Some thoughts on SciELO 25 Years

SciELO 25 Years logo with the tagline: Open Science with IDEIA – Impact, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility

By Alberto Pellegrini Filho

As expected, given the quality of the speakers, the topics covered, the large and participative audience, and the impeccable organization, the Conference SciELO 25 was a success. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend in person and I missed another important element of these meetings, which is the interaction between participants during the program breaks.

Given my limitations, I wasn’t able to cover all the complexity of the various topics. However, I would like to highlight three aspects that caught my attention:

  1. When it comes to Open Science, there is a strong tendency to identify it as Open Access to results of scientific endeavors. If the central objective of Open Science is to promote a closer relationship between Science and Society so that Science can better fulfill its social role of promoting well-being for all, I believe that we should go beyond this understanding, promoting open access at all stages of the scientific research process, in line with what Gibbons and others1 have proposed:
    1. Definition of the research object: Ideally, the definition of the research object takes place at the confluence of the intrinsic development of science itself with social needs. Researchers, social actors, and the fostering agencies that fund and define research priorities must establish interaction spaces that allow this confluence to be established fluidly. These spaces must allow data and information to circulate freely so that demands on science can be defined.
    2. Diversity of research agents: in addition to the diversity of researchers’ gender and skin color, the diversity of research agents should include other social actors. Of course, it is not proposed that laypeople use scientific methodology, but throughout the research the discussion of partial results with these various actors allows for feedback that (re)guides the development of the research process.
    3. Locus and research methodology: the concept of Open Science calls into question scientific institutions that are closed in on themselves. The establishment of cooperation networks between researchers from different institutions and areas of knowledge allows them to expand their research capacity, as in the successful case of the Genome Project. The broad interaction between researchers from different areas within these networks allows for the use of multi-and transdisciplinary approaches that are so necessary to deal with complex research issues such as tackling global warming, combating poverty and other issues such as those that make up the Sustainable Development Goals.
    4. Publication of research results: This topic has been widely discussed on the basis of SciELO’s successful experience and various proposals are on the table to further improve the reach and impact of scientific output in the countries of the region. From the perspective of Open Science, the relationship between communication and scientific dissemination plays an important role, with the challenge of taking advantage of the potential of the capillarity of social networks and Artificial Intelligence, which could play an important role in carrying out a kind of meta-analysis of scientific output on certain topics and promoting its “translation” to a wider audience.
    5. Evaluation of scientific output: This topic was widely discussed with proposals to improve the evaluation of the scientific merit of research products. The perspective of Open Science requires the evaluation not only of the merit but also of the possible economic, social, and environmental impact of scientific output. The necessity of indicators to evaluate this impact has been widely discussed, but it is also necessary to create spaces for interaction so that other actors such as companies and civil society organizations may evaluate the possibilities of applying the results, as well as their ethical implications. There are methodologies that allow this type of social participation, such as the Citizen Consensus Conferences.
    6. Diversification of funding sources: The plurality of actors participating in the research process must correspond in the diversification of sources and types of funding.
  2. There is no doubt that researchers must play a key role in implementing the principles of Open Science. However, if the entire system of incentives and rewards, performance evaluation, and career promotion used by research institutions and funding agencies continues to be centered almost solely on the number of articles published and their impact, it will be difficult to get the scientific community to engage widely.
  3. The participants of this event recognized that SciELO 30 years will focus on Artificial Intelligence. Several interventions mentioned the potential and risks of applying AI in the context of Open Science. Just as in 1975, at the beginning of the widespread use of recombinant DNA, scientists met at the Asilomar Conference to define ethical and safety standards for the use of this technology and to define who should oversee compliance with these standards, I believe the time has come to propose something similar with regard to the use of AI in scientific communication and in the various stages of the research process.

As mentioned earlier, SciELO 25 years brought a huge number of relevant topics to the table, and the ones highlighted above reflect a rather limited view. The topics covered during the event form a very rich agenda full of challenges for the coming years. We are confident that these challenges will be met satisfactorily on the basis of SciELO’s track record, the capacity of its architecture for diverse collaborative networks and the confident and competent leadership of Abel Packer and his team. The Declaration approved at this event touches on the main points of this challenge and we hope that the actors urged in this declaration will fulfill their role in advancing Open Science in the Region.


1. GIBBONS, M., et al. The New Production of Knowledge: The dynamics of Science and research in Contemporary Societies. London: Sage, 1994.


BERG, P., et al. Summary statement of the Asilomar conference on recombinant DNA molecules. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA [online]. 1975, vol. 72, no. 6, pp. 1981-1984 [viewed 3 October 2023]. Available from:

GIBBONS, M., et al. The New Production of Knowledge: The dynamics of Science and research in Contemporary Societies. London: Sage, 1994.

NOVOTNY, H., SCOTT, P.B. and GIBBONS, .M Re-thinking Science: Knowledge and the Public in an Age of Uncertainty. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2001.

PELLEGRINI FILHO, A. and ZURITA, L. Primera Conferencia de Consenso Ciudadano en Chile sobre el tema: El manejo de mi ficha clínica de salud – evaluación preliminar. Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública / Pan American Journal of Public Health. 2004, vol. 15, pp. 351-357 [viewed 3 October 2023]. Available from:

External link

Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA:


Alberto Pellegrini Filho

Alberto Pellegrini FilhoPellegrini acted as secretary of the BIREME evaluation committee, whose report highlighted the importance of BIREME for the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean and recommended the creation of the Biblioteca Virtual en Salud (BVS). From then on, there was a realignment of all BIREME’s products and activities to the new environment created by the BVS. The network of scientific journals and journal publishers in the region organized for the production of Health Sciences Descriptors (DeCS), Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature (LILACS) and other products served as the embryo for the creation of SciELO.


Translated from the original in Portuguese by Lilian Nassi-Calò.


Como citar este post [ISO 690/2010]:

PELLEGRINI FILHO, A. Some thoughts on SciELO 25 Years [online]. SciELO in Perspective, 2023 [viewed ]. Available from:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation