In 1996 "Ciência & Saúde Coletiva" was launched at a time of major transformations in the area of communication. The 'universalization' movement and online products on the Internet was on the increase and there was a widespread belief that the printed text would become obsolete. This belief was disproved by what has been occurring in all fields of communication, where the mutual cross-fertilization and empowerment of the media can be observed. There were also some misgivings about launching a new journal, in view of the high incidence of "infant mortality" of other journals appearing in the country at the time. However, the incumbent board of ABRASCO decided to create "Ciência & Saúde Coletiva," by virtue of the fact that the Association had developed sufficiently to warrant its own vehicle in order to give visibility to the abundant scientific production in the area and give scientific support to the construction of the Unified Health System (SUS).
Slowly but surely "Ciência & Saúde Coletiva" grew and came to be considered one of the three most important Journals in the area. Starting with two annual publications in 1996, it increased to four and then to six per year, and in 2011 it began to be published on a monthly basis. The timeliness of the articles, and the quality and importance of what it published are responsible for its indexation in 18 national, regional and international data bases. Those that give it more visibility and reliability are: SciELO, MEDLINE, ISI/Thomson and Scopus.
In the course of the past 20 years, 112 issues have been published containing 2993 articles (by the end of 2014), with an average of 28 texts per issue. These were accessed - between 2002 and September 2014 - by 9,408,979 Portuguese speakers; 550,337 English speakers; 189,420 Spanish speakers, and 443,264 speakers of other languages. What do these numbers represent? In real terms, they reveal one of the highest rates of access to Brazilian production in any area. Some issues were truly memorable. In first place, there was the issue entitled "Quality of Life and Health" 5(1):2000; in second place, "Humane Care and Health" 10(3):2005; in third place, "Occupational Health: old and new issues" 10(4):2005; in fourth place, "The Unified Health System (SUS) in practice: advances and limitations" 12(2):2007; and in fifth place, "Genetics and Public Health" 7(1):2002. There were other topics addressed in a pioneering manner by the journal, paving the way for the first discussions of principles for new policies, such as the "Men's Health" 10(1):2005. There is not sufficient space here to mention all the relevant subjects addressed, such as the issues on health policies and the evaluation of policies, services and funding for the sector.
Many challenges remain. Two of them will be covered exhaustively: (1) an agenda increasingly tuned to the health interests of the Brazilian population to which science has a duty to serve; (2) investment in the internationalization of the journal, including the English version of articles published online. These two goals complement each other, since knowledge has no borders and what is published with appropriate methodology and in-depth analysis is a contribution to universal science.
This year, the covers of all the issues of the Journal will feature a commemorative stamp and a new internal division "Architects of Public Health." One article will be published per month paying homage to the pioneers in this field who have passed away and whose names ABRASCO and the entire scientific community must revere.
As we enter this festive year, the Editors-in-Chief would like to extend their gratitude to the board of ABRASCO and several institutions that have been indispensable to the development of the Journal: The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, CNPq, CAPES, FAPERJ, SciElo, the Ministry of Health and the Pan American Health Organization. Our effusive thanks go especially to the Editorial Policy Committee, to the Associate Editors, to the Editorial Council, to the ad hoc Referees and to the dedicated executive team that oversees the day-to -day enhancement, dissemination and growth of "Ciência & Saúde Coletiva."
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