The methodological basis of the study is represented both by general scientific methods and specialised (legal) methods, as well as a set of concepts, approaches and principles relevant to the legal regulation of the status of actors involved in research activity in Russia and abroad. We also use the comparative legal method, which helps us draw a parallel between the legal status of Russian and foreign scientists. In turn, the formal legal method gets applied while analysing the current legislation and doctrinal approaches to the legal meaning behind the term ‘scientist’ and adjacent categories. The methods used do have some notable limitations: for instance, it is impossible to fully apply the formal legal approach. Results and Discussion. Based on the results of the study and assessment of the opinions of researchers that have already discussed similar issues, we arrive at three main conclusions. Firstly, in order to make terminology legally unambiguous, clear distinctions must be drawn between the names of essential science-related professions: scientist, researcher, educator etc. Secondly, the development of international research collaboration requires unified global standards that determine the legal status of scientists. Thirdly, we suggest improving the system of science funding to prevent the ‘drain’ of research personnel. Conclusion. We emphasise that the ongoing modernisation of national legislation on science is already making progress in bringing the legal status of scientists in Russia in line with international standards. That said, so far, the results of the work done indicate only superficial terminological borrowings, without any significant content processing.
Research actor, scientist, researcher, educator, laws on science
Anton A. Vasiliev, Dr.Sci. (Law), Associate Professor, Director of the Law Institute, Head of the Department of Theory and History of State and Law, Altai State University (68 Socialist Ave., Barnaul 656049, Russia), ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3122-531X. His sphere of expertise includes issues of theory and history of state and law, scientific law.
Yulia V. Pechatnova, Postgraduate Student, Altai State University (68 Socialist Ave., Barnaul 656049, Russia), ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3091-990X. Her sphere of expertise includes questions of theory and history of state and law, scientific law.