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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

versão impressa ISSN 1413-8123versão On-line ISSN 1678-4561

Ciênc. saúde coletiva vol.25 no.12 Rio de Janeiro dez. 2020  Epub 04-Dez-2020 


The power to make history by disseminating science

Maria Cecília de Souza Minayo1

1Departamento de Estudos sobre Violência e Saúde Jorge Careli, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública Sergio Arouca, Fiocruz. Av. Brasil 4036/700, Manguinhos. 21040-361 Rio de Janeiro RJ Brasil.


This text tells the story of the launching, development, and current status of the scientific Journal Ciência & Saúde Coletiva from the perspective of who was responsible for its creation, and aims to contribute to the construction of the memory of a national journal, its possibilities, and limitations. While it is a personal statement, the theoretical perspective of narrative is employed in its elaboration, which consists of the use of a singular sequence of events, mental states, events involving human beings as characters or authors, which can be real or imaginary without losing its power as history. Authors who work with studies of narratives and scientific construction processes are reference, and the context in which the story takes place is explained. The study shows the importance of having clear goals, persistent work, and interconnection of important social actors, institutional support, and national and international cooperation in the Journal’s management. The role of individuals and organizations is highlighted. The paper concludes that the Journal endorses intellectual production, ensures intellectual property, legitimizes new themes, and defines the limits of what is publishable in Collective Health, in line with its primary principles.

Key words: Science and technology; Scientific publication; Scientific dissemination; Qualitative approach


Neste texto conta-se a história da criação, do desenvolvimento e do status atual da Revista Ciência & Saúde Coletiva sob a perspectiva de quem foi responsável pela sua criação. O objetivo é contribuir para a construção da memória de um periódico nacional, suas possibilidades e limitações. Embora seja um depoimento pessoal, na sua elaboração se utiliza a perspectiva teórica da narrativa, que consiste na utilização de uma sequência singular de eventos, estados mentais, ocorrências envolvendo seres humanos como personagens ou autores, podendo ser real ou imaginária sem perder seu poder como história. Autores que trabalham com estudos de narrativas e processos de construção científica são referenciados; assim como é explicitado o contexto em que a história acontece. O estudo mostra a importância de, na gestão da Revista, ter metas claras, persistência no trabalho e contar com a interconexão de importantes atores sociais, de apoios institucionais e de cooperação nacional e internacional. O papel dos indivíduos e das organizações é realçado. O artigo conclui que a Revista avaliza a produção intelectual, assegura a propriedade intelectual, legitima novos temas e define os limites do que é publicável no campo da saúde coletiva, sendo fiel a seus princípios originais.

Palavras-chave: Ciência e tecnologia; Publicação científica; Divulgação científica; Abordagem qualitativa


This paper aims to provide a personal narrative about the historical path of the scientific Journal Ciência & Saúde Coletiva (C&SC). This text employs the first person because of my presence in this saga from its inception to date. I celebrate 25 years as Editor-in-Chief of this Journal.

According to Bruner1, the narrative consists of the singular sequence of events, mental states, events involving human beings as characters or authors, which can be real or imaginary without losing its power as a story. The author affirms, we came initially equipped, if not with a mind-like “theory”, indeed, with a set of predispositions to interpret the social world in a particular way and act on our interpretations1. That is what I attempt to do. Indeed, I present a partial and incomplete view of the facts, since, as Gadamer2 claims, the narrator represents the totality, but does not contain it, because the story is made of many hands and can be interpreted in a polysemic way.

I begin with what I call the origin myth and its context. Then, I interpret it under the concept of structural time, defined by Evans Pritchard3, as the time of the most relevant and significant facts for the narrator, regardless of his chronology, because reason and emotion blend within him, and I finalize with some succinct considerations.

The origin myth

In anthropology, “origin myth” refers to both real and imaginary personal or collective story that marks people, an institution or an event4. In this sense, it is I who think of myself in the construction of C&SC, together with each individual who build and support it, in what it brings from its cradle and niche, which is the Brazilian Association of Public Health (Abrasco), shares with all other journals in the area, and its inclusion and trend in the world of communication and scientific dissemination. I hypothesize that reaffirming its evident interconnections, C&SC has personality and would have no reason to exist if it dissolved its specificity.

