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Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica

Print version ISSN 0102-7972On-line version ISSN 1678-7153

Psicol. Reflex. Crit. vol.28  supl.1 Porto Alegre  2015 



William B. Gomes a  

Chris Fradkin 2   , Guest Editors

1Gomes was the founder and first editor of PRC/Psychology and is professor of psychology at Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul; he is a past president of ANPEPP (2012-2014).

2Fradkin has a Ph.D in Psychology from University of California, Merced, USA, and is affiliated with the Programa de Estudos em Educação at Centro Universitário La Salle, UNILASALLE, Canoas, Rio Grande do Sul.

The Journal Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica - PRC/Psychology was established in 1986 by psychology professors from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul - UFRGS not only to report empirical research and literature reviews, but to react to and discuss current theoretical thinking, methodological issues, and scientific policy. This mission inspired the title of the journal and guided the first steps of its editorial line. With the expansion of postgraduate programs in the 1990s and with the resulting editorial policies, empirical studies gained prominence and critical analyses waned. Such changes were welcomed and encouraged data collection and analysis. Following these guidelines, PRC/Psychology has grown to become one of the leading journals in the field in Latin America. However, occasionally, it returns to its origins to analyze existing or in-progress scientific policy and practice.

In 2010, PRC/Psychology provided a great service publishing a supplement containing the works presented at the First Seminar HORIZONS FOR POSTGRADUATE EDUCATION IN PSYCHOLOGY, held in the mountain city of Bento Gonçalves, Rio Grande do Sul State, November 9-12, 2008. The event was organized by Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) - Area of Psychology and National Association for Research and Postgraduate Studies in Psychology - ANPEPP. The topics discussed at the seminar dealt with issues that continually engage the management of scientific policy in Brazil: gaps and expansion targets, qualification goals, internationalization of research and publications, and evaluation of postgraduate studies. In presenting that supplement, editor Denise Ruschel Bandeira welcomed the initiative and envisioned Bento Gonçalves as the first of a series of events on scientific policy. This special issue of PRC/Psychology was the seed of an article collection on the Brazilian Postgraduate Psychology's history, progress, advancements and proposals.

PRC/Psychology is proud to bring in this current supplement the papers presented in the discussion forums at the XV Symposium on Research and Scientific Exchange of ANPEPP held in Bento Gonçalves, May 6-9, and in the III New Horizons Seminar held in Campinas, São Paulo, September 22-24, both in 2014. The themes revolve around the same interests: policies for postgraduate education, scientific development and international relations, and the differences between bioethics and ethics for human and social sciences. These are questions that mobilize and aggregate researchers in psychology, an area so fragmented and diverse. It would not be wrong to say that scientific policies receive more attention in psychology events than in other scientific areas in Brazil.

However, there are many new features in this supplement. For the first time ANPEPP's Forums dialogue on issues of Brazilian scientific policies with researchers from other countries; analyzation of international relations on research and publication by scholars from different countries; evaluation of English-language in titles and abstracts of the top-five Brazilian psychology journals; a detailed description of the Brazilian postgraduate education system for the non-Brazilian world; and a description of ANPEPP's Symposium from the perspective of an observer from the American Psychological Association. The good news comes with the data documenting the significant growth of Brazilian research publications in the last ten years, in journals that use English as the lingua franca, according to report from studies in Colombia and the US.

The preparation of this supplement was not an easy task. The first difficulty was collection of the texts from the many authors; the second was demanding editorial work, first in the version sent in Portuguese and then in the translation into English. The challenges we faced editing this supplement into English clearly indicate that language is still a major challenge for Brazilian researchers. It is expected that when we break the language barrier, English will cease to be a passive language just for reading, and will become an active language for oral and written scientific communication. All texts passed by a reviewing native-English speaker in order to come forth with precision and elegance.

In the translation of articles into English we preferred to keep the literal correspondence between the Portuguese term "pós-graduação" with the English "postgraduate," avoiding the usual translation to "graduate." In fact, we are talking about different education systems. In Brazil, the basic training and the professional license, as in the case of psychology, are obtained after the first five or six university years, which characterize what is called graduate studies. Postgraduate studies are dedicated for training in advanced research and teaching. In the US both professional and advanced research training is obtained in what are called graduate programs, which occur after the first four years of college or undergraduate programs. This distinction is somewhat clearer in the Spanish language, which uses "pregrado" for basic professional training and "posgrado" for advanced researcher training. So, perhaps the best way to point out this difference would be keep the word "undergraduate" (pregrado) to correspond to what in Brazil is called "graduação"; and use postgraduate (posgrado) for the master's and doctoral programs. This distinction is somewhat clearer in the Spanish language, which uses "pregrado" for basic professional training and "posgrado" for advanced researcher training. So, perhaps the best way to point out this difference would be keep the word "undergraduate" (pregrado) to correspond what in Brazil is calling "graduação"; and use postgraduate (posgrado) for the masters' and doctoral programs.

This supplement plays an important role in reporting the structure and policies for the development of science in Brazil, mainly in the area of psychology, without hiding their dilemmas, uncertainties and purposes.

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