The Mimicking Of Creativity For The Science Management Methods Development


The publication is an attempt to analyze topical and relevant issues for the scientific and educational spheres: the mimicking of scientific creativity. The evolutionary origins of this trend, opened the socio-economic, historical, and other source of this phenomenon, as an imitation of scientific creativity are revealed. A special role in the present analysis assigned contradictory in nature and social implications of the process of computerization and dissemination of Internet-technologies. There is a tendency toward the absolutization of formal results and quantitative indicators of scientific creativity to the detriment of qualitative and substantial parameters. The tendency of scientific creativity mimicking in the presented research is also associated with the general thrust of the processes of socio-economic development in the post-Soviet lands, such as the commercialization of science and the educational sphere, as well as with some mental features of the psychology of postcolonial thinking. Prerequisites are established that are conducive to mimicking scientific creativity in the student community. Formalization of the procedure for assessing the quality of scientific work, including student work, leads students to choose pragmatically correct methods of "optimization" of intellectual work, often ending down to clever and rational compilation. Regretfully, the authors note the organic connection that exists between the mimicking of student scientific creativity, similar processes in the scientific community and unsuccessful attempts to control science. The limitations of such way for assessing the quality of scientific creativity as the method of quotation-index are noted.

Keywords: Imitationdestructioneducational trendsquote-index method


In the 70s - 80s of the twentieth century, the rapid rise of science and education in the USSR, which took place in the first half of the century, was replaced by obvious stagnation. After the collapse of the USSR on December 26, 1991, stagnation in the Russian science and education gave way to long-term permanent destruction, the consequences of which are still felt today. One of the reasons for this negative process is a mimicking of creativity, when real educational and research activities are replaced by the implementation of a formal requirements system, according to which the governing structures evaluate the quality and success of the indicated activity.

Problem Statement

In this article, the identification of historical, mental, managerial and other prerequisites for mimicking creativity in Russian science and education is relevant. The latter will make it possible to understand the mechanism of the spread of this phenomenon, its greater stability, which turns into indestructibility, as well as the reasons for its inherent tendency to epidemic spread. In the future, clarification of the essence of this phenomenon will open the way to the search for new, non-trivial methods to minimize it.

Research Questions

It is necessary to understand whether mimicking of creativity is a natural consequence of the institutionalization of education and science, or is it a random deviation in the course of the generally positive process of production and dissemination of knowledge. It is also necessary to understand whether mimicking of creativity is determined by the specific features of Russian civilization, or whether its character is universal. Finally, it is necessary to clarify the relationship between the management mechanisms of science and education and the mimicking of creativity: whether it is necessary in nature, or whether such a relationship is random.

Purpose of the Study

The aim of the work is to study the phenomenon of creativity mimicking based on the material of management techniques of Soviet and Russian science. The goal involves the following tasks.

  • To consider the specifics of destructive processes initiated by the peculiarities of Soviet administrative techniques, contributed ultimately to the collapse of the USSR

  • To consider the consequences of classifying education as a service sector in modern Russia.

  • To consider the negative processes of creativity mimicking associated with computerization and modern Internet technologies.

  • To consider the historical and cultural sources of the creativity mimicking processes in Russia.

  • To carry out a futurological forecast of the subsequent dynamics of the processes of creativity mimicking in Russia, in terms of transforming the aforementioned mimicking into a simulation.

Research Methods

To solve the tasks we use the following research methods.

  • First, one should point to traditional dialectical techniques, such as the methods of historical and logical unity and ascent from the abstract to the concrete.

  • Secondly, we used the methods of hermeneutic and system analysis.

  • Thirdly, such traditional research techniques as analysis and synthesis, explanation, description, comparison, observation are partially used.


One of the authors of this article first encountered the problem of f creativity mimicking back in the 80s of the twentieth century, during the existence of the USSR (Filatov, 1988). Then the simplest method of assessing the effectiveness of scientific activity, known as the method of counting the number of publications, was used (Khaitun, 1983). In other words, the effectiveness of scientific activity was measured by the number of monographs, articles and printed pages issued by the author.

This fact gave rise to a number of problems, which subsequently played an important role in the deployment of destructive processes, which ultimately led to the collapse of the USSR. The fact is that the thinking person and the society organized by him is a feedback system. In other words, the study of a natural object does not imply that the object is explored by itself.

Accordingly, in classical science of the 17-19th centuries, the successes were most significant in the field of natural science, the object of research is nature, matter which was considered as something completely passive, while any activity was attributed exclusively to the knowing subject. In the work “Time of a picture of the world” by Martin Heidegger holds the idea that only in the New Time a person as a subject, contrasts himself with the world, which he considers as a picture (Heidegger, 1993). That is, we add from ourselves, the scientist's view is a view of the world from the outside, as a picture, while the view of a poet, philosopher, priest, etc. - this is a view of the world from the inside, since the above representatives of various types of spiritual activity feel drawn into this world as parts of it, while the scientist is objective, and this ideal is realized, first of all, in astronomy, where we observe processes for which there is no way not able to influence. What, for example, has changed in the life of mankind after it learned that in one and a half billion years, our Milky Way galaxy will perish when it collides with the Andromeda Nebula? Absolutely nothing.

In the twentieth century, during the non-classical and post-non-classical science formation period, if we use the terminology of Stepin (2000), the active formation of the social and human sciences began (p. 626). At the same time, many methods that had previously shown their high efficiency in the field of natural sciences were mechanically transferred to the social and humanitarian sphere. There are many examples of this kind, but the most famous of them are the notorious Taylorism (Velikiy, 2008), the modification of which in the USSR was called the scientific organization of labor (SOL), as well as the positivistic direction in psychology, known as behaviorism (Fedorov, 2013). In general, one cannot deny the effectiveness of this kind of conceptual transferences and conceptual vaccinations, however, would like to draw attention to the negative point of such a methodology, which is to exaggerate the role of the formal side of the matter to the detriment of the substantive, as well as the priority of the quantitative (mathematical) description of the studied object relative to the qualitative (verbal) of its description.

As applied to the processes of science management, such a negative moment was manifested, first of all, in the lack of understanding by the managers and countless verifiers of the creative nature of scientific activity, in contrast to the mechanical nature of physical labor. If the physical labor of a worker or employee is reduced to assessing the norms of production and working time spent on the production of a particular product, in particular, the speed of technological operations, the speed of customer service, etc., then the mental work of a scientist, engineer, writer, artist, etc., it is impossible to evaluate with any quantitative parameters, for example, the number of pages written or paintings drawn. It is even more ridiculous to evaluate spiritual work by the amount of labor time spent by one or another specialist. For example, in Russian universities, the salaries of teachers are still directly dependent on the number of training lessons, i.e. from their training load, just as the wage of a supermarket cashier is determined by the amount of time spent by him at the checkout.

It is no coincidence that the education sector in Russia is currently equated with the service sector (Filimontseva, 2014), so if a teacher puts a student a bad examination mark, the student may well accuse the examiner of providing him with low-quality educational services.

The problem, however, is not about this, but about understanding society as a feedback system. In modern Russia, teachers' salaries are estimated by the amount of labor time (load), and the one (load) is calculated based on the number of students trained by him. Moreover, funding for universities is also tied to the number of students studying in them. In the conditions of fierce competition between universities for applicants and the educational contingent, which was intensified by the active creation of the State Universities Branches, as well as the process of creating Non-State Educational Institutions, which began actively in the 90s of the twentieth century, modern universities are not interested in expelling under-performing; as 10-12 expelled students mean job loss for one teacher. In other words, maintaining the level of requirements for students at a fairly high level in today's Russia is a suicidal policy both for universities and for individual teachers. That is, in the name of maintaining a quantitative indicator (the number of students), universities are sacrificing a qualitative indicator (the ability to work effectively in the relevant field). Result: the percentage of people with diplomas of graduation from a university in modern Russian society has long surpassed any similar indicators of the USSR, but the level of professionalism of specialists of the new formation has a clear downward trend. Moreover, the problems begin even in the school, where the mechanical methodology of the test assessment of knowledge has spread, when the final assessment, which allows the applicant to enter the university, is formed by the results of the unified state examinations (USE), which have a test grade-rating structure.

Teachers who have worked at universities for thirty years or more can confirm that the quality of training of applicants and students is slowly but steadily decreasing every year, as well as the requirements for students in the course of the educational process.

Spiritual activity includes educational one as a necessary element. Without the training of qualified engineering and research personnel in the country, there can be no progressive science and dynamically developing technology. At the same time, science and education can be considered as peculiar communicating vessels. As a result, the problems generated by the ineffective management of science, initiate the corresponding problems in the educational sphere, and the problems in education naturally affect the level of development of science and the general climate in it, when the corresponding personnel, having received education, begin an active professional life in science.

A classic example of this kind of mutual influence: the tragic consequences of the computerization of the domestic education system. While in the pre-computer era, in preparing reports for seminars, writing term papers and dissertations, students primarily worked in libraries with print publications, today they mostly use materials posted on the Internet. At the same time, demand for such materials generated supply. The latter led to the formation of a specific shadow sector of the economy, whose representatives provide educational services for writing control, term papers and dissertations, etc. for a moderate fee (Sitkareva, 2013). Moreover, various advertising of the relevant services is carried out quite openly and, presumably, formally does not contradict modern Russian legislation.