C&SC started when Abrasco - whose corporate name was still “Brazilian Association of Graduate Studies in Public Health” - completed 15 years of existence. It was launched at a time of maturation and consolidation of a strong social movement for the (still unfinished) construction of a universal health system in the country5. Its birth was preceded by several documents, texts, and books bearing the Abrasco seal, in which two essential and structuring commissions were in full bloom in its core: Epidemiology and Social Sciences and Health, besides several working groups. Several general congresses (affectionately called “Abrascões”) and sectorial congresses on Epidemiology and a first on Social Sciences and Health had already taken place.

Although the Association’s successes in producing new knowledge in health were evident, in the early 1990s, there were many criticisms about the scientific nature of the area called “collective health”, which was seen as a much more political and politicized than academic expression. Such criticisms were institutionally expressed in the medical committees of the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) and the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), whose significant influence interfered in the evaluation of both postgraduate courses and the judgment of the researchers’ production. At this stage, on the initiative of Abrasco’s Board of directors, a process of evaluation of the postgraduate courses in the area was initiated with the engagement of renowned researchers. Several other decisions were made from this movement, including the creation of a journal that represented the concept of “Collective Health”.

I would like to discourse first on the evaluation, carried out between 1994 and 1996, as a national survey on the conditions, performance, and challenges of Post-Graduation Courses in Collective Health/Public Health/Preventive Medicine, with institutional and financial support from CNPq and CAPES. This activity ended with a seminar that counted on the participation of course coordinators, authors and research coordinators, the foremost leaders of the area, two international consultants and representatives of the development institutions, and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

As it was an event of academic affirmation in the area, it is essential to highlight four of its theoretical and pragmatic conclusions: (1) first, the curricula of the courses, the activities of students and the scientific production of teachers and researchers showed the same quality and shortcomings attributed to postgraduate studies in other fields of knowledge in CAPES reports; (2) the study showed a productive academic community, in the middle of a maturing process, around the concept of “Collective Health”, a concept born from the health movement and resting on three pillars: generation of knowledge, practical action in favor and with the participation of society and acting in the political field of the sector; (3) to continue the collective reflection and face the challenges mentioned, the Forum of Postgraduate Coordinators was created and continues to this day; (4) the launching of a scientific journal was already decided at that time and had been considered for some time. All this story and the results of the evaluation are recorded in the first issues of C&SC6-12.

I was Abrasco’s first female president. I coordinated the referred national survey and the creation of the Forum of Coordinators. In one of the last meetings of my mandate, after the end of the evaluation process, the Board unanimously finally decided to create a scientific journal (previously discussed) that represented the wealth and diversity of the area. Although the Journal should adequately address the pillar that supports any academic endeavor, namely, “science”, its primary mission would be highlighting the three sides of the triangle in its content, qualifying health as a collective and universal asset, with society as part of its action and participation, and the sector’s policies as the object of improvement and criticism. In that meeting, I was vested with the powers of spearheading this creation that is now 25 years old.

In the second semester of 1996, we published the first issue of what was named, by consensus, Journal Ciência & Saúde Coletiva, which aimed to be a scientific space for discussions, debates, presentation of research, exposure of new ideas and controversies about the area. The wedlock of the two terms was sealed in a never-ending story. Its first three issues witness the initial efforts to attract authors and build a respectful academic work. The Scientific Council was assigned to renowned researchers from the main areas underlying Public Health. The Editorial Board has always included professors and researchers from postgraduate courses in different regions of the country. Abrasco’s annuity was increased by 10% to provide its financial support.

C&SC was born small, handcrafted, and discreetly elaborated aesthetically, but its content impressively reflects strength and commitment to the mission entrusted to it from the very start. Today, rereading the first issues, it was impossible not to be moved by recalling companions like Eleutério Rodrigues Neto, who is no longer with us, but also to note that most of the founding authors remain active. Moreover, several of them even contribute to this Commemorative Issue, as is the case of Jairnilson Silva Paim and Everardo Duarte Nunes. The names and thoughts of everyone are registered on the Journal’s website (, and also on the SciELO website (, where the entire collection of the Journal can be accessed.

