Ten years of scientific electronic publication: the evolution of The Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins
With the aim to extensively disseminate the scientific production on Toxinology, in 1994, the Center for the Study of Venoms and Venomous Animals (CEVAP) of the São Paulo State University (UNESP), Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil, developed the first Brazilian scientific electronic journal in this field, The Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins (JVAT). It was launched in March 1995, and had its title changed to The Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases (JVATiTD) in January 2002, when the area of tropical diseases was also included.
Published in English, distributed without charge for researchers of the Brazilian Society and the International Society on Toxinology, appears two times a year until 2003 and three times a year since 2004, the periodical completes with this edition its tenth uninterrupted year of publication. During this period, the journal was subsidised by UNESP and CEVAP, and sometimes it had a partnership with private companies, such as Verbatim®, Microsoft®, Prodec®, Trace Disk®, and Botunet, what contributed to its distribution in 3,5" diskettes (from 1995 to 2000), Cd-Rom (from 1998 to 2003), and Internet (since 1996).
In 1996, when the transmission of information via Internet was still low, Jvat was included in the project of scientific electronic publication e*pub of the Center for Biomedical Informatics, State University of Campinas, Brazil. From 1997 to 2002, its abstracts were available at a website supported by Botunet.
The Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins was the fist publication exclusively electronic to be selected and included in the Scientific Electronic Library On line (SciELO), which stores the complete collection of the journal since November 1998, with open access to whomever is interested; permitting higher visibility and retrieval of articles by international and national researchers, what may increase the number of citations of this material.
Besides, SciELO offers bibliometric indicators: number of visits to the page, articles and summaries; and reports that permit the identification of journals that cite articles published in JVAT and/or JVATiTD, for example, Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical, Cadernos de Saúde Pública, Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, and Arquivo Brasileiro de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia. SciELO's usage statistics shows that the number of visits to JVAT' s articles had a substantial increase from 678 in 1999 to 22,234 in July 2004.
The website http://www.jvat.org.br was developed in March 2003. One of the options it offers is the access to all the abstracts with a link to the full text available at SciELO, to information of papers accepted for future publication, to the last complete issue, and also to options of paper submission, peer review online, instructions to authors, and further information about the journal. In July 2004, the number of visits was 3,953, being 76.5% from the United States, 9% from Brazil, 3.3% from Saudi Arabia, 0.9% from Mexico and Australia, and 9.4% from other countries.
The use of new technologies of communication has permitted to improve the production process, the interaction between participants, and the fastness in the articles dissemination, with benefits to the researchers/users and to the global scientific and technological development.
The journal is indexed in databases, such as Chemical Abstracts Service, Excerpta Medica - EMBASE, Cambridge Scientific Abstracts, CAB International, Literatura Latino-Americana em Ciências da Saúde (Lilacs), VENOMS - the Atheris database on venomous animals, NISC Colorado - Wildlife Review Abstracts, Biological Abstracts (BIOSIS®), and Zoological Record (BIOSIS®). It is publicized by the Ulrich' s and Índice Latinoamericano de Publicaciones Científicas Seriadas (LATINDEX). The periodical is available at Portal Brasileiro da Informação Científica - Periódicos Capes; National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) - Periódicos Lattes, and affiliated to the Associação Brasileira de Editores Científicos (ABEC) since 1996.
In Brazil, The Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins (ISSN 0104-7930) appears in the Qualis1 1 Qualis is the result of the classification process of channels utilized by graduate programs in Brazil for the dissemination of the intellectual production by their students and researchers. ,/Capes classification as "B International" in the areas Multi-disciplinary and Biological Sciences I; "C International" in Ecology and Environment; "A National" in Animal Husbandry and Aquatic Resources, Veterinary Medicine, and Agrarian Sciences; and "B National" in Engineering IV. This classification was based on data collected in 2003 and gives the category that indicates the quality (A, B or C) and the circulation (local, national or international) of the journal, which is already part of the roll of publications utilized as reference and means of research dissemination in some national graduate programs.
Finally, according to searches at the Web of Science (Cited Reference Search) from 1995 to 2004, it was possible to verify that articles published in this journal were cited in 43 internationally well-established journals indexed in databases of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). From the total of articles cited, 31.0% are in Toxicon; 8.3% in Mediators of Inflammation; 3.6% in Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics; 3.6% in Canadian Journal of Physiology and Phamacology; 3.6% in Journal of Natural Toxins; and others such as Natural Product Reports, Pediatric Emergency Care, Journal of Arachnology, and Zoologischer Anzeiger, which, separately, are responsible for 1.2% of the citations. It must be pointed out that papers citing JVAT' s articles were written mostly by international researchers.
Completing these first ten years of existence, JVAT/JVATiTD have certainly fulfilled their mission as international journals on toxinology and tropical diseases, amplifying the dissemination of the science produced in Brazil and fortifying the scientific interchange in these areas.
Maria Fernanda Sarmento e Souza
M.Sc. in Information Science
Centro de Estudos de Venenos e Animais Peçonhentos
São Paulo State University (UNESP), Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil
Publication in this collection
27 Sept 2004
Date of issue