The development of the Open Access (OA) journals system, its advantages, anddisadvantages are discussed. The bibliometric statistics on Russian research performance(RP) were collected from the Science Citation Index – Expanded (SCI-E) for the period 2008-2017. During this period, Russian researchers published about 34,160 articles in Gold OAjournals which share in the total Russian research performance (303,877 articles) accounts for11.2 percent. The usage pattern of Gold OA journals shows a stable growth rate of publications from 7.8% in 2008 up to 13.7% in 2017. Despite the high cost of OA publications, the Russian Academy of Sciences has the highest share (58.6%) of OA papers. We assume that this is an impact of a robust international collaboration of Russian researchers with the US (31%), Germany (29%) and other industrialized countries that cover the cost of collaborative publications. Among the funding organizations that aim to promote Russian participation in the OA system a critical role belongs to the Russian Science Foundation, the Russian Foundation for Basic Research as well as to CNRS (France), the US National Science Foundation and others. The international collaboration and government appropriations for research in universities had substantial impact on citations score: share of Gold OA highly cited articles amounted to 52% out of the Russian total RP. Leading Research Areas (RA in SCI-E) of Gold OA publications turned out to be entirely different compared with a disciplinary structure in total Russian RP. As an example, one of the most critical research areas in the world - "Scientific Technologies" ranked the third place compared to the ninth place in the total Russian RP. Russian scientists widely use the highest quality foreign journals of the Gold OA system indexed in SCI-E, the only Russian OA journal indexed in SCI-E is “Physics of Condensed Matter” which has the highest share of all Russian publications in Gold OA journals.
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