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Print version ISSN 0103-5053
J. Braz. Chem. Soc. vol.23 no.1 São Paulo Jan. 2012
New year, new challenges!
A survey of JBCS statistics for last year shows that most of our progress indicators remained stable: the number of submitted manuscripts (774), the number of published papers (300), the percentage of submissions coming from foreign authors (60% of the total) even though the number of published papers followed an opposite tendency (70% from Brazilian authors) and citation indexes such as the ISI impact factor (above 1.3), among others. The time between submission and online publication, on the other hand, has been decreasing slowly but continuously: in 2011, this indicator reached an average of 5.4 months, versus 8.1, 7.7 and 6.6 months in 2008, 2009 and 2010, respectively. Is this performance good or bad?
Part of the answer involves assessing our expectations for the future of our Journal. JBCS now enters its 23rd year of existence and a critical flashback shows that many of its development stages have already been consolidated: first of all, its survival as a Chemistry Journal published out of North America and Europe; secondly, its internationalization, with indexing in the most important international databases, and also its recognition through parameters such as the ISI impact factor. Internally, the expansion of the editorial board to include the (present) twelve associate editors and of the management and processing board, which is now made up by seven members, has greatly contributed to make the publication rhythm more dynamic, thus consolidating the publication of twelve JBCS issues a year. In this context, the most recent good news is the inclusion of Professor Vanessa Hatje, from the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), in the Associate Editors team. Dr. Vanessa Hatje is a Chemistry Oceanography specialist and her inclusion in the editorial board points out the importance of this still emerging study area in Brazil. Be welcome, Vanessa!
As part of this growing process, we think there is still room for several new challenges, among which is the maintenance of the financial balance necessary for the Journal regular publication. We go on counting on the decisive support of both the Brazilian Chemical Society (SBQ) and the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) for the maintenance of the physical infrastructure and the human resources essential to the journal operation. In addition, by keeping our commitment to the open-access model, which enhances JBCS international visibility and impact, and counting only on the voluntary financial contributions from our authors, we have managed to maintain our payment balance by means of the continuous support of the funding agencies (FAPESP, CNPq and CAPES), which have endorsed the applications for financial support filed by the JBCS staff. Such support permitted us to keep the publication of the 12 JBCS issues strictly on time in 2011.
On the other hand, our structure is still limited to guarantee an operation as the one offered by commercial publishers, which have regularly invited JBCS to integrate their respective portfolios of paid-access journals. Keeping JBCS current structure, with free electronic access, besides enlarging it and advancing in its process of professionalization will only be possible with the new initiatives being discussed by agencies such as CAPES and FAPESP. By overcoming the professionalization barrier with the indispensable support from the funding agencies we will ensure the continuity of the scientific-society management model of the journals versus the otherwise mandatory option being proposed by the commercial Publishing Houses.
The assessment of the necessity or even the sustainability of the highly expensive publication on paper (hard-copy publication) is another already recurrent discussion issue among the Editors. We propose this issue to be also addressed as soon as possible by SBQ and the Chemistry community that is partner of the periodicals published by the Society.
A greater integration, aiming at working together with the other Chemistry Journals published by SBQ and by other entities should also be sought after. The scientific production of the national and international communities to be conveyed through our journals is sufficiently broad to justify the publication of several journals, but it is important that each one of them define its profile, so that a joint and complementary action can be consolidated without a competitive attitude. The fact that the major scientific societies around the world are responsible for the harmonious publication of journals with distinct characteristics is a model that can certainly be adopted if adjusted to our countrys reality.
But some novelty is always welcome. This year a new JBCS website will come out including the submission system and manuscript processing, so that the access by the authors, reviewers, editors and administrators can be modernized and facilitated. The editors will also proactively act organizing special thematic issues, an initiative that has been successful in attracting qualified and higher impact papers, as well as in broadening the Journal scope. In this sense, suggestions are very welcome.
That is how JBCS plans to renew itself in the current year. It is never late to remind that, in the level that the Journal is, to stop is to walk backwards. That is why we have to keep the same or greater activity in relation to the one registered in the previous years and that led us to the several innovations recently implemented in the JBCS.
Once more we thank our colleagues for the continuous support, specially the reviewers, who, with their voluntary and confidential work, have ensured the maintenance of the quality standards of our Journal. We wish everybody a very successful 2012.
Jaísa Fernandes Soares (UFPR)
Watson Loh (UNICAMP)