Global Rheumatology: the balance of the first anniversary and the challenges ahead in the world of scientific publications.

By :
    Carlo V Caballero Uribe MD
    Editor en Jefe Global Rheumatology by PANLAR

    Estefanía Fajardo
    Periodista científica de Global Rheumatology by PANLAR.

20 September, 2021
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In this video blog we discuss the challenges and importance of scientific publications, as well as the Pan-American identity of GR by PANLAR to bring research from our continent to the world.



EF: Hello everyone and welcome to a new Global Rheumatology video blog, where we will discuss different topics. Today we will be reviewing the first anniversary of Global Rheumatology, and we are joined by Dr. Carlo Vinicio Caballero, Editor in Chief of the journal. Welcome, Doctor.


CVC: Hello Estefania, how are you? Greetings to you and to the entire Global Rheumatology audience.


EF: Tell us, how did Global come about?


CVC: Global Rheumatology is an idea that PANLAR has had in mind for many years; that is, how to have a contemporary means of distribution that would contribute something within the universe of journals, of scientific publications, existing not only in the region, but in the world. Throughout this process we have been thinking about some of the things that should be done.


It is well known that we have an official PANLAR journal, the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, and our purpose was not to compete with that journal, but to propose a different medium in order to answer the questions that have been generated in recent years in this field of scientific journal publications.


EF: How was the whole process and development of this magazine?


CVC: I would say that the most important thing was to answer many questions before daring to make our proposal, what kind of questions? For example, nowadays you see that there is a lot of discussion about open access, so whether to make it open access or not, the languages, you know that it is something important for the Pan-American region, whether to do it only in English or to make it trilingual, considering the audience that PANLAR, the league and the journal mainly serves; we also had to consider other factors, like whether it was printed, whether it was going to be online…many questions that we had to answer as a society, as an association, as a league, in order to produce a product that had a differential of what was available in the world of publications in our continent.


EF: Based on all this, then, what is the aim of the Global Rheumatology Journal?


CVC: I think that we decided to create a new product, something different, a new type of journal. Actually, we defined it in the editorial a year ago as the first of a new generation of magazines that, clearly, had a platform that was very much adapted to modern times, also clearly trying to combine what was traditional in scientific publication and research work, but with a part that we call the magazine of modernity, of novelty, where current events are being registered almost in real time. We are in a progressively modern world that relies on information networks, and that seemed very important.


And finally, a journal that was designed and focused on the new generations. We did not want a magazine for the older generations, although everyone can read it, but a magazine that would be welcomed and taken by the new generations as their own, unique product that they could continue to develop in the future.


EF: If you were asked what is the differential factor of this magazine, in one sentence, what would you say?


CVC: It is very difficult in one sentence, but I think that the platform is sufficiently interesting, because it is an online platform, it is not a traditional publication, and it combines a research part, where scientific papers reported by all the groups of the continent are published, and the current affairs part where we are permanently recording what is happening in the world of rheumatology.


It seems to me that this, together with the multimedia components such as this video blog, the podcast, and other items we have developed, as well as the language, since it is a journal that has taken on the titanic task, I think, of publishing in three languages, Spanish, English and Portuguese, which will be coming out soon, I think that it has a very clear differential compared to other journals offered at a global level, in my opinion.


EF: How are the publications going?


CVC: We are very happy. We are in the first year and, as you may be aware, for journals to be indexed, they have to be sustainable for at least two years. That is, they have to prove that they have been able to sustain themselves for two years. We are in the first one, but the platform has a number of visits that is quite important. We are around 18,000 visits per month, which is a very important amount; the articles, which are always cited or feature their metrics, we permanently have several articles above 1000, permanently viewed, and it is a journal that is reaching, and the metrics are showing it.


As you know, we also use a combination of traditional metrics with alternative metrics because, pursuant to our thinking, they are complementary and not enemies.


EF: Did the pandemic imply something new for Global?


CVC: Yes, of course. I think the pandemic was a golden opportunity to launch the Global Rheumatology project. The pandemic has really made the digital transformation that we have been talking about for many years become a reality, and Global had been thinking about that digital transformation since before the pandemic.


The pandemic became a more than adequate moment to launch and prove the concept, and I think that’s why we're getting the results. Also note that one of the things that I did not highlight in the previous question is that PANLARs website is accessed more on computers than on cell phones, but our magazine is responsive, it is suitable for all different platforms, and it is much more frequently visited on the mobile site than on the desktop part, that is, it has a very different dynamic.


