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For Real Cutting-Edge Science, Get Out Your Floppy Disks And Word 6.0

  • Anna Shamanska

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Advancement is a mainstay of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Of mathematics. Of biology. Of linguistics. And the list goes on.

But the country's prestigious national science network appears to have a soft spot for the archaic., a Russian website that specializes in news about government grants, has published regulations for a competition among research papers organized by the Academy of Sciences that requires authors to submit personal questionnaires typed in Word 6.0 -- an ancient program by industry standards that was released in 1993 and has been superseded many times over -- and saved on 3.5-inch floppy disks, the plastic-lined storage tool that went on the market in 1971 and is practically nonexistent any more.

The requirements said the academy also would accept research papers produced on a typewriter.

After the story went viral, the Academy of Sciences clarified that the regulations as published by were actually from the year 2002 and simply had not yet been updated.

"We don't have computers with floppy disks -- where would we get them?" the head of the academy's press department, Valentina Kameneva, told Interfax, adding to the journalist: "We work like you do -- on contemporary equipment with contemporary software."

In fact, contest regulations found on the academy's own website from 2015 do allow slightly more room for the technologically inclined. Applicants can submit via CD, flash drive, memory card, or -- if they'd like -- floppy disk.

Still, the documents format has not changed all that much -- the newest software the academy can handle is Microsoft Office Word 2003. Typewritten papers are still accepted, too.

Either way, the fact that the Russian Academy of Sciences accepts floppy disks and typewritten papers baffles some.

"Selling floppy-disk drive. Expensive. Discounts for scientists," one person tweeted.

"Disclaimer, sending works on floppy disks doesn't deprive authors of a right to send them as handwritten manuscripts and punch cards," another Twitter-user wrote.

About This Blog

Using regional media and the reporting of Current Time TV's wide network of correspondents, Anna Shamanska will tell stories about people and society you are unlikely to read anywhere else.

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