C&SC started with just two annual issues. In 1998, the Board of Editors and Associate Editors convinced Abrasco’s Board that it would be necessary to invest much more in its form and content. We managed to assign some characteristics that accompany the Journal’s history after the first three issues: (1) it should be a thematic journal, which would differentiate it from the existing ones and make it relevant, insofar as it delved further into issues and problems of interest to Collective Health; (2) it should cover all segments of this intrinsically multidisciplinary area; (3) it should be oriented to a type of science focused on the development of the SUS; and (4) obviously, it should have editorial independence, guided by scientific merit and international standards of scientific dissemination. An aesthetic detail was that the Journal’s cover was designed to project the image of people on the move - the collective idea - through a stylized photo of the people walking along Rio Branco Avenue in Rio de Janeiro (RJ). The Journal inherited this visual identity as of the second issue of 1998 and never changed since. It also continues to divide contents into “thematic” and “free subjects”, and disseminates other types of documents (opinions, interviews, reviews, and letters).

Relevant milestones of the historical path

In 2002, C&SC was included in the collection of the Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO) database and started to publish four yearly issues. This leap never reversed, and the Journal is recognized for its periodicity and compliance with international scientific standards. The quarterly publication was inaugurated with an issue that analyzes the 1998 National Household Sample Survey (PNAD), after publishing a special issue to celebrate 100 years of Public Health in Brazil in 2001. In full growing swing, C&SC became bimonthly in 2005. It set a milestone in this change with an issue on Work, Health, and Environment, a theme that has followed its history since 1998. The increased number of issues followed the growing demand. However, the goal was not just quantitative. We intended to invest in the international recognition of C&SC, seeking to index it on Medline, where all the relevant journals in the area of medicine and public health in the world are located. After two attempts, we achieved this goal in 2007. While the inclusion document in the collection indicated that the acceptance was provisional and probative, so that the Journal would show periodicity and adequacy to international standards, the decision never retroacted but instead corroborated its increased legitimacy. This achievement was celebrated with the first issue of the year, which analyzed the Thirteenth National Health Conference’s theses, reaffirming its scientific commitment to the Brazilian Unified Health System (SUS).

In 2006, we created an online page for the Journal, in which we provided information to collaborators, editorials, and news, and started to disclose, within 48 hours, all papers approved in press. In 2017, this site was utterly refreshed and streamlined. Thus, besides instructions and rules for collaborators, it contains the entire C&SC collection, ahead of print papers, the most current issue’s release, calls for thematic issues, updated news in the field of collective health, and inclusion of the Journal in the social networks. An intense effort has been made to popularize the knowledge published in the Journal, mainly through social networks, with the dissemination of releases of several works from each thematic issue. This initiative came about with the creation of the Communication and Dissemination Editor section, created in June 2017 with the collaboration of Prof. Luiz Felipe Pinto, and we currently count on the voluntary collaboration of journalist Neyson Freire and the generous support of the Federal Nursing Council (COFEN), to which we are very grateful.

In 2008, the number of issues rose from six to eight, following the increase in demand from authors, and the Journal also managed to be indexed in the Web of Science, the third goal for its international recognition. Then, we achieved indexing at Scopus and, gradually, we included C&SC in 22 databases, namely, three national, three regional, and sixteen international databases. The effort to expose collective health production to the world has only increased its credibility. The demand for authors has grown to such an extent that in 2011 we increased the number of issues (12-yearly) and the number of papers per issue (30).

As of 2018, continuing the 12 yearly issues, the number of papers published in each issue increased to 35. While the thorough evaluation process selects no more than 19% of the originals submissions per year, an impoundment of texts awaiting publication persists due to the massive increase in demand: the online submission system records an average of 3,500 originals. However, the approved papers are immediately posted on the Journal’s page ahead of print, as already mentioned. Some real and concrete hardships are experienced to increase the periodicity of publications further: the executive team is small and financial resources are lacking.

Since 2014, the full version of the papers has been published in the various databases, with more than 75% of them translated into English. We aim to facilitate the internationalization of the Journal, the authors, and the knowledge generated in the country. Journal Ciência & Saúde Coletiva is currently classified in the A3 category in the Qualis/Capes system.

In summary, on completing 25 years, I believe that C&SC has a lot to celebrate! While being on open access mode in 22 national and international databases and on its website (, it is also present on social networks: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It has maintained its leadership position for four years and is the most cited Brazilian journal of all areas of the country’s knowledge on Google Scholar.

