The 85th anniversary of REM begins in 2021. The long existence of a publication makes it clear that the factors of commitment and responsibility in the dissemination of science, are always more important than any personal decision.
Pending in the Brazilian Congress is Bill 2096/20, which amends the Penal Code so that reviewers or editors of scientific articles could be punished with a detention of 1 to 6 months or a fine, if they require the citation of specific articles as a condition for the research to be published. The text is being processed at the Chamber of Deputies (Source: Agência Câmara de Notícias). Still, according to the news, the proposal refers to a crime of coercive citation when the citation suggested by the reviewer or editor has no scientific justification, but only the purpose of giving more visibility to a certain author or periodical.
It is good to imagine that such a crime could happen between a student / advisor, although, when looking for a advisor for the research, the candidate must be knowledgeable of the subject, so there may be citations. Another fact is that the number of specializations has grown so much, that an advisor only deals with research within his field, and as a consequence, there will be citations.
At REM, it is the Associate Editor, who assumes full responsibility for decisions regarding the manuscripts, and may disregard the reviewers' recommendations. Again, it is good to remember that most of the time, they have no relationship with the author. In addition, the reviewers have no information about the authors, since the reviews are done based on the text with no mention of the authors.
Another complicating factor is the internationality of a magazine, which people from all over the world seek. Once again, there is no relationship between the reviewer / author, and today, with searches for reviewers on specialized sites, such as Publons, it also becomes “almost impossible” to have a reviewer / author / Editor relationship.
Perhaps the biggest problem for a Brazilian editor is finding a good reviewer. Now, imagine if one is to be punished for voluntary work. This situation is portrayed in the legendary episode in the Sword of Damocles, with the expression: Asking does not offend: Who will want to participate?
It is best to leave the solution of this situation to the scientific community who would punish with oblivion those who act unfairly. Together we will find the way to resolve this, without the need for laws that not even Freud can explain. Long live scientific publications!
Publication in this collection
15 Jan 2021
Date of issue