versión impresa ISSN 0004-2803
Arq. Gastroenterol. vol.49 no.1 São Paulo enero/mar. 2012
Joel FaintuchI; Ricardo Guilherme ViebigII
Headings: Scientific and technical publications. Manuscripts, medical. Editorial policies. Nutrition, public health.
In 1840 a modest publication appeared in the United Kingdom, the Provincial Medical and Surgical Journal, nowadays the famous British Medical Journal. By that time medical activity already faced professional challenges and dilemmas. One editorial emphasized that the best way of advancing in the debate was to regularly publish all medically relevant issues and problems(1).
Almost two centuries later the doubt is not anymore why to publish, but what, where, when, and with which standard of excellence. Nowadays everyone feels threatened by the devouring sphynx and its new riddle of "publish or perish". Whoever is not in the media becomes anonymous or almost so, and media for doctors are preferentially renowned and respected publications with high impact, thus able to convey status, credibility and wide repercussion to submitted studies.
One may identify here two encroaching circles, one virtuous and the other vicious. From one side there are limited and vulnerable communications, with unsophisticated methodology and unconvincing results.
Journals that agree to publish them are exposing themselves to criticism and may in the future only receive similarly fragile submissions, with the risk of progressive irrelevance. The opposite is true as well. Elite publications with first class articles attract the best authors and protocols in a rich-gets-richer effect, therefore tending to become even more prestigious and powerful.
It becomes obvious that everybody should quest for excellence and escape the abyss. However even councillor Acacio, created by the writer Eça de Queiroz, would lough at the mediocrity of this conclusion. One needs more than good intentions to reach such aim. Almost all current advices extol the importance of cooperative efforts and the union of forces.
Solitary genius investigators still exist, conducting innovative and pioneering studies year after year. By the same token isolated journals with small author circles sometimes maintain top quality. In most circumstances however, there is no alternative for a broad and solid supporting base.
Albert Einstein succeeded in deducting some of the most fundamental laws and equations of the universe nearly without human or material help. He equipped himself with pencil, paper and mathematical formulas, during the free time on his job in Bern at the "Eidgenossisches Institut fur Geistiges Eigentum", the Swiss agency for patents and intellectual property.
In contrast, modern science is hardly viable without ambitious, complicated and expensive protocols and experimental designs. Generation of meaningful knowledge is becoming less and less probable in the absence of collaborative teams, resources, disciplines and technologies(2).
The Brazilian Society of Clinical Nutrition was born in the remote year of 1975, and the Journal has been regularly published for more than three decades. Nevertheless, the time has come for greater proximity with a more robust and well established publication, which has successfully tackled big challenges of indexation and circulation and will overcome many more, namely the ARCHIVES of GASTROENTEROLOGY.
It is therefore in the spirit of friendship and fraternity that the meal arrives to the gastrointestinal tube, or better, that nutrition seeks lodgement under the welcoming roof of Gastroenterology. There are reasons to believe that a true synergy will follow, with the whole growing bigger than the sum of its parts. From one side the Archives already accept contributions geared toward nutrition, obesity, bariatric surgery and correlated subjects. From the other side, many professionals in the area of enteral and parenteral nutrition are physically or intellectually housed in services of gastroenterology or digestive surgery, bearing witness to their appreciation of these specialties.
Toasts, particularly alcoholic ones, have become politically incorrect in the XXI century, however there is no way of completely avoiding them. May this event be a harbinger of a luminous future, and may the ARCHIVES of GASTROENTEROLOGY, now encompassing Clinical Nutrition, march from triumph to triumph, for the pride of those who subscribe its pages and abide by its respected editorial line.
1. Anonymous. Necessity of publishing a condensed analysis of parliamentary evidence. Prov Med Surg J (1840). 1841;1:271-2. [ Links ]
2. Scobba V. PS1-36. The collaborative research library: creative strategies for the advancement of scholarship. Clin Med Res. 2011;9:167-8. [ Links ]