In 2019, for the first time, its impact factor on Web of Science reached more than one point, at 1.008! In September 2019, it received an international award, the Research Excellence Awards Brazil, granted by the Web of Science Group, owned by Editor Clarivate Analytics. The initiative rewarded the excellent performance of Brazilian research, and the Journal was included in the “SciELO Citation Index Award” category13. It could be said that all this is not enough by international standards, but it is an essential achievement for a Brazilian journal when comparing the national scenario of journals.

The entire advance of C&SC is a progressive trend, as described. However, this performance has a context and background. The growing scientific production in Brazil in the area of health is closely linked to the development of postgraduate studies. For example, when the Journal was launched, 17 Master’s and 9 Doctorate in Public Health courses were in operation7. At the end of 2018, according to data from the most recent area report14, 94 programs were in operation, of which 52 were academic and 42 were professional. This last modality emerged in recent years and showed a quantitative increase and greater variety in the educational offer. The growth of postgraduation has meant an increase in the number of doctors - since having trained at this level has become an essential requirement to be a teacher in the programs - and an increase in high-level training. For example, in the 2013-2016 quadrennium, approximately 4,400 academic professional master’s dissertations and 1,200 doctoral theses were completed14. The second point of context is the scientific productivity requirements linked to the approval and competitiveness of the courses by CAPES and per the CNPq criteria for classifying researchers. Professors and master’s and doctoral students were being compelled to publish, and the papers became “a luxury item” and of great value in the evaluation of programs and curricula. It is evident that such movements, which are increasingly competitive, have been reflected in the increased demand for Scientific Journals. The third aspect of context for the exponential increase of originals in the submission system of Journal Ciência & Saúde Coletiva is that the most renowned journals in the area establish niches for their performance or barriers concerning specific themes. At the same time, C&SC maintained its field scope criterion as per its original proposal.

In summary, the Journal’s current configuration is inserted in the context of Brazilian academic transformations while maintaining its original principles. Its growth is neither a single nor an isolated feat in the context of national scientific publications. However, it cannot be denied that its high productivity contributes to Brazil ranking 13th in the universe of countries with the highest volume of scientific publications.

A problem has been traversing C&SC’s history: financing! I share this problem with most of the country’s editors, and in my view, it should not be a hurdle keeping the editor’s mind and nerves busy. Instead, it should be the object of an adequate and permanent State Public Policy. The country that fails to invest in science, technology, innovation, and scientific dissemination in the contemporary world misses the train of history and becomes more impoverished and more dependent than those that do15-17.

People and benchmark institutions

Leading daily life and managing the transformations of a journal like C&SC is a hard and detailed work that only finds possible conditions if conducted in a technical, solidary, and collaborative way. Here I speak of the engagement and role of some people and institutions.

Theoretically, the role of the individual vs. the role of organizations is a classic theme that traverses the history of sociology, which I summarize here, using the understanding of Bourdieu18 and Norbert Elias19, who affirm that both individuals and society and subjectivities and structures are interdependent. The role of individuals is crucial, but must always be understood within the historical and social conditions in which they operate, considering networks of objective and subjective relationships and symbolic disputes.

Indispensable People - There is no doubt that all the positive results and good omens for the future of C&SC, safeguarding historical and social conditions, are due to a cohesive and committed team, made up of the Editorial Board; the executive group responsible for the daily work process; reviewers, evaluators, authors, and readers. This united and dedicated staff facilitated and celebrated the journey that completes 25 years.

I begin by referring to the collaborative and respectful work performed by Romeu Gomes and Antonio Augusto Moura da Silva, who share the role of editors-in-chief. Romeu’s competence in the area is recognized, with a productive work system and unquestionable dedication to managing the peer review process. Since 2009, we have shared the Journal’s leadership, doing much more than fulfilling a distribution of tasks. Working with him is lying a tired body over a friendly shoulder and resting assured of receiving loyalty and sincerity.

