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Rev. Bras. Frutic. vol.31 no.2 Jaboticabal June 2009
'New impact factor'
The new CAPES classification for the Brazilian scientific magazines, which has been recently divulged, showed preoccupation in stimulating the quality of our magazines; however it disappointed several periodicals, because they didn't believe in seeing their work being worth it, and among them it is RBF.According to the new classification, we were placed in the level B2. It is important to emphasize that, by the new classification; there was no magazine in the Agricultural Science field that reached level A. This disappointment that is manifested by several magazines (also in other fields), stimulated us to inform this preoccupation to ABEC (Brazilian Association of Scientific Editors), so that it can assume a position.
In this new classification, it was predominantly the impact factor index adhered by ISI, not taking into account, for example, that the RBF had just been indexed on December 2007. In this way, there weren't data from JCR in the two previous years.
The current impact factor, an important factor in the new classification, considers the number of times that the works of a 'good' magazine were used in the composition of such any other 'good' magazines, and vice versa. We can understand by 'good' magazine, the one which is indexed to recommended data bases, such as SciELO, ISI, etc., and in the more specific case of RBF, which besides these indexes, is also present in: CAB, AGRIS, AGROBASE, and we have just been indexed to the THE GALE GROUP.
According to our point of view, this new classification should consider the type of the magazine and its public, and not just the impact index. For instance, little attention is given in relation to the way that the published works were used by the final user and, in the case of the Brazilian Fruticulture Magazine, by the fruit producer and, specially by the Brazilian producers and technicians, who should be the final receivers of these works.
If we define what an ideal producer is, we will see the actions that needed to be adopted by the various segments involved in the productive chain of a fruit. I particularly appreciate the definition 'ideal producer = it is the one that uses all the available technical information, commercializes the production and tries to aggregate value to the product'. We will see that a good research needs to contemplate all the aspects of the productive chain and, afterwards, it is necessary that the means of diffusion of this information be efficient.
We understand that we should improve the diffusion of information in agricultural sciences, and as the RBF editor, we have been requesting the authors of published scientific works to write a more journalistic note about the subject, making it possible to divulge them among the electronic means of communication. However, we have not been receiving good answers for these invitations and with two really worrying responses:
- 'Professor, I am not going to write because I do not know how to do it in this way'.
- 'Professor, I am not going to write because the University, Research Institute, etc., do not recognize this kind of divulgation as it should be'.
Nonetheless, if we analyze how the diffusion of information in Brazil is, we will see that there is an enormous gap between the knowledge produced by research and that used by producers, since there is a great amount of information that we can consider literally 'not being used' in the libraries, in the researches' drawers, etc. To improve the diffusion of information, for instance, it is our intention that all MA thesis or Doctoral dissertation in Agricultural Sciences and similar ones may result in the divulgation of a journalistic note. Besides that, we can mention the existence of a great amount of information produced by different Institutions, which deserved to be tabulated, what would be of great importance for future researches in the field.
The RBF magazine is sure that in its 31 years of existence, for the quality of the works carried out, for the numberless varieties that these researches produced, for the significant contribution in the fruit production, for making it possible the cultivation of new fruit tree options, for the beginning of new research lines with emphasis in the healing power of fruits, our magazine, with the adoption of other criteria beyond the impact factor, would certainly be classified in a different level than B2 that CAPES consented to us. Although we recognize that it is possible to improve the diffusion of our works, as we mentioned above.
Hence the adoption of this new classification of impact factor, that is, how the subject is being used by the final user, would undoubtedly bring spectacular results to Brazilian development, making it possible the meritorious evaluation of the importance of doing such work, inhibiting the occurrence, which is many times exaggerated, of the subdivision of a work. This is caused by the authors' preoccupation with the number of publications that have a great number of authors per work, which in many cases reminds 'action among friends'.
Regardless the merit used in the CAPES criteria for a new classification of Brazilian magazines, which was the editorial theme of March 2009, we believe that the adoption of this new way of measuring the impact factor should be widely discussed by the post-graduation courses, magazine editors, scientific societies, and others. Here is the suggestion.
Jaboticabal, June 30, 2009.
Editor in Chief