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On-line version ISSN 1806-4841
An. Bras. Dermatol. vol.86 no.3 Rio de Janeiro May/June 2011
Dermatology Department Tropical Medicine Foundation of the state of Amazonas
It was with enormous surprise that I read in the January/February 2011 edition of the journal of the Brazilian Society of Dermatology that from 2012 onwards only papers submitted in English will be accepted for publication in the Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia. It is most disagreeable to see that our own native language is no longer acceptable for the submission of scientific papers to the Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia!
However, I (and, I believe, many others) had been expecting this to happen. Actually, it had already been happening. We already had an on-line version of the articles in English.
In my opinion, the Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia has made great progress over recent years and has achieved an excellent standard. Throughout its history, many have worked (and continue to work) to ensure that our journal meets current international standards. As we know, the journal has been indexed. However, despite being indexed its impact factor is low. Scientific journals do need to increase their impact factor (and maintain it). In general, the higher the impact factor, the more papers the journal will receive and the greater the possibility of improving the quality of the journal. More of its papers will be quoted, the scientific impact of the papers will be greater, their authors will become better known and more respected, institutes with postgraduate courses will receive more credits and the possibilities of obtaining sponsorship for research will be greater.
At the present time, with the papers being published in Portuguese, the chance of increasing the journal's impact factor is very slight. Good quality papers by Brazilian investigators are not written in Portuguese. They are written in English and published in international journals.
Worse than the impact factor is the fact that our language is not read by the majority of investigators in the international scientific community. Rarely is a paper in our journal cited. In my opinion, the best example of this is the paper published in Portuguese by Dr. Osmar Matos on the treatment of prurigo nodularis with thalidomide. Has anyone ever seen this paper cited anywhere? Unfortunately, this is just one example of a current trend. Either we publish in English or we continue to be forgotten by the scientific community.
Dr. Izelda and the editors of the Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia are to be congratulated for the courageous attitude they have taken.