What is the outcome of this process? At present, a student who independently conducts research, writes articles, etc., looks the same as a 19th-century poet would look, writing his masterpieces with a goose feather, if he fell in our time. Why experience the pangs of creativity if you can find the finished product directly on the network, using elementary search skills? In other words, free creativity is no longer required from a student. The task of universities is to teach him to effectively mimicry the creative process.

When education is actively talking about creativity (Vodyanik, 2015), this clearly indicates a deficit of this kind of creativity in reality. Yes, and this creativity itself does not at all involve cultivating a passion for writing, but only instilling interest in the technique of retelling other people's thoughts. It would be naive to suppose that a wave of creativity mimicking, the taste of which was instilled from school and which is gaining strength during the period of high school education, suddenly stops and bashfully surges away at the threshold of the “temple of science”. Nothing like this. Graduates of universities, having mastered the appropriate techniques, begin to actively concoct scientific articles, publishing them in journals from the list of the Higher Attestation Commission, and then it comes to monographs and dissertations. Again, demand creates supply, so a new type of service has gradually been structured in Russia: this time for writing scientific articles, monographs, and dissertations. Information about the latter ones can be found on the website of the Dissernet network community (Abalkina, 2013), not to mention how strange and paradoxical can be subtracted in papers of this kind.

Here we are faced with another paradoxical consequence of periodically attempts to control science in Russia. In so far as the articles and other works of imitators are not objectively of scientific interest, as a rule, they are not read by anyone except the authors themselves. Moreover, even the authors themselves do not read them. Indeed, finding on the Internet the text I need to create a compilation, I do not read it, but look through it. The death of the author, about which R. Bart spoke (Bart, 1989), does not even represent so much the death of the writer as the death of the reader. The question is how, from the official’s point of view, from education, and not only Russian, to raise the quality of scientific articles to such a level that they are at least read? The answer is obvious: it is necessary to introduce one more parameter for evaluating scientific activity, which would take into account the degree of readability of an author. How, however, to determine such an elusive parameter? Obviously this is not possible. But to assess the degree of popularity of a scientist in a particular scientific community, the quote-index method is quite suitable (Khaitun, 1983, p. 86-121), which allows to evaluate the frequency of citation of a scientist’s work in a specific information base. For this purpose, the Hirsch Index is used in Russia, the experience of which in Russia was analyzed earlier in another article by the authors (Romanov & Filatov, 2018). Developing the theme stated earlier, we would like to draw attention to one of the paradoxical consequences of such technique using as an accreditation parameter for evaluating the activities of a scientist. The goal of quotation-index methods is obvious and even noble: to initiate more attention of scientists to the work of their colleagues. Suppose, as an honest scientist, I will be perfectionally shoveling a larger number of my fellow compilers works per unit of time, demonstrating the Stakhanov pace of work, and Stakhanov, as you know, mined coal. At the same time, borrowing interesting facts from their works, I will refer to them as completely conscientious scientists. And where did these very scientists get the facts from? From the Internet in the process of compiling their works. And where did this information get on the Internet? Highly likely from the unverified source. Thus, the scientist’s preoccupation with his popularity in terms of citation initiates the legitimization of fake information in science. Not to mention the fact that demand once again creates supply, and on the Internet there have already been announcements about the organization of promotion of scientific works in terms of citing them.

The above information shows the importance of taking into account the phenomenon of creativity mimicking in Russian science, which allows us to consider this phenomenon not internally, but externally - in the context of the phenomenon of mimicking in Russian culture in general.

Most researchers genetically associate the focus on mimicking in Russian culture with the reforms of Peter the Great, who has embarked on the Europeanization of the country. The processes launched by the Peter’s Reforms, some domestic researchers interpret as “internal colonization” (Etkind, 2002). Peter forcibly imposed in Russia a European way of life alien to the most Russian people, which they adopted purely externally, simulating it by wearing European clothes, shaving beards, explaining in European languages, etc., but never becoming Europeans at heart. Again, the Reforms of Peter the Great, like any reforms in Russia, were inconsistent and touched only the nobility of society, while ordinary people adhered to traditional cultural principles.

It is noteworthy that the cultural behavior algorithm described in relation to Russia is universal for any colonized community in general. The peculiarity of Russia lies only in the fact that it did not wait until the Europeans forcibly colonized it, and preventively colonized itself “voluntarily”. Any colonized people perceives a foreign culture as alien, imposed by force from the outside. For this reason, the unnatural and alienated colonial culture that arises as a response to lack of freedom is a culture of mimicking.

