Learning the art of science publishing

Mario Jorge Sobreira da Silva Giselle Goulart de Oliveira Matos J. Rodolfo M. Lucena Laís Picinini Freitas Suelen Carlos de Oliveira About the authors

The popularization of science and public health was a major reason for the choice by the Editors of CSP to illustrate the covers of the journal’s 2017 editions with the theme Street Art11. Carvalho MS, Coeli CM, Lima LD. Dias melhores virão! Cad Saúde Pública 2017; 33:e00212016.. This same choice served as the inspiration for organizing the first internship program in science publishing in Brazil. Just as many people believe that the urban canvases covering cities are hardly appropriate for conveying the nobility and beauty of grand works of art, many also believe that researchers-in-training are not fit to learn the grand art of publishing.

Free art on the streets acts as a medium for communication by citizens and society. Its forms of representation reveal the desires, challenges, creativity, and culture that exists in each given place. In addition to entertaining commuters and passersby, free art is a space for political expression and activism by the people, especially marginalized sectors. The originality in each art work’s expression produces an irreproducible unicity. As CSP has taught us, that’s how science publishing should be: free, autonomous, independent, and full of personality and the desire to innovate. Singular in its identity and plural in the diversity and dynamics of its action. Attuned to the political scenario and marked by a public stance in defense of the right to health as an inalienable good.

Another fundamental lesson we learned, in line with the theme of the CSP editions in 2017, has to do with the purpose of science publishing. We see open, free, unrestricted access to scientific publications 22. Carvalho MS, Coeli CM, Lima LD. CSP: bem comum da Saúde Coletiva. Cad Saúde Pública 2017; 33:e00133517. as a right. The knowledge produced by science needs to be placed at society’s service, for it to be used. Especially in a journal dedicated to public health issues. What would become of street art if access to it were limited to a museum or gallery? Its functionality would certainly be curtailed, and it would lose its reason for being.

The opportunity to experience the challenges of science publishing also helped us understand how to define a journal’s editorial policy, conduct the scientific publication’s quality evaluation, mainly the methodological rigor of the underlying research, establish strategies for scientific communication and dissemination on digital platforms, calculate and analyze indicators for the evaluation of periodicals, identify aspects that jeopardize research integrity and ethics standards, and systematize the science publishing process. This armamentarium of information and experiences can be a powerful tool for the researcher, especially the researcher-in-training, to be clear that science is socially built, that it should be conducted with responsibility, ethics, and quality, at the service of society.

For these and other reasons, the backstage of science publishing, viewed and decried as a “black box” by many students and researchers, is actually a simply fascinating place for someone who has the opportunity to get to know it. Science editors’ dedication is extraordinary and admirable. Just as the painstaking and well-planned work by the graffiti artist on the street, the editors take care of each and every detail in particular in order for the work as a whole to be surprising and useful to society. The dedication and tenacity needed for these activities are worthy of great respect: focused, selfless work with integrity, for the collective good.

We wish boundless energy for both the street artists and the professionals dedicated to the art of science publishing. Only highly sensitive human beings can glimpse the still-untapped potential of a gray city wall or an eager-to-learn student. Cláudia, Luciana (Kalu), and Marilia, we are forever grateful for this opportunity.

  • 1
    Carvalho MS, Coeli CM, Lima LD. Dias melhores virão! Cad Saúde Pública 2017; 33:e00212016.
  • 2
    Carvalho MS, Coeli CM, Lima LD. CSP: bem comum da Saúde Coletiva. Cad Saúde Pública 2017; 33:e00133517.

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    18 Dec 2017
Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública Sergio Arouca, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil
E-mail: cadernos@ensp.fiocruz.br