4 September 2012 | EN | ES
In five years, just four scientific journals have been quoted in Folha
[SÃO PAULO] Brazil's scientific journals are "basically invisible" in the country's media, a conference has heard.
Germana Barata, a researcher at the State University of Campinas, Brazil, attributed this trend to a lack of regard for Brazilian journals among science journalists and poor efforts by publications to reach the media.
Barata was speaking at 'Contemporary Tendencies on Science Communication', a conference held in Minas Gerais, Brazil, last month (22–24 August).
"Based on a survey we have been developing about the number of quotes from Brazilian scientific journals in Folha de S. Paulo [Brazil's most widely read newspaper], I would say that the national [scientific] journals are basically invisible — in five years, just four journals have been quoted," Barata told SciDev.Net.
She added that the situation regarding Brazil's journals is delicate, as there is increasing competition for investment.
One of the major challenges facing newspaper journalists in Brazil is the uncertainty regarding the evidence published in scientific studies, which can be hard to decipher and sometimes appear to reach contradictory conclusions, Barata said.
But according to Abel Packer, Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO) programme coordinator, the articles published in Latin American journals are some of the most read in the world.
"About 80 per cent of Latin American journals are open access, [and] the number of scientific articles downloaded is increasing daily. Nowadays, SciELO has an average of 1.2 million of articles downloaded," Packer told SciDev.Net.
"SciELO has been working with editors and researchers to train them in preparing press releases and using social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Mendeley and CiteULike, [which is] used specifically [for] quotes," he added.
One good example of scientific marketing is Clinics, a scientific journal edited by the University of Sao Paulo's medical school, said Barata.
"[The university] has invested in improving the journal," Barata said. "It has given it an English title, and hired a public relations firm to disseminate the journal to diverse audiences."
A further seminar to improve communication between scientific journals and national media, 'Introduction to the Use of Social Networking in Scientific Communication', was organised by SciELO last month (21 August), and the organisation plans to hold similar events in the future.
Packer told SciDev.Net: "the aim is start developing a methodology for the formal use of these tools by the scientific community".
Nagib Nassar,Universidade Brasilia,Brasil ( Brazil )
7 September 2012
If Scientific journals are invisible in Brazilian media this may be due to subjects covered by these journals. Probably because they deal with subjects which do not interest readers. The Folha de S.Paulo published frquently and commented on articles published at online journal www.geneconserve.pro.br
Science Editor of Folha (Dr) Reinaldo Lopes ( he is Ph.D holder) wrote and commented in two occasions on articles published in the above mentioned journal. First on nutritive cassava rich in caroten, second on danger of extinction which wild cassavas suffer in their natural habitats. Both of the two articles ocupied entire pages. I think that if science is absent in Brazilian journals this is due to absence of attracting attention of highly qualified editors such as Reinaldo who writes on evolution, genetics and biodiversity as if a highly specialized professional.
Vera Barbosa ( United Kingdom )
10 September 2012
I think Nassar's comment makes no sense and is unfair, quite honestly! Does he expect all Brazilian journals to publish on one subject? Of course, sometimes it is the subject of the paper that attract the media's attention, but no matter how interesting and important to science the papers in a journal are, if the journal doesn't make it public in the first place by sending out press releases.
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