Consider the above with a simple example. When an Englishman speaks English, he simply puts his thoughts into words. When Russian (German, Spaniard, Chinese, etc.) tries to speak English, he frantically “sticks” his Russian thoughts into unsuitable linguistic constructions of the English language. As a result, the thought is distorted, and its expression in speech becomes unnatural.

And so in everything. The foregoing allows us to recall Spengler's pseudomorphoses (Spengler, 2017, p. 647), or the historically earlier concept of Byzantism by Konstantin Leontiev (Severikova, 2012). In this regard, colonial culture is always secondary to the culture of the mother country and, moreover, it is a parody of the culture of the mother country, anecdotal distortion of the latter.

It does not follow from the foregoing that in Russia, as well as in other countries that were colonized by the West, whether internal or external, there were no original thinkers. Of course, they were, are and will be, and even in the most inappropriate conditions for this. The question is different: how did representatives of their own cultural community relate to these thinkers? In this regard, we can recall the reaction of colleagues Vasily Rozanov to his first serious academic monograph on the problem of understanding (Rozanov, 1995). They sincerely wondered which of the German philosophers Rozanov wrote off his work. At the same time, the idea was not even allowed that a scientist in Russia could compose something efficient himself, without borrowing, or rather, mechanically rewriting European authors.

It is noteworthy that this kind of postcolonial thinking is still present in Russian public consciousness. And it has a foundation under it. For example, after the collapse of the USSR among Russian philosophers mainly philologists are in the trend. This circumstance is explained in an elementary way. The aforementioned philologists translate the texts of Western philosophers, as well as compile detailed compilations of these texts with relevant comments and explanations. In general, the line between the philologist and the philosopher in this sense is extremely thin. If a philologist must convey a foreign language text with minimal distortion, then the philosopher considers the source text as material for his subsequent philosophizing, through the free interpretation (namely, distortion!) of the source text. However, the philosopher really philosophizes, while the philologist only mimicries philosophizing, retelling in his own words a foreign text.

Let us turn to another belated reform carried out by officials from science and education only after the mechanical downloading of other people's texts, even without serious editing, has moved from the field of student tests, essays, term papers and graduate qualification works, to the field of writing scientific articles, candidate and doctoral dissertations. This is the Anti-Plagiarism system (Pavlova, 2015), the check through which various science-like texts is gradually becoming mandatory. Its only real effect is that in order to increase the degree of originality of the text, the fragments downloaded from the Internet are edited in the sense that the alien fragment is reproduced not verbatim, but retold. Since any reform in Russia tends to be absurd, lawyers, for example, are required to retell legislation in their own words so that the originality of the text matches the required values.


Let’s summarize the main results:

1. What are the reasons for mimicking creativity in Russian education and in Russian science? In our opinion, they should be sought in the general philosophical plane. Creativity can be based only on free, inalienable labor. When a creator turns from a free man into a slave, who is forced to work through various kinds of economic and administrative coercion, his work turns into an estranged one, and the most rational answer to this kind of alienation is mimicking of creative activity. In this case, a vicious circle arises: the more actively coercion to creative activity is carried out, the more the quality of the products of this activity decreases, which, in turn, leads to the search for new, more effective ways of coercion, and this, in turn, forces individuals forced to work look for new forms of mimicking of creativity. There is only one way out of this vicious circle: the liberation of scientific work, or at least the weakening of administrative pressure on it.

2. Strengthening the process of creativity mimicking leads to the fact that the researcher does not begin to reproduce original scientific texts, but their earlier imitations, so that, in the end, the original fragments are lost in the stream of primary, secondary, tertiary, etc. their compilation, as a result of which the mimicking is gradually transformed into a simulation (in the sense of Baudrillard (2018)). Products of this kind of activity can be defined as simulacra - copies of non-existent originals.

3. Since for Russia as a society with a colonial and post-colonial consciousness, copying of Western standards of behavior and thinking has become an essential factor in social evolution, starting from the time of Peter the Great, mimicking is implanted in the minds of people initially, in all its totality, that is, it covers not only the sphere of scientific creativity, but also any sphere of social activity. The economic rise of China is largely due to global processes in the global economy, when the duration of the products functioning does not play such a significant role as before, since their obsolescence is ahead of their physical depreciation. In this sense, “disposable” Chinese goods are more preferable for the mass consumer than competitor products due to their lower price. Similarly, the initial tendency of the Russian mentality to mimicry and simulate can turn from a negative into a positive development factor in the context of the spread of cognitive technologies based on virtual reality and computer modeling.


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09 March 2020

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Romanov*, D. V., & Filatov, T. V. (2020). The Mimicking Of Creativity For The Science Management Methods Development. In S. I. Ashmarina, & V. V. Mantulenko (Eds.), Global Challenges and Prospects of the Modern Economic Development, vol 79. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 726-733). European Publisher.