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Peer-Review Record

Planning Sustainable Economic Development in the Russian Arctic

ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(8), 357;
Reviewer 1: Anonymous
Reviewer 2: Anonymous
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(8), 357;
Received: 13 June 2019 / Revised: 19 July 2019 / Accepted: 30 July 2019 / Published: 13 August 2019

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

 Reviewer has only one suggestion. In Fig. 1. it would be helpful for readers of the paper to add map scale (perhaps graphic one or in numbers as it is done in second map case).

Author Response

Thanks for your comments and you can see my response details on the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

Reviewer 2 Report

The following comments, arranged according to the sections of the manuscript, are recommended for improving the quality of the paper



The abstract is more than 300 words. It is therefore recommended to be condensed by removing the unnecessary details.



-          The introduction has nicely presented the importance of the topic and the need to consider social, economic and ecological/environmental issues in territorial planning in the Russian Arctic zone.

-          However, the knowledge gaps (holes in the literature) that the paper intends to bridge have not been identified. In other words, what are the limitations of the existing methods and algorithms for evaluating regional development components?

-          The authors should make it clear what sets this study apart from related prior works as the justification for its methodological contribution.


Study Area

-          This section should be the first sub-section under the materials and methods section


Materials and methods

-          The source of the database is not provided (no citation), the format of the dataset (Excel, SPSS, STATA, etc.) is also missing, as well as how the authors obtained the data.

-          Some acronyms such as GRP and IINU have not been defined. All acronyms should be defined at first mention

-          Lines 148-149: “Weighting procedure of the assessed factors appeared to be useless in this case”.  Why is that?

-          There is very little information about the methodological procedure of how the GIS-based mapping was done

-          The section should convince the reader that the proposed algorithm is sound, valid, and should describe how it has been validated


Result and discussion

-          The section should discuss the assessment results by comparing them with similar prior studies. That is discussing how the results corroborate or differ from prior studies and the likely explanations.

-          Also, the article's value-added to the literature should be emphasized. In other words, what is presented that is not known before?



-          The conclusion should summarize key findings and state their importance to the field, including implications for methodology, as well as a future research direction.

Author Response

thanks for your comments

Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

This manuscript is a resubmission of an earlier submission. The following is a list of the peer review reports and author responses from that submission.

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

When you mentioned sustainable  development aspects, it would be helpfull to  mention all aspects. Of course there is not strict standardization but to orient readers, it could be good to mentione all others (economical, ecological, technological, cultural heritage, social  and ethical).  Three mentioned aspects in the paper are well explained and documeenteed.

There is mistake in text of Fig. 4a, the correcct word is length.

Reviewer did not find the acronyme TTNU explanation.

Reviewer 2 Report

In my review, I have to address a few comments or questions to Authors:

What is the goal of this paper? As far as I work in the scientific field, the first task given to the science is an explanation of processes of phenomena. I don't see any serious research questions and any serious research problems. I see, that Authors tried to present "elaboration of evaluation method for complex analysis..." line 24, but it should be a topic of the "scientific" paper itself. Of course, we can present a methodology or new methods, but it is usually done in the way of comparisons between different methods with in-depth simulation studies. I don't see any argument for presented method of evaluation. Authors should consider situation, when they will use another method of evaluation, and that method will give completely different results of the analysis...

The text is full of language mistakes. If Authors would like to send this draft to another journal, they should carefully check all language and grammar mistakes and use proper words. For example: l. 66: regions have borders or boundaries, not limits. I can see many grammar constructions of Russian language (which I can speak, although it is not my native) in the text being translated directly into English, but not common for English anymore.

The paper is generally written in an uninformative style. I feel dramatic lack of many basic informations. Among them, the most important, is a time span. I don't know, what the time span of the analysis is. Authors also cited some data, for example, l. 66 "this region contributes to 12% of GDP". GDP of what? Russian GDP, polar regions GDP, and when? In 2016 or 1991-2016, because of "to"? Rather "up to"? Line 73: Realization of 150 investments ... 48% for mineral resources extraction. 48% of total number of investments, or 48% of the total cost of planned investments? I can cite more such kind of "unspoken" thoughts...

Pictures of taiga and tundra should be removed. I think that every reader of this journal knows how they look like.

Material and methods are presented in weak and sometimes incomprehensible manner. Language mistakes produce problems, for example on the fig. 4a. What is total square? Do you mean total area? Are these characteristics in total values or per capita? "Assessment methodology" has to be re-written. This section of the paper is more mathematically or statistically oriented, and should be clear for every researcher who would like to repeat this procedure. Unfortunately, it is not clear. Each symbol, introduced in the text, or presented in formulas, should be described before or just below the formula. For example, in the formula at line 167, I don't know what "k" means. I can see, that k is somehow defined in the formula at line 184, but still don't know the value of t_min and t_max (due to lack of the time span description). What is I_jk, I_ik? Authors in the line 169 declared "main components method". It should be more precisely described. Do you mean Factor Analysis with the main components method? Or maybe you mean Principal Component Analysis? Or anything else?

Due to lack of a satisfactory described methodology, I am not able to comment results and conclusion of this paper. It is not possible because I don't know whether Authors were so careful during calculations of their results as when they were reported them in this paper. Shortly speaking, I cannot judge whether their results are valuable and obtained in a proper, free of errors way.

References should be improved. This journal is in English, which is an international language, while Russian is not. The 15 of total 24 references are available only in Russian language. Even important references related to methodology (Tikunov 1985, 1997) are only in Russian. It generates such feeling, that presented studies have only local interest, or can be interesting for some people who can speak Russian. But generally, 95% of potential readers will not be able to use cited references and discuss methodology of this paper.

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