In 2018, we added colleague Antonio Augusto to the pair, sharing with him the management of the evaluation of works of statistical and epidemiological approach. Gentle, agile, and committed, this is how Romeu and I experienced the presence of this new and essential companion on the journey. We have become a trinity at the head of C&SC so that the sharing of the whole and the focus on each part make us co-responsible and enrich each other. This leadership is advised by an Editorial Policy Council, composed of eminent national and international scientists in the area, co-responsible for the guidance of publications: Cesar Victora; Eleonor Minho Conill; Everardo D. Nunes; Jairnilson Silva Paim; Jorge Alberto B. Iriart; Hillegonda Maria Dutilh; Moysés Szklo; Nelson da Cruz Gouveia; Zulmira Maria de A. Hartz.

Then, I speak about the Associate Editors, a group formed by 20 experts on the most published C&SC topics. Their task is fundamental to address papers to reviewers and endorse their approval adequately. They are co-responsible with the Editors-in-Chief for the quality of the published works. It is impossible to thank each one of them in the short space of this article. For this reason, while I know that their names are displayed on the back cover of the printed Journal and the website, I insist on mentioning them to honor them. I express my most sincere gratitude to all who currently carry out this task and who, over time, have occupied the same, yet so important function, which is painstaking and all so necessary (Chart 1).

Chart 1 Associate Editors, respective specialties and assessment area - 2020. 

Food, Nutrition and Health: Vânia Matos Fonseca (IFF/Fiocruz - Rio de Janeiro)
Pharmaceutical Care: Claudia G.S. Osório de Castro (ENSP/Fiocruz - RJ)
Primary Health Care: Luiz Felipe S. Pinto (UFRJ - Rio de Janeiro)
Health Services Assessment: Maria José Schochi (UEM - Paraná)
Health Policies: Aylene E. M. Bousquat (FSP - São Paulo)
Social Sciences: Martha Cristina Moreira Pereira (IFF/Fiocruz - Rio de Janeiro)
Health Education: Valéria Vernachi Lima (UFSCar - São Paulo)
Epidemiology: Sérgio Eilliam V. Peixoto (CPqRR/Fiocruz - Minas Gerais)
Epidemiology: Edson Zangiacomi Martines (USP - São Paulo)
History and Health: Gilberto Hochman (COC/Fiocruz - Rio de Janeiro)
Health Information and Communication: Janine M. Cardoso (ICICT/Fiocruz - RJ)
Health Planning and Management: Sheyla Maria L. Lima (ENSP/Fiocruz - RJ)
Oral Health: Raquel Conceição Ferreira (UFMG - Minas Gerais)
Child and Adolescent Health: Ana Lúcia Ferreira (UFRJ - Rio de Janeiro)
Elderly Health: Josélia O.A. Firmo (CPqRR/Fiocruz - Minas Gerais)
Health and Environment: Sandra de Souza Hacon (ENSP/Fiocruz - Rio de Janeiro)
Health and Gender: Wilza Vieira ViIlela (UNIFESP - São Paulo)
Health and Work: Francisco A. C. Lacaz (UNIFESP - São Paulo)
Mental Health: Rosana Teresa Onoko Campos (UNICAMP - São Paulo)
Review: Adalgisa Peixoto Ribeiro (UFMG - Minas Gerais)

Thirdly, I refer to the Executive Team, on which it depends on publishing a monthly issue, fulfilling the editorial process’s invisible and infinite procedures. I would like to extend my gratitude to Lilian Vicentin, who accompanied the birth and the first steps of the Journal. After that, following the increase in demand, we expanded this sector to establish a collaborative and supportive work process with the distribution of tasks: each in his square, but one for all and all for one. I need to mention Danúzia da Rocha de Paula, Librarian and Standard-setter, the oldest and most fundamental person on the team; Luiza Pimenta Gualhano, Editorial Assistant and Relationship Coordinator with authors of approved papers, plagiarism surveillance and English translations; Telma Freitas da S. Pereira, Executive Editor responsible for planning and financing the Journal and for the editorial coordination of the proposals and the dynamics of the thematic issues; Raimunda Matilde do N. Mangas, Executive Editor responsible for planning and coordinating the publishing process. These professionals, all with higher education and postgraduate degrees, trained in practice and several improvement courses in scientific publishing, conduct their activities professionally and in a coordinated manner. Unfortunately, they lack deserved financial compensation, which I cannot omit. The equally essential colleagues of the Executive Team are Adriana R. Fontes, layout artist; Marcelo Z. Afonso and Lívia Marinho, Portuguese proofreaders; Derrick Phillips and Jean-Pierre Barakat, translators; Neyson P. Freire, Communication and Dissemination Director; scientific initiation scholarship holder Karine M. de Oliveira, who works in collaboration with the Executive Editor. I dedicate my standing ovation to this plethora of people, without whom C&SC could not materialize and be what it is.

