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Revista Direito GV

versão On-line ISSN 2317-6172

Rev. direito GV vol.13 no.1 São Paulo jan./abr. 2017

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/2317-6172201701 

Editorial

Editorial

Catarina Helena Cortada Barbieri, Editor-in-chief

In 2017, Direito GV Law Review celebrates 12 years of existence. In the wake of the recent changes that took place in the last couple of years, we intend to share with our readers, authors and reviewers some indicators on the evaluation and publishing process.

Direito GV Law Review complies with two main external incentives, which usually do not converge. The first external incentive originates from Qualis/Capes evaluation system. In this case, the goal is to keep the journal in the highest standards. Although Capes emphasizes that Qualis is not a quality label for journals neither an impact indicator1 – as it has been created to evaluate researchers from postgraduation programs –, being in the highest standards results in receiving a higher number of manuscripts and being pursued by the best researchers in the area, which makes possible to select the best works available in the Brazilian juristic academy.

This is not surprising, as the researchers receive different scores according to the standards awarded to each journal where they publish their work. Thus, before deciding where to send a paper, a researcher considers the journal’s score in the Qualis’ list as an indicator of the journal’s quality and of the potencial impact of his work.

The second external incentive relates to the journal’s permanency in SciELO collection. SciELO is extremely important to Brazilian science. Its policies to promote professionalism in the management of journals, increase impact and internationalization of Brazilian production, although difficult to implement in a context of scarce financial and human resources, are nonetheless a propeller of positive changes.

One of these changes, inserted in the policy of promotion the professionalization of journals, was the implementation of an online manuscript submission and management system – ScholarOne Manuscripts – in March 2016. The experience of implementation and use of this system by Direito GV Law Review has just completed one year and has been considered positive.

Even with a great part of its interface in English – which is a challenge, considering that most of the manuscripts submissions are from native Portuguese language speakers – it was noticed that the number of original papers submitted remained stable in the last three years. Moreover, few authors and reviewers struggled accessing the system, and the problems could be solved by the tools of the system itself, or by e-mail and telephone.

graph 1 – Number of papers received per year (2009 – 2016) 

Also in 2016, to comply with another SciELO’s policy, Direito GV Law Review, that used be published every six months, is now out four times a year. For now, despite we don’t know if this data will remain, the change corresponded to a rise from 7,2% to 10,7% of the published papers from the new received papers.

However, we know that the biggest problem of Direito GV Law Review is the average time to evaluate and publish the papers. Nowadays, the papers are evaluated in 200 days, but the suggested time recommended by SciELO is 180 days for evaluating and publishing.2 One of the advantages of the adoption of ScholarOne Manuscripts is the possibility to track the process stages in which there are delays, which gives the opportunity to look for alternative solutions to the problems founded.

graph 2 – Number of papers received vs. published per year (2009 – 2016) 

An important internal measure was the adjustment of the Editorial Policy3 in January 2017. In order to make the policies clearer to the authors, the text was entirely reviewed. Reading recommendations of external sources were included, especially those related to ethical procedures that should be followed by the entire Direito GV Law Review community. We have also focused in elucidating the journal’s editorial objectives, in addition to limit the types of texts that could be admitted to original papers, reviews and translations, leaving the essays out.

Another measure taken in 2015 was to tighten the desk review stage. From 2014 on, we observed that great part of the submitted papers did not meet the formal basic Editorial Policies requirements, such as: absence of identification of the author in the manuscript’s body, quotation system, pre-texting elements (titles, summary, keywords in English and in Portuguese), etc. If in the past these types of papers were once accepted, nowadays they are not even checked as received.

Among the papers that attend to the formal requirements, many of them have content problems. They are basic reviews of literature or works in manual style, still so common in the area of ​​law. Such manuscripts do not bring any innovation, either thematic or methodological, a requirement that is taken seriously by Direito GV Law Review. Among the papers that propose something new and interesting, there are some still with primary problems of text structuring and research execution; overall, they lack of a clear research question and exposure of the adopted methods, even if they correspond to empirical researches, when the need to present the methodology would be considered more obvious.

