An economic community shall adopt as its ideal culture, three fundamentals for development: encouraging a rational discussion, foreshadowing its actions (1) and respect for written tradition.1 In particular, in the realm of health sciences, scientific publications are critical as a means to foster debate and preserve the written tradition that embodies research work based on a method historically validated by the community itself. This scenario generates a fundamental trust so that its members may undertake transcendental changes in their professional practice. Moreover, these publications must meet certain quality standards and share common codes that facilitate the search and the interpretation of findings and results. Consequently, today's models are aimed at systematizing, classifying and structuring the huge amount of medical information generated through all kinds of physical or digital media.
Therefore, the idea of quality of the publications goes beyond the mere adherence to editorial standardization, the promotion and visibility and the impact of the articles published.2 These factors (editorial standardization, visibility and citation) are the result of a sustained development in the history of sciences. For instance, it was not until 1665 when the London Royal Society adopted the peer review modality for its editorial processes for the publication of the “Philosophical Transactions”, and the first attempt to standardize took place in the sixties by the National Library of Medicine (nml) in the United States.3 Visibility on the other hand, refers to the way in which a scientific publication is disseminated; i.e., how is it distributed, its availability to the user and its inclusion in scientific databases. The impact (measured by the citation rate) refers to the number of references made of the articles published in a regular scientific journal within a particular period of time. Consequently, high citation rates indicate that the articles published in the particular journal are largely disseminated and that its contents are relevant and significant enough to be referred to in other publications.
Throughout the forty issues published, the Colombian Journal of Anesthesiology has not neglected these aspects. Since the very beginning the Journal has tried to adopt as many editorial standards as possible, promoted national and then international visibility, and in the last decade started measuring its impact through the citation rate in the Latin American context.
For 2012, the Colombian Society of Anesthesiology and Resuscitation (scare) has entered into an alliance with Elsevier to further its editorial standardization, its visibility and thence, the impact of the articles published. The purpose of this alliance is to fully adopt the editorial formats and adhere to all the international standards to enhance the readership of its articles, comprehension thereof and meet the scientific needs of anesthesiology. According to this model, the Journal will continue to be published in hard copy (for the Latin environment) and in digital format (Spanish and English). In its digital form, every article will include the Digital Object Identifier (doi), similar to International Standard Book Number - isbn -. The difference is that the isbn is used for any monograph publication regardless of how it is supported, whilst the doi is used to identify any on-line publication. Furthermore, the doi works similarly to a permanent url; if the url changes, a directory will provide the new address. In this manner, any article can be cited from the first moment it is accessed.
Additionally, this alliance will enable regular bibliography and bibliometric analyses to estimate the impact of the journal and hence, design potential strategies to improved visibility and citation. Furthermore, the journal may now be included in three additional databases: www.elsevier.es, www.scopus.com and www.sciencedirect.com. Naturally, it will continue to be indexed in SciELO, Publindex, lilacs, ebsco, imbiomed, index copernicus, Redalyc, licocs, Informe Académico (Gale Cengage Learning) and Latindex. Finally, in the next few years, this alliance will pave the way for the inclusion of the journal in Medline/PubMed and Science Citation Index.
In summary, these strategies will expand the reach of our contributions to science beyond the local user to the global user, in addition to increasing the number of articles published therein. Henríquez (2004) wrote: “The visibility of the journals could be a stimulus for Latin American researchers to further support the journals of the region, against the trend to publish in the journals included in the Science Citation Index, which has very few Latin American publications, so the results of our research are “deflected” towards journals from other geographical areas, basically of the developed countries”.4
In parallel to the journal, this year scare encourages high quality research within its community through the allocation of financial resources, the provision of academic advice, and the training of human resources, in addition to meetings and strategic alliances. The organization and its current board of directors recognize that all efforts to generate knowledge based on high quality research are essential for the Journal's continuous growth.
It is then appropriate to express our sincere gratitude and to congratulate all of those who have contributed with their knowledge and actions to the extended life of our journal, and to the constant quest for quality.
Gustavo Reyes is the Scientific Deputy Director of the Colombian Society of Anesthesiology and Resuscitation
Funding sources: None.
1 Foreshadowing of actions refers to the ability to forecast the circumstances in which certain events may happen. In science as a whole, work proceeds based on pre-conceived projects.
1. Alvarado Salgado SV. Un marco comprensivo para pensar las especializaciones profesionales en Colombia. En: Especializaciones: diagnóstico, conceptualización y lineamientos de política. Serie de Educación Superior ICFES. Bogotá: Ministerio de Educación Nacional; 2002. v. 5 p. 187.
2. Citado por: Hosp N. Visibilidad de las revistas científicas e iniciativas para incrementar la difusión de las publicaciones españolas. J. Veiga de Cabo. 2003;18:177-80.
3. Ortega Fernández C, Vázquez Valero M. Estudio de las publicaciones periódicas españolas en ciencia y tecnología. Boletín de la Anabad. 1986;36(1-2):391-405
4. Ochoa Henríquez H. Visibilidad: el reto de las revistas científicas latinoamericanas. Rev Cienc Hum Soc. 2004;20(43):131-8.