C&SC has an Editorial Board composed of 73 professors and researchers with doctorates in the area, representing all postgraduate studies in Public Health in Brazil, from the most diverse locations in the country. This supporting body of the Journal also counts on 31 international collaborators. This essential group’s central role is to contribute with opinions and are demanded by the associate editors. Besides the names that officially appear on the Board, we have a collection of about 1,000 ad hoc reviewers who collaborate in the evaluation process for a year. My deepest gratitude goes to this dedicated and faithful group of researchers and teachers!

I exemplify the strength of collective work, presenting some data from the year that has just ended. In 2019, we published 12 issues containing 463 articles, 321 of which were written in English or translated, and 21 written in Spanish. The 2019 collection features 1,666 Brazilian authors and 182 foreign authors.

Fundamental Institutions - The Journal is the work and child of Abrasco, and, in this sense, it follows, among other movements, the growth of the Institution. While it is the property of the Association, it is not, however, an institutional vehicle. Even respecting the various boards, it has an independent epistemological surveillance body that obeys the organization and peer reviews, which science philosophers like Popper20 consider necessary conditions for the validation of knowledge. It is essential to point out this characteristic because occasionally, the editors-in-chief face some interventionist ideas that are unacceptable in a scientific journal. In my view, academic independence contributes to the legitimacy and prestige of Abrasco and the collective health area, which in turn legitimize the Journal, as Minayo and Gomes21 point out:

On the one hand, it contributes to the rigor of the evaluations so that the critical mass of the area grows and thus delimits - albeit very generously - its frontiers of knowledge. On the other hand, in a recursive process, it brings national and international recognition to the Association, while maintaining the non-negotiable commitment to SUS21.

Oswaldo Cruz Foundation - In Brazil, experience shows that the existence and subsistence of a Scientific Journal depend on institutions’ support, as no State policy protects national vehicles for scientific communication. In the case of Journal Ciência & Saúde Coletiva, the support is doubly divided. Abrasco maintains a minimum technical and executive staff. Moreover, the partnership with Fiocruz allows parts of the editorial process to be sustained. This is the case of technical review, layout, translation of editorials and abstracts into English, the assignment of the Journal’s operating space, and, until now, payment for printing. I believe it is crucial to disclose this sponsorship because, unfortunately, the 10% of annuities established at the onset of the Journal to maintain it ended up not being applied and would not be enough. I must mention that there were at least two financial blackout moments when Abrasco’s order was to stop publishing throughout its course. The reader can imagine how appalling such situations were, complying with the order would be to accept the end of a slow and progressive process of legitimation and injure deadly the commitment of periodicity with the authors and readers to death. In both events, the Presidency of Fiocruz protected C&SC. Therefore, I am sure that whoever is in charge of it will receive its support due to the awareness of institutional responsibility in the area of Public Health and the SUS. C&SC is very grateful to Fiocruz, represented by Paulo Gadelha and Nísia Trindade Lima, and reveres the Institution.

Supporting institutions: CNPq, CAPES, FAPERJ - Among all, CNPq is the one that has contributed the most to the maintenance of C&SC, and CNPq sometimes did so in conjunction with CAPES. I would like to make some considerations for this type of support. I believe it is crucial, as preceded by an evaluation of merit, which legitimizes the Journal. However, it was never enough to maintain even two issues; over time, the amount allocated to the Journal (remembering that we published 12 yearly issues) has been decreasing (and not increasing) progressively. The same funding shortage occurs today with national journals. Resources from several other institutions such as the Ministry of Health, the Pan American Health Organization, Support Foundations, or from research projects have contributed to the dissemination of Thematic Issues, bridging the gap of official support. Financial insecurity has led many Journals to charge a publishing fee. I do not judge the matter, but I repeat that we cannot remain silent in the face of the absence of a State policy to honor National Journals, as is the case in other countries, such as China. In my opinion, a colonized mentality permeates decisions on the subject, as also identified by Beigel22, who argues that the very design of evaluation systems around the world, on which research funding and the performance of the researcher depend, exclude the knowledge generated in the peripheral circuits by reinforcing the pressure for publication in mainstream journals.

