EDITORIAL

 

Forty years of the Revista de Saúde Pública in the SciELO collection

 

 

The complete collection of the 218 issues of the Revista de Saúde Pública (RSP) that have been published since 1967 were made available online through the SciELO website in December 2006, with open access and no barriers, and will now always be available. Each new issue of the Revista will be added to this collection, thereby periodically refueling the flow of information and the circulation of ideas and scientific knowledge within public health. This is a notable advance in the history of one of the most important scientific periodicals in Brazil and, without doubt, is the best finale to the commemorations of its 40 years of life that took place in 2006.

The figures and indicators of the collection show the RSP's constant evolution over the course of its existence. There have been 218 issues published, containing a total of 2,991 original articles and other types of texts. Of these, 374 were published during its first ten years (between 1967 and 1976), and the numbers increased to 581 and 764 articles, respectively, during the next two decades. Over the last ten years, the RSP has published 1,272 articles, i.e. three times more than during its first decade.

The texts published in the RSP during the five years from 2001 to 2005 were accessed 2,031,740 times through the SciELO website. This is a monthly average of almost 33,800 accesses, or just over 1,000 accesses per day. This daily average underwent an impressive upward leap to 6,000 articles in 2006, as a result of open access on the Internet and, especially, visits originating from the Google search engine. The periodicals Cadernos de Saúde Pública and Revista de Saúde Pública are the ones with the greatest numbers of accesses in the Brazilian SciELO collection.

The positive effect from open access is also reflected in the number of citations that the RSP receives from the SciELO collection and also from the journals indexed by the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI). Out of the total number of texts published by the RSP over its 40 years, SciELO has identified 2,433 articles published up to 2005, for the purposes of registering the citations. In total, these articles received 6,479 citations in the SciELO collection and 5,297 in the ISI, i.e. an average of 2.7 and 2.2 citations per article, respectively. However, the number of citations received has been increasing over the last few years. The number of citations that the RSP collection received via both the SciELO collection and ISI index increased by more than 120% between 2001 and 2005, going from 423 to 960 in SciELO and from 272 to 607 in ISI. Thus, the RSP's impact is predominantly seen within Brazilian scientific communication (Meneghini et al 2006). The citations within the SciELO collection were identified through the online bibliometry module. Citations within the ISI collection were identified using a special database acquired from Thomson Scientific that allows exhaustive identification of the periodicals cited, thereby finding citations that often are not considered in the Journal of Citation Report because of variations in the way of writing the titles.

Upon commemorating 40 years, the complete collection of the RSP that is available for access through SciELO is a present and a repayment from its editors to the community of researchers, professionals, students and scholars of public health, especially the founders of the Revista, to the editors, reviewers, authors and readers who have given it 40 years of life; and also to the agencies and institutions that have contributed towards its funding. And the RSP is looking to the future with innovations in online publishing, like simultaneous versions of articles in Portuguese and English – "ahead of print", i.e. advance online publication of articles that have already been reviewed and edited, before the closure of the regular print edition. With the publication of the complete collection and the innovations in progress, the tendency will be for increases in the numbers of articles accessed and also in the numbers of citations for these articles.

In the spirit of SciELO, which recognizes scientific knowledge as a public asset, everyone now has open access to all of the RSP's production. People can read the texts online, copy them to their computers, print them and send them by e-mail. And it will be possible for all the articles to be accessed via different indexing organizations and information services such as Web of Science, MEDLINE, LILACS and Google Scholar. The investments that have been made in research and in its publication will maximize the possibilities for its articles to be read, cited and utilized in research, education, health policies and actions.

The publication of the complete collection of the RSP is in addition to the collections of Cadernos de Saúde Pública, História, Ciências, Saúde – Manguinhos and Estudos Avançados, which are also complete. Together, these form a milepost in Brazilian scientific communication.

Wishing a long life for Revista de Saúde Pública!

 

REFERENCE

1. Menghini R, Mugnaini R, Packer AL. International versus national oriented Brazilian scientific journals: a scientometric analysis based on SciELO and JCR-ISI databases. Scientometrics. 2006;69(3):529-38.

 

Abel L. Packer
Coordenador Operacional do SciELO Diretor da BIREME/OPAS/OMS

Faculdade de Saúde Pública da Universidade de São Paulo São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: revsp@org.usp.br