These last fifteen years, Brazil and other countries have seen the production of a significant set of research, known as "state of the art" or "state of knowledge". Defined as having a bibliographic feature, they seem to share the challenge of mapping and discussing a certain academic production in different fields of knowledge. They try to show which aspects and dimensions have been highlighted and privileged at different times and places. They also pinpoint how and in what conditions certain kinds of master's degree thesis and doctor's degree dissertations, publications in periodicals and communications in annals of congress and seminary were produced. In this article, I pose and try to answer the following questions: Is it worth making the effort of interrogating the history of the academic production about a given area of knowledge, choosing to read only bibliographic data and abstracts of works? What does it man to read this institution of work dissemination (catalogues), taking it as a documental source to map the academic production in research called "state of art"?
State of art; Mapping; Academic production