The range of activities coordinated by the Editors-in-chief in CSP is broad. In addition to assessing all the regular article submissions (more than 2,200 thus far in 2017) and monitoring the journal’s editorial process, we commission articles and debates on contemporary issues that are important to Public Health in Brazil and the world 11. Carvalho MS, Coeli CM, Lima LD. CSP: bem comum da Saúde Coletiva. Cad Saúde Pública 2017; 33:e00133517.. In 2017, we published fifteen articles in the Perspectives and four in the Thematic Section. Such articles foster critical reflection on various topics, ranging from political decisions affecting social rights and the Brazilian Unified National Health System (SUS) to disease control and health services. At a time of increasing rejection of scientific knowledge, whether related to global warming or the effectiveness of vaccines 22. Hansson SO. Science denial as a form of pseudoscience. Stud Hist Philos Sci 2017; 63:39-47., the involvement of scientific journals in science dissemination, which values its link to current problems and debates in society, is essential 33. Communicating science effectively: a research agenda. Washington DC: National Academies Press; 2017..
As Editors, we also believe in the importance of training graduate students in science writing and publishing. The communication of research results is a central part of scientific work, despite the undesirable consequences of the hegemonic model of evaluation of researchers centered on publishing articles in journals with high impact factors 44. Coeli CM, Carvalho MS, Lima LD. Inovação, qualidade e quantidade: escolha dois. Cad Saúde Pública 2016; 32:eED010116.. We participated in article writing workshops and other initiatives to train young researchers on article writing and peer review. However, this year we innovated and proposed to hold an editorial internship for PhD students at the Sergio Arouca National School of Public Health/Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (ENSP/Fiocruz). Openings for the internship were announced in June, and we received fourteen applications. Following lengthy interviews and extensive internal discussions amongst us Editors, five students were selected, contemplating three different graduate studies programs.
Few initiatives have focused on training graduate students to work in science publishing. Most researchers only acquire this expertise after working as editors-in-chief or executive editors. The process thus relies on learning-by-doing. There are no journals edited by commercial publishers in the Public Health field in Brazil. Rather, journals are maintained either by academic institutions or Abrasco, the Brazilian Association of Public Health. Editors-in-chief are researchers that devote part of their workload to the journal, and are unpaid or receive symbolic compensations. As in other areas, the vast majority of journals in Public Health are struggling to survive because of insufficient funding 55. Kellner AW. Editors of Brazilian journals - a hard life that is getting harder! An Acad Bras Ciênc 2017; 89:1-2.. Staffs are generally downsized, and most tasks in editing manuscripts are outsourced.
This scenario of scarcity might raise questions about the reason for an internship in science publishing. The best answer comes from Reinaldo Souza-Santos, who worked at CSP for 23 years, first as Assistant Editor and later as Associate Editor. For him, the experience at CSP induced a critical view, a fundamental skill for his current scientific research practice.
We prepared an extensive training program, including aspects of the journal’s editorial policy, criteria for the evaluation of scientific articles, the submissions flow in the journal, strategies in scientific communication and dissemination, indicators used to evaluate science journals, research integrity, and the editorial production process. The references for the discussion were Editorials and Instructions to Authors from scientific journals as well as the recommendations of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), which are publications that portray the daily life in science publishing. For each topic, we had a face-to-face meeting with the Editors every other week, giving students assignments to work on between sessions.
The internship program has been a pleasurable experience. As professors, working with a group of dedicated and enthusiastic PhD students is highly rewarding. Based on this experience, we were able to systematize essential topics in editing and evaluate the quality of CSP issues. Our daily schedule is heavy. We read and reflect on science and Public Health routinely, as do most science editors 66. Kostic M. A day in my life as a scientific journal editor. http://crosstalk.cell.com/blog/a-day-in-my-life-as-a-scientific-journal-editor (acessado em 13/Nov/2017).
http://crosstalk.cell.com/blog/a-day-in-... . The internship program allowed sharing with the interns the responsibilities and challenges involved in our job.
Nonetheless, the internship program being just four months was insufficient. Only now, at the end of the year, they are able to help with editorial tasks. Therefore, we intend to extend the internship program for an additional semester. Moreover, we will have new openings in 2018.
To our interns Giselle Goulart de Oliveira Matos, José Rodolfo Mendonça de Lucena, Laís Picinini Freitas, Mario Jorge Sobreira da Silva, and Suelen Carlos de Oliveira, our sincerest thanks.
- 1Carvalho MS, Coeli CM, Lima LD. CSP: bem comum da Saúde Coletiva. Cad Saúde Pública 2017; 33:e00133517.
- 2Hansson SO. Science denial as a form of pseudoscience. Stud Hist Philos Sci 2017; 63:39-47.
- 3Communicating science effectively: a research agenda. Washington DC: National Academies Press; 2017.
- 4Coeli CM, Carvalho MS, Lima LD. Inovação, qualidade e quantidade: escolha dois. Cad Saúde Pública 2016; 32:eED010116.
- 5Kellner AW. Editors of Brazilian journals - a hard life that is getting harder! An Acad Bras Ciênc 2017; 89:1-2.
- 6Kostic M. A day in my life as a scientific journal editor. http://crosstalk.cell.com/blog/a-day-in-my-life-as-a-scientific-journal-editor (acessado em 13/Nov/2017).
- Publication in this collection
18 Dec 2017