Local science journals, evaluation of scientific performance and communication of research results. One or three divergent issues?

Anna María Prat

The need to measure and evaluate the scientific output of the research community according to international standards has produced, in many developing countries, big distortions on the communication patterns of the local scientists. This is especially true in some areas where good local scientific journals are needed or exist, but are not considered when evaluation of institutions or individuals is made.

At the same time, the traditional problems for editing learned periodicals impairs the regular production of scientific journals of high quality, that are not only timely produced but also widely distributed, and available for use. This feature increases the bad reputation of the local science production.

This has induced many countries, and Chile in particular, in adopting national policies to evaluate national science journals, create special funding systems for those considered of high quality and or interest at national level. Also some indicators have been defined to rank the journals according to common and differentiated criteria, in the various areas.

The program SciELO for the electronic publishing of existing science journals is allowing us to evaluate the journals, have a follow-up of their use and define new criteria and indicators to attempt a ranking, first at national level, and hopefully, in the near future, at regional level.

A second program for the edition of new journals only in electronic format has been, so far, very successful. Perhaps the new edition models could modify in the future, the evaluation and communication systems of our scientists and institution.




















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