Increasing impact of the Revista de Saúde Pública (Journal of Public Health)
Carlos Augusto Monteiro; Rita Barradas Barata; José Leopoldo Ferreira Antunes
The Journal Citation Report published in June the impact factor of the Revista de Saúde Pública (RSP) in 2011: 1.328. This figure is 54% higher than the value obtained in the previous year, and places the RSP as the fifth highest impact of scientific journals in Brazil, in all areas of knowledge. In the international context, the new impact factor puts the RSP over 40% of the journals in "Public, Environmental and Occupational Health" that have met indexation criteria. When exclusively considering counterpart journals of public health, the RSP is among the twenty highest impact factors worldwide. In fact, in this category, the RSP ranks the highest impact factor outside Europe and the USA.
Despite being controversial, the impact factor is an internationally recognized measure to assess the importance of scientific journals in each knowledge field. This index expresses the ratio between the number of citations received by a journal in one year and the number of articles published in the previous two years. The value obtained by the RSP indicates that each article published in 2009 and 2010 was cited, on average, 1.328 times in 2011 in journals indexed by the ISI Web of Science, the well-known database maintained by Thomson Reuters.
In the longer term, the scientific impact measured by citations may be indicated by the index h, another internationally recognized measurement. In this aspect, the RSP also reached a high value: 34, which means that 34 articles published in RSP received 34 or more citations in journals indexed in ISI Web of Science. In SciVerse Scopus, the bibliographic database maintained by Elsevier, the RSP got even higher figures in November 2011: impact factor 1.416 and index h 42.
These results are not obtained by chance; they rather reflect the collective effort of authors, ad hoc reviewers and the editorial board. The authors, of course, give their contribution by submitting high quality originals to the journal and by engaging in the editorial process to improve their manuscripts. The generous reviewers play a key role to maintain the high level of theoretical and methodological discussions which provide the improvement of manuscripts. And the editorial board contributes by selecting the best studies and organizing the complex process of peer review.
The editorial board of the RSP is proud to have managed to maintain the periodicity of the journal. After modified by the authors and approved by referees and editors, all manuscripts are revised to check spelling, grammar and style. Articles that have been submitted in Portuguese or Spanish gain an English version in the online issue, which ensures its international dissemination. Even before the fascicle are printed and distributed, all articles are formatted, identified by a DOI code, and made available online. For these results, the participation in the Scielo platform has been essential. The increasing impact of the RSP reflects the success and the importance of these efforts.
We are glad to announce this outcome, and we believe we can move forward. We are preparing the RSP to enter the PubMed Central ® (PMC), the system maintained by the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine for archiving and providing open access to scientific articles in the areas of biomedical and life sciences. This initiative will propitiate a considerable increase in international visibility and dissemination of articles published in the journal. Roughly, it would be equivalent to a major increase in printed copies and worldwide distribution, in a period prior to the internet. We are planning further measures to increase the national and international visibility of the RSP, which will be announced in due course.