Print version ISSN 1516-4446
Rev. Bras. Psiquiatr. vol.30 no.1 São Paulo Mar. 2008
The right time for a new leadership in Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria
It is sadly and also with the sense of an accomplished task that we write this farewell editorial to our readers after almost ten years leading the editorship of Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria (RBP). From this year onwards Rodrigo Bressan, Beny Lafer and Marcelo Fleck will be the journal directors. Luis Rohde will continue during the year 2008 in order to assure the continuity of our administration.
In 1998, Miguel Roberto Jorge and Rogério Aguiar invited us to lead the journal which at that time was called Revista da Associação Brasileira de Psiquiatria (ABP) e da Associación Psiquiátrica de América Latina (Revista da ABP/APAL). The journal, which since 1999 was called Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria, had the mission of divulging the knowledge generated in Latin America and in the Caribbean, besides propagating a continuous medical education by means of updates and supplements to mental health professionals.
In Table 1 we recall the several measures we adopted at that time to achieve these objectives. We also acknowledge the collaborators who helped us implement those measures. Among the main achievements we highlight the indexing of RBP in Index Medicus/MedLine in 2003, and in the database of Institute of Scientific Information (ISI), in 2005. There are few indexed journals in developing countries. Of the 222 indexed psychiatry journals in these databases, only nine (4.1%) are from developing countries.1 We belong today, therefore, to a restricted number of journals which succeeded to overcome the language and stigma barriers.
The next step is to become an increasingly respected journal and one of the most important indices for this evaluation is the impact factor (IF). A non-official calculation by Kieling and Gonçalves2 suggests that our impact factor in 2007 (which will be official by the middle of this year), will be around 1, making the RBP one of the main scientific journals in Brazil.
The higher visibility of RBP has also been noticed in the recently launched SCImago Journal & Country Rank (http://www.scimagojr.com), which compiles data from the Scopus database. According to this source both the number of citations and the number of citations per article have grown around 10-fold in the period between 2002 and 2006.
There are many criticisms to the use of indices such as the IF as the only indication of the quality of a journal. A bad article may be much cited and the estimation of the IF favors journals that publish reviews. Authors tend to cite peers from their own research field and to cite mainly articles in English.3 Thus, the best way of evaluating the quality of a journal should include the composition of several factors instead of exclusive indices. For example, some editors propose the inclusion of citations in guidelines, books, or Cochrane reviews,3 as well as measures of how the articles are being read from the letters to the editor and their clinical impact. Other indices may involve data related to the percentage of acceptance of articles, the time elapsed between their submission and acceptation/publication, as well as different measures of their penetration in the international literature. In this sense, RBP s acceptation index reaches now 40% of submitted articles. In 2005, the average time since the submission up to the approbation of an article was 130 days and 348 days since the submission up to the publication in RBP. These figures have improved to 99 and 230 days, respectively in 2006.2
Therefore, besides the IF, the most important is to assure the rapidity and quality of the editorial process in order to conquer a stable and solid position among the high-level international journals. The administrative changes which occurred in this period were fundamental to improve the quality of the journal and influence on its impact factor. The mission of the new team may include the active gathering of high-level articles and the speeding-up of the publishing process, without allowing the journal to lose its function of bringing an updated education to psychiatrists and other mental health professionals.
Provided these urgent challenges, the new goals must include the journal s insertion in Latin America and the Caribbean, acquiring higher international credibility about what it is being published and pursuing financial security for RBP. In order to implement all the changes the budget of the journal increased nearly 200-fold between 1998 and 2007, being the pharmaceutical industry its main source of resources. Therefore, we recommend that the editors give priority to the collection of resources in order to make a safety fund to assure the stability of RBP in moments of economic retraction when this kind of resources becomes scarcer.
Of note, our activity has been developed in great harmony with ABP (Brazilian Psychiatry Association), which enabled the accomplishment of our work with great support and no interference of any kind, what reflected the growth in maturity and the understanding of its institutional role. All we have done could not have been possible without the incentive of the pharmaceutical industry and the support of the national research and development agencies, especially the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) and Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) and Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos (FINEP). We also have to acknowledge that no progress could have been accomplished without the quantitative and qualitative growth of the Brazilian scientific production (associated to the expansion of post-graduate programs) and to the subsequent formation of researchers in the country, which has been translated not only in the submission of high-quality articles, but also in the high level of discernment of our reviewers.4,5
Last but not least, we want to highlight the environment of full harmony which existed between the editors during all these years. The meetings have been always very participative, all the members talking at the same time, but having the attitude of reciprocal care, respect and friendship, which lasted during all the process. We are leaving the journal but we are already missing it, nonetheless, fully trusting the administrative, scientific and creative quality of our colleagues who are taking the responsibility for this task.
Euripedes Constantino Miguel
Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Universidade de São Paulo (USP), São Paulo (SP), Brazil
Jair de Jesus Mari
Department of Psychiatry, Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP), São Paulo (SP), Brazil
1. Kieling C, Herrman H, Patel V, Mari JJ. Indexation of psychiatric journals from low- and middle-income countries: a survey and a case study. World Psychiatry, 2008; in press.
2. Kieling C, Gonçalves RR. Assessing the quality of a scientific journal: the case of Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria. Rev Bras Psiquiatr. 2007;29(2):177-81.
3. Chew M, Villanueva EV, Der Weyden MB. Life and times of the impact factor: retrospective analysis of trends for seven medical journals (1994-2005) and their editor s views. J R Soc Med. 2007;100(3):142-50.
4. Bressan RA, Gerolin J, Mari JJ. The modest but growing Brazilian presence in psychiatric, psychobiological and mental health research: assessment of the 1998-2002 period. Braz J Med Biol Res. 2005;38(5):649-59.
5. Zorzetto R, Razzouk D, Dubugras MT, Gerolin J, Schor N, Guimarães JA, Mari JJ. The scientific production in health and biological sciences of the top 20 Brazilian universities. Braz J Med Biol Res. 2006;39(12):1513-20.
1. Kieling C, Herrman H, Patel V, Mari JJ. Indexation of psychiatric journals from low- and middle-income countries: a survey and a case study. World Psychiatry, 2008; in press. [ Links ]
2. Kieling C, Gonçalves RR. Assessing the quality of a scientific journal: the case of Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria. Rev Bras Psiquiatr. 2007;29(2):177-81. [ Links ]
3. Chew M, Villanueva EV, Der Weyden MB. Life and times of the impact factor: retrospective analysis of trends for seven medical journals (1994-2005) and their editor s views. J R Soc Med. 2007;100(3):142-50. [ Links ]
4. Bressan RA, Gerolin J, Mari JJ. The modest but growing Brazilian presence in psychiatric, psychobiological and mental health research: assessment of the 1998-2002 period. Braz J Med Biol Res. 2005;38(5):649-59. [ Links ]
5. Zorzetto R, Razzouk D, Dubugras MT, Gerolin J, Schor N, Guimarães JA, Mari JJ. The scientific production in health and biological sciences of the top 20 Brazilian universities. Braz J Med Biol Res. 2006;39(12):1513-20. [ Links ]