By Abel L. Packer
In June of 2013 the SciELO Program began publishing the blog SciELO in Perspective with two main objectives. The first was to communicate, analyze and discuss contemporary issues in scholarly communication and their impact on the development of journals that are indexed and published in the process. The second was to disseminate, comment and discuss the articles published by the SciELO journals, with a view of increasing their visibility and, more specifically, of the research they publish, together with the respective communities of researchers and society in general, drawing upon the interactive nature of blogs as a means to publish.
The use of networks as a means of dissemination associated with journals has been promoted by SciELO during the past two years. The aim is to follow the international trends in the use of tools, systems and platforms like Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Mendeley, Academia.edu, etc. which, in general, are based on and explore the potential of communities and the facilities of the Web to broaden communication, the exchange of information and the discussion of ideas. At the same time, this communication is generating new metrics on the influence that new research achieves. These altmetrics allow broadening the means and mechanisms of evaluating the contribution, influence and impact of research, complementing the traditional methods and bibliometric indicators. In fact, these media are increasingly operated by publishers, journals, academic societies as well as individual institutions and researchers.
Initially the SciELO blog fulfilled two specific objectives in 2013. The first was to disseminate the SciELO 15 Years Conference and its principal program themes, for which a series of interviews with the conference speakers was conducted and published. The second was to learn the operation of an institutional academic blog, and develop an editorial management methodology with the aim of operating new, subject specific sections of the blog.
The first subject specific blog launched was SciELO em Perspectiva – Humanas (SciELO in Perspective: Humanities) with the aim of disseminating new issues as well as important news and topics related to journals in the Social Sciences, Humanities and Applied Social Sciences. The blog was launched at the SciELO 15 Years Conference after broad consultation with the editors of the journals in question, and elections amongst them for an Editorial Board.
In 2014, the SciELO blog space will be developed along two priority action lines. The first is to strengthen the operation of the general blog on topics of scholarly communication, and of the blog in the humanities. The second is to promote, together with the other academic areas of SciELO, the creation and operation of new thematic blogs.
Among the main, current topics in scholarly communication, the blog will address international progress of Open Access, the new publishing platforms besides the traditional journal models, the use of social networks and the new metrics, the methodologies, technologies and services that foster the professionalization, internationalization and sustainability of the journals, publishing research data, public policies in scholarly communication, and so on.
The strengthening of the humanities blog will require the increasing participation of the majority of the journals, be it by the simple dissemination of new issues that they publish or by a more effective ownership of the blog to discuss topics that mobilize the respective academic communities.
Already, the creation of new thematic blogs requires finding a base consensus among journal editors to create and operate common spaces for dissemination, in view that similarities and working in collaboration will bring a critical mass of content and readers that will benefit all.
The adoption of social media, although more and more acceptable, still represents a major challenge because of its peculiarities and demands for new resources and responsibilities. However, we hope that by working collaboratively in the SciELO in Perspective blog space, we can minimize the efforts and maximize the results and returns.
2014 will be a decisive year for the adoption of social networks by all the members and users of SciELO.
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