SciELO - Created in 1998, SciELO is an asset of the Brazilian scientific society, maintained and financed by FAPESP, with a small contribution from CNPq and CAPES. Sometimes treated as a network, program or platform, SciELO characterizes the contemporary dynamics of scientific communication, with an emphasis on consolidating open access, expanding the methodologies and metrics for evaluating journals, publishing and scientific publication products and services, and the critical role played by public policies and programs to support and evaluate research communicated by journals. C&SC entered this system in 2002, and since then, it has benefited from its philosophy and action and is very grateful to be part of it. We extend our most profound recognition to Abel Packer, an inducer of good practices and changes.

Final considerations

In conclusion, I hope to have achieved the objective of telling some significant aspects of a journal’s path through the lenses of those who had the honor of creating it, with the support of a crowd of people who followed its steps, became involved in its work, development, endorsed their journey and they now celebrate its 25 years. Although I have described objective facts that legitimized C&SC’s existence, I consider, and I ask the reader also to consider that this is a story told in the first person. Therefore, the narrative contains a sequence of events that entered the narrator’s biography and should be understood as an experience that combines reason and emotion23. Thus, it becomes a social fact24 or a social action25 and testifies that objectivity and subjectivity are intrinsically present in any human creation.

I used the expression “origin myth” and wrote more extensively about the circumstances and conditions for the possibility of creating C&SC, asking for “an academic permission” to Lévi-Strauss’ thought4, according to which, societies [organizations] think and travel among themselves and, at the same time, think about themselves, with the proviso that they never belong to themselves, because they are transformed when they travel. I tried to show what transformations and questions this collective trip brings about: a small epic in the area of collective health that informs about the consequences of events on human needs and desires23,26.

In pointing out the significant milestones in the Journal’s development, I sought to highlight the context of the advances, the process of legitimation25, and the problems that the exponentially increased demand entails. I would comment only on the last aspect, the subject of discussion in several areas and many countries27,28. Looking at the case of C&SC, I agree with Rego29 when he says that, if, on the one hand, the high rate of rejection of papers shows the seriousness and rigor of the opinions and editorial policy adopted, on the other, it can be understood as indicative of the Journal’s difficulty in capturing quality papers, given the fragility of much of the production in the area presented at the originals’ submission gate, which is a problem intrinsically linked to academic productivism, so harmful to national and world science. Several authors have expressed themselves on the theme, emphasizing that the supporting institutions are its inducing center, although their roots are international.

Machado et al.30 emphasize that the trend of capitalism based on science and technology pushes and reproduces this harmful situation in all branches of knowledge. Patrus et al.31 put actors on the conversation wheel when they emphasize the alienation of the scientific community when it is unable to face the problem that also depends on it.

The Journal’s vision of the future continues to be linked to its improvement, to the ethics of scientific dissemination and the advancing internationalization. Its parameters are linked to conventional academic norms and the editorial changes required by open science, on the one hand, and the popularization of science, on the other. This is what investments focus on now, moving ahead32.

The discussion on the content of academic production that justifies the existence of C&SC was left out of this narrative because this paper is part of the Commemorative Issue in which renowned authors in Public Health dwell on what has been published over these 25 years. Readers will have to read the Journal as a whole to understand the paths taken, criticisms about the flaws, absences and voids and, together with the authors, are invited to look into the future.

I end with a mature reflection with Romeu Gomes21, following Bourdieu’s thought33. Journal Ciência & Saúde Coletiva is a structured space of the habitus of Collective Health and also the creator of its habitus. It assumes a vital role in the order established by the health sector and contributes to its legitimacy and transformation: it enshrines, is a selective filter, attests to the value of what is produced, ensures intellectual property, legitimizes new themes, and defines what is publishable21. This set of actions has the subjective and intersubjective mark of its entire constituent body: editors-in-chief, editorial policy committee, associate editors, editorial advisors, authors, ad hoc reviewers, executive staff, indexers, and readers.


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Received: June 25, 2020; Accepted: June 25, 2020; Published: June 27, 2020

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