Last year we were intensely involved in the debate on the visibility of Brazilian periodicals. Some have insisted that the solution to increase our visibility is to make our periodicals 100% written in English, abandoning the Portuguese, a language practically ignored in the scientific world. According to this reasoning, if we published in English, we would increase our visibility and would be read more widely by researches from other parts of the planet.
Without going into the merits of a series of complex questions that involve abandoning our mother tongue, such as costs, local relevance, etc., it is worth reflecting on the type of visibility that we are looking for. The SCImago country ranking (http://www.scimagojr.com/countryrank.php) allows us to make an interesting comparative analysis. Although such ranking provides information with respect to articles published on the Scopus base, and not from our national periodicals, the reasoning is valid to discuss the visibility that we are seeking.
The comparison among publications by Brazil, Spain, Mexico and South Africa from 1996 to 2013 in the area of Business, Management & Accounting is revealing. In this period, Brazil had considerable performance, increasing the number of articles published by 442%, evolving more than Spain (345%), Mexico (291%) and South Africa (144%). According to these figures, we could say that the visibility of Brazilian researchers is at an accelerated pace. Even if we are at a level equivalent to only 60% of what Spain published, in 2013, we published 2.4 times more than Mexico and 4.3 times more than South Africa, in our field.
When we analyze the index of citations of the publications of each country, however, the situation is quite different. In 1996 we shared with Spain the leadership of citations in this group (31% each), well above Mexico and South Africa (19% each), but in 2013 we fell to fourth place, with only 18% of citations, while Spain (35%), South Africa (27%) and Mexico (20%) got ahead of us. What is sadder is to know that Mexico and South Africa, publishing considerably fewer articles than us, were more cited. In other words, while our presence (or visibility) increased in the international scientific scenario, our relevance in the period was reduced.
A possible explanation for our low comparative number of citations compared to these countries can be found in the evolution of the indices of international collaboration in our articles. In 1996, Brazil, Spain and Mexico were tied, with 27% of their articles being the result of international collaboration. South Africa, having recently abandoned Apartheid, had only 19% of articles resulting from international collaboration. Almost two decades later, in 2013, Spain and South Africa had 42% of their articles as the result of international collaboration, with Mexico just behind, with 38%. And Brazil did not evolve: 28% of international collaboration.
The lesson that these figures teach us is that it is not enough to have visibility in order to be successful in the academic world. The search for quality seems to have a direct relationship with international collaboration. Visibility without relevance will not lead us anywhere. We have to invest in international collaboration to achieve visibility that matters.
If we translate this analysis to the world of periodicals, the exclusive focus on publication in English cannot be the correct target to be pursued. Following this path, we may have only Brazilians publishing in English for other Brazilians to read.
Language must be the means, not the final goal, if we wish to have visibility with quality. Among the alternatives, we can work to build consistent international partnerships, whether with calls for articles coordinated by editors invited from other countries, or in the construction of scientific committees that are truly active and with members from foreign institutions. It is quite likely that these committees and calls for articles will choose English as their working language, but this is quite different from believing in the Anglicization of native periodicals as a solution to increase the visibility of our research.
In this issue of RAE, we publish the international forum on Behavioral Finance. The organizers Wesley Mendes-Da-Silva, Newton C. A. da Costa Jr., Lucas Ayres Barros, Manuel Rocha Armada and Jill M. Norvilitis, in the opening article "Behavioral Finance: advances in the last decade", highlight the advances of the field in the last years and present the four articles approved. Also on this subject, in the section Pensata, the text "The behavioral paradigm shift", by professor Hersh Shefrin, reflects on a shift in the field of Finance through the incorporation of concepts from Behavioral Psychology in opposition to the assumption of rationality. In the Review section, professor Sergio da Silva presents a classic by Daniel Kahneman, the book "Thinking, fast and slow", and the section Bibliographical Suggestions contains recommendation of books on Behavioral Finance and investment decisions, and on Behavioral Finance and Economic Psychology.
Two unpublished articles complete this issue. In "Gestión de recursos intangibles en instituciones de educación superior", the authors investigate intangible resources on the strategic management of Higher Education Institutions. In "Um modelo Fuzzy-DEA-Game para estratégias de produção sob incerteza", the authors develop a new model to support production strategies in a company from the energy sector.
Enjoy the reading!