The SciELO in Perspective blog celebrates its first year

By Abel L. Packer, Alex Mendonça, Amanda de S. Ramalho and Giovanna Brito Castelhano

Together with its indexed journals, SciELO has been promoting the use of social networks over the past three years as the primary means of conducting marketing activities, and of disseminating, sharing and discussing research outcomes. The move in this direction is an integral part of the action lines dealing with the professionalization and internationalization of the SciELO journals.

In July 2012, two introductory seminars took place which dealt with the use of social networks in scholarly communication. One was held in São Paulo, and the other in Rio de Janeiro ¹. The seminar program addressed three converging roles which social networks are bringing to the dissemination of research outcomes. The main role is that of functioning as a means of accessing and sharing information and scientific content. Blogs and services such as Twitter, Facebook, Mendeley, and several others provide researchers with content curating mechanisms through recommendations and peer-group discussions regarding articles and scientific events, and by means of the online organization of profiles, CVs and personal libraries which are characterized by the ease with which they are shared and updated. The second role of social networks is as a means of communicating and discussing research outcomes as a complement to the scientific articles themselves with an emphasis on blogs for researchers, journals and editors. The third role is as a source of metrics which measure the influence both of articles and journals. This is based on the number of references made to these and on the number of times they are shared via social networks whose systems record every transaction that takes place.  These metrics have become to be known as altmetrics and stand out because of their immediacy,since in a few weeks or months they indicate the impact of an article and how well it has been received by scientific communities working in the same field. This is completely different to indicators based on citations received over a period of years.

On 16th July 2013 ²the SciELO in Perspective Blog was launched. This blog focuses on the updating and sharing of information, the advancement of scholarly communication, and on the fine-tuning of the SciELO Program and of the journals it indexes and publishes, and was launched in the context of the preparations which were being made for the SciELO 15 Years Conference ³.

In June 2013, a meeting⁴of journal publishers in the humanities was held with the aim of discussing how to improve the editorial management of the SciELO journals in the areas of the Humanities, Applied Social Sciences and Linguistics, and Arts and Letters by their professionalization and internationalization, with emphasis on emerging practices and  standards such as social networks. One of the recommendations that came out of the meeting was to create and operate a collective blog of journals in the Humanities, which was launched at the SciELO 15 Years Conference. The blog was implemented as a section of the blog SciELO in Perspective⁵.

Taking stock on this the first anniversary of the blog SciELO in Perspective, results have met expectations; however the blog’s development and consolidation face challenges. During its first year of operation, 90 posts were published on scholarly communication which were accessed more than 130,000 times with an average of 11,000 accesses per month, or 1,500 per post.

In addition to the blog, SciELO publishes the monthly newsletter titled SciELO in Perspective6, currently in its 14th issue. The newsletter is entering its second year of publication with the on-going aim of disseminating the contents published in the blog of the same name during that month. The newsletter is sent to close to 3,700 email addresses in the three languages in which it is published – Portuguese, English and Spanish. This number represents an increase of 33% in newsletter subscribers since the first issue was published in July 2013.

The management and operation of the blog SciELO in Perspective as well as of the blogs of journals such as História, Ciências, Saúde –  Manguinhos have contributed decisively to the learning of how to better exploit this medium of communication, and to making its use more familiar in the various researcher communities of Brazil, and to the communities of researchers in the countries of the SciELO Network in its English and Spanish versions.

The structure of the contents, with its posts of analyses, interviews, press releases and news offers opportunities for editors and authors to explore the blog SciELO in Perspective as a distinct medium for the dissemination of the research outcomes they publish.

Based on the experience gained from the thematic blog Humanas, SciELO hopes to develop new thematic spaces on the blog platform of SciELO in Perspective. At the same time, it will continue to promote the use of the social networks Twitter and Facebook by the SciELO journals.


¹ Introduction to the use of social networks on scholarly communication seminar. 2012. Available from:

² SciELO – the first 15 years: towards a New Era. SciELO in Perspective. [viewed 22 July 2014]. Available from:

³ SciELO 15 Years Conference –

⁴ Meeting of journal editors in the Humanities –

⁵ SciELO em Perspectiva – Humanas –

6 Newsletter –


LIU, J., and ADIE, E. Five challenges in altmetrics: A toolmaker’s perspective. Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. 2013,  vol. 39, nº. 4. pp. 31-34. Available from: <>.

You do the sharing, I like it and we create the metrics. SciELO in Perspective. [viewed 22 July 2014]. Available from:


Translated from the original in Portuguese by Nicholas Cop Consulting.


Como citar este post [ISO 690/2010]:

PACKER, A., et al. The SciELO in Perspective blog celebrates its first year [online]. SciELO in Perspective, 2014 [viewed ]. Available from:


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