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Editor's viewpoint

In the scope of biological investigation, it is of utmost importance to provide investigators with formal training associated with good knowledge of scientific methodology.

Brazilian tradition in research lacks a sound foundation, and in addition to this, Brazilian Universities have not played their role in providing formal training to students and research fellows. Furthermore, review of the scientific literature has not received the deserved critical consideration to contribute to the planning and execution of research projects.

Experienced and knowledgeable professionals are not sufficient to meet the demand. In addition to not having enough resources available, the research field in Brazil is vast since there is still a lot to be done.

In several Brazilian Universities, including São Paulo State University, there is a growing concern over the need to introduce the discipline named Methodology of Research in the undergraduate and postgraduate curricula. This will certainly provide new researchers with a better training to carry out reliable research.

The scientific method is the theoretical framework of an investigation which should focus on a certain subject precisely and objectively. Then, a thorough review of the literature, use of the available tools, proposition of testable hypotheses and execution of the experiment through careful observation should yield a reliable investigation. Moreover, the data collected should be properly analyzed to allow comparison and discussion of the results obtained with those presented by the literature.

A poorly conducted investigation besides overloading scientific literature with dispensable publications, brings about costs and risks to human subjects in addition to turning the investigation unethical.

Elementary knowledge of statistical methods and use of softwares, for statistical analyses, may lead the unwary investigator not to require help from a professional statistician, and consequently, draw erroneous conclusions, which is well worth avoiding.

One must be highly careful not to accept everything that is published as an unquestionable truth, mainly when what is published refers to scientific conclusions.

These are just a few arguments which might be mentioned to support the inclusion of a statistician in the Editorial Board of Scientific Journals. Fortunately, the most renowned Scientific Journals already have an statistician in their Editorial Board as a matter of policy. This is not a call to overestimate the importance of statistics in biological research as the only tool, but as one of the several tools of indisputable value in the accomplishment of efficient investigations, as well as in saving time and grants.

It is my honor as a biologist and statistician to have been invited to be a member of the Editorial Board of a Scientific Journal which has a modern scientific approach. Thus, all manuscripts submitted for publication in "The Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins" will be reviewed before publication.

Paulo Roberto Curi

Associate Editor

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    08 Jan 1999
  • Date of issue
    1995
Centro de Estudos de Venenos e Animais Peçonhentos - CEVAP, Universidade Estadual Paulista - UNESP Caixa Postal 577, 18618-000 Botucatu SP Brazil, Tel. / Fax: +55 14 3814-5555 | 3814-5446 | 3811-7241 - Botucatu - SP - Brazil
E-mail: jvat@cevap.org.br