EF: What are the advantages of this journal for science being done in our country, in our countries, and what is the most important research focus that has been presented here?


CVC: Clearly we are focused on increasing the visibility of our scientific production. For example, researchers are paid for publications in journals in the different national systems of researchers, etc. and for that reason, they often look for journals that are already indexed or that have an impact factor, because that will have an impact on what they will finally have in their income and on how their service moves.


But this is not the reality of the majority of Latin Americans, the reality of most of the centers is that a lot of research is their own, not financed, and it is research on particular topics of the region of very good quality and they do not have sufficient international projection.


The journal is an excellent vehicle to achieve this. Additionally, we decided to make it an open access source, that is, there is no cost for publishing the articles because if philosophically we also understood the end user, especially when they are publications made with public money, has the right to know the research that has been produced and should not pay to access it, and that is why we decided to make it free access, so that the user does not have to pay, nor the author. It is also an advantage for this publication to have much greater visibility in the scientific field.


EF: How do you think the evolution of the journal in your field will be in the following years?


CVC: One can never predict what will happen when you introduce a new technology or a new way of doing things; it is really the users who will appropriate the technology and they themselves will define the uses and practices to be made, they will see what it has, but clearly, it is a journal that is permanently publishing articles on a continuous basis.


The editorial production time is shorter for the person who wants to do it, as I said before, it is in three languages, it has no cost, and the platform allows it to reach many people, so I think these are attractive things for the new generations, even, as I said, for older generations who could say, “Well, if I publish in Global I will have certain scope”. Besides, the magazine is sending me information through bulletins sent, information is arriving through the PANLAR platform, it is covering a very important communication niche of what the Pan American League does and what is its scientific production.


EF: What are your current challenges?


CVC: We have many challenges, as I was saying, it is a two-year process when we will start to formally apply to indexes such as PubMed and many researchers will ask us for that, even so we are already in all the modern indexes that are of immediate access and there is an open access journal. The journal has all the criteria required for you to be able to talk about it being a serious journal, its Editorial Committee, it has a very well defined publication process, it is peer-reviewed, almost all its articles are peer-reviewed and without complying with this process, which is the traditional one for scientific journals, no article is published in such a way that we can guarantee that the final product is of good quality.


We have challenges in consolidating our journal production team, our Editorial Committee team is permanently renewing, increasing reviewers, demanding each one to be done in the best way, also educating our public. Now, recently, at the Pan American Congress we had two important symposiums on the subject of publications, putting scientific publications in the general conversation as a vehicle for the expression of science and, of course, keeping the publication in English. Initially we started in Spanish because it is the most spoken language in the region. Then to English, which allows us to increase the number of visits, which is slowly increasing and from 12,000 per month we reached 18,000 per month and now we are waiting to launch in Portuguese very soon, which will cover the area of Brazil, which is almost a subcontinent, and which is reaching more and more. It is already among the 10 most visited magazines during the Pan-American Congress of Rheumatology, and we are also very happy with this.


All those challenges keep us moving and keep us very eager to keep doing things well.


EF: What messages can you send to researchers to believe in these new ways of publishing and to get to know Global Rheumatology and also publish?


CVC: Yes, clearly, you know things when they start always people are asking whether it works or not, but clearly we are seeing that with statements like Dora’s, which is a research assessment statement requesting many different things such as more open research, that what is produced in all parts of the world be considered, that importance be given to things that are generated in all parts of the world, pushing for the globalization of knowledge, and that the applications of what is produced be shown to be useful in each of the populations where they are, that gives a lot of opportunity for growth.


We want journals with articles of excellent quality, that are developed with all the guidelines that are requested in any other journal that publishes science in the area of rheumatology, but that also have a Pan-American identity and focus, that are useful for our patients, that are useful for our researchers, that are useful for the people who read the journal, who are not necessarily the researchers. So that is a very important focus where the PANLAR identity is behind what we are doing and where the identity of Global Rheumatology means, and that is why we named the journal, to place the Pan-American in the global context, far beyond its borders.


EF: Well, doctor, congratulations on the first anniversary of Global Rheumatology and may there be many more, may the publications continue to come and all the innovation that this whole subject of research and the continent needs, of course.


CVC: Thank you very much, Estefanía, and thank you very much to those who are listening to us. You are invited to send your work, your research. We will continue to do special issues, we will continue to cover the Pan American Congress as we did the last time we were there last month, and we hope that many of the research that we highlight through the journal that were presented in plenary sessions during the congress end up being published in Global Rheumatology and, as I tell you, this is the journal of the present for the future. Thank you all very much.

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