Ask the Speaker

The SciELO 15 Years Conference has been organized in such a way that delegates will have the chance to ask questions and give comments to the speakers who are participating in the various panel discussions. The idea behind this is to incorporate into the conference program the concerns, doubts, opinions and positions of the community of editors, professionals, scholars and researchers towards the advances, challenges and the prospects for the communication of research output. We also want to share our own experiences, the lessons we have learned as well as our frustrations and achievements.

We are all going to be able to submit questions, comments and opinions using a special form which is available on the conference website at: The form can be used numerous times to make the most of the opportunity to look for answers to our questions and problems, as well acting as a vehicle by which we can share experiences and knowledge. If we want, we can put our questions to a specific speaker or a particular panel of speakers or to the conference as a whole. The conference organization team will collect together the questions and will direct them beforehand to the relevant speakers or discussion panels so that they can consider dealing with them in their own presentations and / or during the discussion session.

The program for the SciELO 15 Years Conference is now finalized and the speakers have all been confirmed. Together, the conference program and the speakers will cast an up-to-date and critical eye over the growing complexity surrounding the communication of results as an integral part, consequence and determiner of academic research. On the one hand, scholarly communication records and allows the advances made in research to be known more widely. On the other hand, it makes up the dynamic memory of knowledge from which we retrieve information to support new areas of research, satisfy curiosities, answer questions and take decisions. Knowledge is knowledge that is communicated.

The ways in which research is communicated and the different forms which that communication takes are continually growing and improving in line with the advancement of research. This process was given a remarkable impetus in the last twenty years when the Web emerged as the pre-eminent channel for scholarly communication. In a very short time, and although a certain amount of resistance was experienced, the world of scholarly communication embraced enormous changes. The book and the academic journal were reincarnated in an online digital environment and acquired the ability to exist virtually and be available globally. Bibliographies and bibliographic databases evolved into bibliographic indexes with retrieval interfaces and interfaces for measuring and producing performance indicators. The articles displayed on the screen transformed themselves into genuine portals enriched with countless accompanying services which were updated on every new visit. Next to emerge were publication platforms, mega journals, and the use of blogs and social networks as an integral part in the communication and dissemination of research.  And, the movement towards open access to academic knowledge saw the light of day. No less important  are the advances made and the challenges of bibliometrics and scientometrics, the growing recognition of the unsuitability of the Journal Impact Factor and of the politics and systems which use it as a proxy in the evaluation of the quality of communicated research.

Journals from developing and emerging countries form part of global scholarly communication and, as such, are equally affected by the complexities, challenges, trends and innovations which will be tackled at the SciELO 15 Year Conference. These journals are published for the most part by academic societies and research institutions with no connection to commercial publishers. As such, they are more capable of taking on board some of the major advances made over the last two decades, such as open access, as has happened with the majority of quality journals from Latin America, which are indexed and published in the SciELO Network.

Journals from developing and emerging countries fulfill a vital role  in the communication of an important component of research undertaken nationally, which for one reason or another is not published in the journals published in the developed countries, which are in many cases the journals preferred by public and institutional policies which are based on the Impact Factor. A good proportion of the so-called national or regional journals communicate research of local interest which is crucial to economic, social and cultural development, and as far as Latin America is concerned,  they make use of both the  Spanish and Portuguese languages to better achieve their mission and objectives. But, another sizable proportion communicates research which is of interest internationally and is adopting the English language. An increasing percentage is opting for multilingualism so that it can cater to both local and foreign readerships on an equal footing. Supported by national and institutional policies which came to recognize the importance of national journals, and backed up by systems and platforms such as SciELO which are based on quality control and the use of up-to-date publishing techniques, national journals are making progress in overcoming their weaknesses which are principally concerned with the professionalization of the editorial processes, the internationalization of the management and operation of editorial processes, and financial stability. In today’s global world, the idea is to break with the fragmented vision of mainstream and regional journals which is biased in favor of journals published in developed countries, principally by commercial publishers. This is in line with the notion that knowledge is an international undertaking.

The program for the SciELO 15 Years Conference is therefore in search of a global approach to scholarly communication along with the integration of the uncertain situation that journals from developing and emerging countries find themselves in. This approach can be found in the way the conference discussion panels have been put together: research and scholarly communication policies, trends and innovations in scholarly communication, scientometrics and the measurement of research and journal quality, the current situation and trends in the open access movement, national journal collections and editorial management as applied to national journals from developing and emerging countries.

This program which focuses our attention on analysis, debate and the exchange of ideas, information and knowledge of the state of the art in editing,  publishing,  and dissemination and marketing of academic journals will be enriched greatly by the participation of all delegates by means of questioning, comments, opinions and positions taken.

Let’s all participate in and add value to the SciELO 15 Years Conference Program.


Translated from the original in Portuguese by Nicholas Cop Consulting.


Como citar este post [ISO 690/2010]:

SCIENTIFIC ELECTRONIC LIBRARY ONLINE. Ask the Speaker [online]. SciELO in Perspective, 2013 [viewed ]. Available from:


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