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An. Bras. Dermatol. vol.77 no.6 Rio de Janeiro Nov./Dec. 2002
Reflections on scientific publications in specialized journals
One of the principal assignments of those responsible for a scientific publication is the choice of theme for the editorial, it should approach a current subject of great collective interest for the journals readership. This primordial task falls to the editor-in-chief who can share it with an invited member of high professional qualification.
Eventually, in the same issue of a journal more than one editorial can be included, according to the relevance of the matters in question.
Another concern is for the quality and selection of the material to be published. This responsibility is divided among peers, who analyze and opinionate on the merits or otherwise of the scientific content. While seeking the greatest possible readiness in publishing the works received, one must not overlook the quality of these articles. Evaluating on the basis of originality and relevance of the studies is a goal that demands continual attention.
The Chief-Editor Torello Loti, of the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, for instance, emphasizes the important function of the peers and the observance of the quality and speed of publication. Contributors frequently demand printing in the shortest space of time - it is a right that the editorial board should always endeavor to uphold. Nonetheless, the viability of satisfying each and all is faced daily by diverse factors that may justify an undesirable delay.
An editorial can and should periodically undertake a retrospective analysis of the articles published, with a view to elaborating a profile of the collaborators' main interests. With this panel and a classification of the published works it is possible to gain a current vision of the interests and work conditions in which the research was performed.
In this issue of the journal, we have sought to offer a classification and analysis of the articles. By this means, we reached certain interesting conclusions, as follows:
I - the report of clinical cases complemented by careful bibliographical revision motivated several articles: a rare genodermatosis (Cowdens disease), deposit dermatosis (mucinosis) and Kaposis sarcoma in renal transplant patients are examples of a group in which the common denominator is a meticulous clinical exam, together with laboratory confirmation and emphasis on the main characteristics of the entity;
II - epidemiological update was the underlying reason for three articles containing important information: one regarding the incidence of tinea in the city of Santos; another an evaluation of the incidence of dermatoses in HIV-positive patients; and the third presented the use of a new technical evaluation instrument;
III - a revision on congenital nevus lesions merited the special attention of one author, again providing relevant information;
IV - in two papers, attention was directed to the therapeutics, one in vivo using Imiquimod for cases of carcinoma and the other in vitro an evaluation of five drugs against Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
Thus we ascertained that the works included in this issue present a scientific level equal to those published in overseas Dermatology journals.
The old saying has been proven, that to research a subject represents an attitude of initial curiosity, which should be complemented by appropriate methodology in order to produce convincing results. This truth is reflected in our articles.
"I think that to understand any one thing entirely, no matter how minute, requires the understanding of every other thing in the world."
John Barth - "The floating opera"
Torello, Loti. 15th Ard Gen Meeting EADV, Editor's Report. Munich, October, 2001.
Ronai P. Dicionário Universal de Citações. 3a Ed. Nova Fronteira. Rio de Janeiro, 1986, 194p
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