Interview – Rogério Meneghini

Rogério Meneghini

Rogério Meneghini

In this interview, Rogerio Meneghini reflects that the international visibility of journals from emerging economy countries depends not only on the field but also on journal evaluation which has to be understood as a mechanism which seeks to improve them. Technical writing courses in universities in the first year are important in this aspect and, going beyond papers and projects, the learning of how to write a patent is particularly important these days.

Rogério Meneghini obtained his B.Sc. in Chemistry and doctorate in Biochemistry from the University of São Paulo. Early on, he dedicated himself to the study of scholarly communication and Brazilian science from various aspects, from evaluation to measurement using indicators, and the possibilities these presented in applying them to research policy. He directed studies at USP in the evaluation of academic output, was attached to the Research Secretariat of FAPESP and was the co-creator of the SciELO project of academic journals, remaining since then its scientific coordinator.

1) Why should all national journals have international visibility?

I do not think that one can defend the view that an author of an article should always look to the international community. Taking myself as an example, as a biochemist I always looked to the international community, something which is common in all areas of the Natural Sciences, but when I started writing about information science I found occasions when I was focused on the domestic reader, in this case Brazil.

2) Countries have top-level soccer clubs, because there are hundreds of small clubs where thousands of younger players practice and from which selections are made for players for world championships. Shouldn’t national journals be the places where the “players” are trained and from which the better level “players” are selected? Could it be said that the smaller clubs should be eliminated? So, why not the journals?

I do not think there is anyone defending a general rule that journals at a lower level should be eliminated. Soccer clubs are not subject to being eliminated but do have to be ranked, as in fact they are. The same occurs with journals. They must be classified and it is precisely through this process that their qualities and weaknesses are seen. The process of journal evaluation has to be understood as a mechanism which seeks to improve them. But my experience leads me to believe that in some cases elimination is the most recommendable procedure.

3) Could the “publish or perish” view help in having a greater mass of people trained in writing at a professional level about academic research?

Indeed, today more than ever before a researcher is invisible if he or she does not publish. This is a topic overly discussed and which does not need to be revisited.

4) In some countries, there is a compulsory subject of study in the first year of university called ‘technical writing” or something similar to that. Shouldn’t universities teach, as a compulsory subject of study as of the first year, how to write professionally in the different formats – papers, presentations, curriculum vitae, projects, etc.?

I agree with this proposal which is already in place in many institutions. Going beyond papers and projects, I would consider the learning of how to write a patent important. A good deal of university researchers are nowadays interested in innovation, which requires patenting. The wording of a patent these days is a skill with detailed and, to a certain point, complex rules. At some point in a course in natural sciences this art should be taught.


Translated from the original in Portuguese by Nicholas Cop Consulting.


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SCIENTIFIC ELECTRONIC LIBRARY ONLINE. Interview – Rogério Meneghini [online]. SciELO in Perspective, 2013 [viewed ]. Available from:


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