On the other side of the process, there is a shortage of reviewers that have time and patience to anonymously contribute with a non-paid work to others’ intellectual production. So, in order to deal with this scenario and try to lower the total evaluation time, as it was mentioned previously, the desk review stage has become more rigid. Only the papers with real publishing potential go to double blind peer review stage. In our recent experience, we could notice that the papers that have this profile represent a 30% out of the total.

Lastly, we shall talk about the origin of the received manuscripts. What we have been noticing is that, spontaneously, we still receive few foreigners’ manuscripts – less than 5% of the total in 2016 – and what is sent to us has, overall, lower quality compared to the average of the national papers. In addition, a great part of Brazilian authors that submitted their manuscripts (53,52%) comes from the states of São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Sul, Distrito Federal and Paraná.

table 1 Authors per State (2016) 

STATE NUMBER OF AUTHORS % OF AUTHORS
FOREIGNERS 23 4,77%
ACRE 3 0,62%
ALAGOAS 5 1,04%
AMAPÁ 3 0,62%
AMAZONAS 6 1,24%
BAHIA 8 1,66%
CEARÁ 25 5,19%
DISTRITO FEDERAL 36 7,47%
ESPÍRITO SANTO 18 3,73%
GOIÁS 2 0,41%
MARANHÃO 5 1,04%
MATO GROSSO 3 0,62%
MATO GROSSO DO SUL 11 2,28%
MINAS GERAIS 55 11,41%
PARÁ 6 1,24%
PARAÍBA 14 2,90%
PARANÁ 35 7,26%
PERNAMBUCO 21 4,36%
PIAUÍ 4 0,83%
RIO DE JANEIRO 27 5,60%
RIO GRANDE DO NORTE 15 3,11%
RIO GRANDE DO SUL 38 7,88%
RONDÔNIA 1 0,21%
RORAIMA 0 0,00%
SANTA CATARINA 23 4,77%
SÃO PAULO 94 19,50%
SERGIPE 0 0,00%
TOCANTINS 1 0,21%

TOTAL 482

table 2 Number of manuscripts per country (2016) 

COUNTRY TOTAL
ARGENTINA 6
BRAZIL 293
CHILE 3
COLOMBIA 1
GERMANY 1
ITALY 2
PORTUGAL 4
UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND 1
UNITED STATES 1

TOTAL 312

graph 3 – Number of manuscripts received per month (2016) 

Given the Qualis/Capes’ exogeny rules for level A, it means that the cut for the papers from the state of São Paulo – which corresponds to 20% out of the total of submitted papers – shall be even more rigid. Otherwise, the time spent to evaluate the paper until publication will be longer than the recommended in SciELO’s policy, which is a six months period from the beginning to the end of the process.

Although we are still beginning to accumulate information for the production of data, we believe that observing our numbers’ evolution in time will allow us to make the necessary adjustments in our editorial procedures in a well-founded way, and to communicate with transparency any changes to Direito GV Law Review’s community.

We thank once again our readers, authors and reviewers’ trust.

Have a nice reading!

Catarina Helena Cortada Barbieri
Editor-in-chief

2"The average time for manuscripts processing should be up to 6 (six) months, considering the time spent between submission and final decision dates for publication, and up to 12 (twelve) months, considering the time between submission and publication dates. However, it is recommended a total average cycle of 6 (six) months considering the international trend." (Critérios, política e procedimentos para a admissão e a permanência de periódicos científicos na Coleção SciELO Brasil. São Paulo: SciELO, 2014). Available at: <http://www.scielo.br/avaliacao/20141003NovosCriterios_SciELO_Brasil.pdf >. Access: Apr. 17, 2017.

Creative Commons License  This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.