SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.65 número2Association between risky behaviors in adolescents and altered psychophysiological emotional responses índice de autoresíndice de assuntospesquisa de artigos
Home Pagelista alfabética de periódicos  

Serviços Personalizados



Links relacionados

  • Em processo de indexaçãoCitado por Google
  • Não possue artigos similaresSimilares em SciELO
  • Em processo de indexaçãoSimilares em Google


Revista de la Facultad de Medicina

versão impressa ISSN 0120-0011 vol.65 no.2 Bogotá abr./jun. 2017 


The Journal of the Faculty of Medicine implements a transition process to publish articles in English

MD. Dr (PhD) Franklin Escobar-Córdoba*  , MD. PhD Javier Eslava-Schmalbach**  , MD. MSc Miguel Cote-Menéndez*** 

* Department of Psychiatry, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá D.C., Colombia. Leader of the Research Group on Sleep Disorders and Forensic Psychiatry. Editor of the Journal of the Faculty of Medicine (Revista de la Facultad de Medicina), Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá D.C., Colombia.

2** Hospital Universitario Nacional, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá D.C., Colombia. Head of the Technological Development Center Unit, Sociedad Colombiana de Anestesiología y Reanimación (S.C.A.R.E.), Bogotá D.C., Colombia. Associate Editor of the Journal of the Faculty of Medicine (Revista de la Facultad de Medicina), Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá D.C., Colombia.

*** Head of the Department of Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá D.C., Colombia.

The Journal of the Faculty of Medicine (Revista de la Facultad de Medicina) started its operation back in 1932, and has undergone interesting changes in the last decade, achieving greater visibility and impact on the national and international sphere. Similarly, it has managed to maintain the periodicity of its publication and to be included in important bibliographic indexes. Currently, biomedical journals published in English often make a greater impact and rank better in scientific databases in Spanish, thus giving prestige to the institutions that support them 1. Given this scenario, the medium-term objective of this journal is to publish papers in English only, which leads to a series of structural changes in editorial management and administrative academic support in order to maintain the current number of published scientific articles with excellent quality and a greater international visibility and, therefore, with a higher citation possibility.

Publishing the results from the scientific activity of authors through papers in scientific journals is very important, since this has been the traditional way of doing so. Thus, a Latin American journal published in English is the perfect medium to present patents and other research products of the authors from this region and the best way to make visible the results of their work in the world.

The quality of articles relates to the scientific content, originality, methodology, importance and relevance of the results, while impact is associated with the influence that an article has on scientific research in general at a given moment 2-4. As for scientific quality, the Journal of the Faculty of Medicine (Revista de la Facultad de Medicina) has achieved important indicators in recent years by increasing the number of articles received for peer review (about 30 per month), as well as the number of original articles (about 15 per number), the number of peer reviewers (more than 350 academic reviewers in the last year) and the rejection rate (about 35% of the submitted articles).

In addition, its publication (four issues and a supplement per year) and periodicity (quarterly) now is done on a regular basis, and the Editorial Committee and the Scientific Committee have grown in number and are now supported by national and international researchers with an important h5 index; the h-index indicates that h publications have been cited at least h times, and is currently used to evaluate the scientific productivity of authors and the impact of their publications 5.

The impact of scientific research publications is given mainly by the number of citations generated. This recognition by other authors, whether positive or negative, is an indicator of the influence that an article has on the scientific community. From this perspective, it accounts for the readability and impact that the journal itself has on the scientific community 6. Therefore, the analysis of the number of citations received by a publication continues to be a determining factor for positioning a biomedical publication in different indexes.

Today, higher education cannot only be assessed based on the knowledge that graduates demonstrate on a regular basis, but other ways of assessing quality are necessary; in this sense, one method for evaluating research function is through the scientific production indexed in the databases. The study by Eslava-Schmalbach et al. 7, carried out through a search of information in Scopus, reports that out of 43 112 documents with a Colombian affiliation, 12 153 (28.1%) are from the medical area, and that six universities produced 75.77% (n=32 670) of the documents, of which 69.9% were related to medicine. Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Universidad de Antioquia, Universidad del Valle and Universidad Industrial de Santander -all public universities- are responsible for more than half of the scientific production of both the documents found in the database and those related to medicine 7.

Given the impact of the English language worldwide, it is necessary to provide Latin American scientists with greater opportunities for publishing in this language; in consequence, a few Colombian journals have gone down this road while others are planning to do so in the short and medium term. This will certainly make easier the publication of research papers by Latin American authors in English, increasing the visibility of their studies and thus their impact on the scientific community.

Therefore, authors who submit their articles to the Journal of the Faculty of Medicine (Revista de la Facultad de Medicina) will be able to do so in the three languages currently accepted: Spanish, Portuguese and English. The articles received will appear in their original language in the digital version, but the official publication will be in English, reason why the authors shall bear the expenses related to translation and copyediting under the rates that the journal has agreed with the team of translators of the Publications Unit of the Faculty of Medicine. This will be done once the article is approved so that its publication is feasible. After having translated and corrected the article, it will be published in the issue for which it was accepted.

The process of changing the official language of the journal will be progressive: at least one of the issues is now published in English per year and, usually, each issue has at least one article in this language. It is expected that by the end of 2018, most of the articles in the Journal of the Faculty of Medicine (Revista de la Facultad de Medicina) are published in English.

The first issue of the Journal of the Faculty of Medicine (Revista de la Facultad de Medicina) was printed in 1932, while its digital version was implemented a few years ago and remains until today.

However, the amount of readers of the printed version has declined noticeably, while the access to the digital version has increased in its two platforms, Universidad Nacional de Colombia and SciELO ( and In the same way, the print run has diminished for several reasons that have led to decide to print a smaller number of copies due to legal and subscription requirements, which suggests that in the future the journal will be mainly digital with a few printed copies on demand. These changes occur in a context in which a large number of biomedical publications have decided to appear only in digital version.


1. Di Bitetti MS, Ferreras JA. Publish (in English) or perish: The effect on citation rate of using languages other than English in scientific publications. Ambio. 2016;46(1):121-7. [ Links ]

2. Gálvez M. Publicaciones biomédicas: realidad de Chile y Latinoamérica. Rev. chil. radiol. 2006;12(3):113-7. [ Links ]

3. Berghmans T, Meert AP, Mascaux C, Paesmans M, Lafitte JJ, Sculier JP. Citation indexes do not reflect methodological quality in lung cancer randomised trials. Ann Oncol. 2003;14:715-21. [ Links ]

4. Bosch X, López L, Vellés F. Quality and International Impact of Published Studies. Two Different Concepts that Should be Equally Promoted. Rev Esp Cardiol. 2001;54:131-2. [ Links ]

5. Wikipedia. Índice h. San Francisco: Wikipedia La enciclopedia libre. [Updated 2017 Feb 11; Cited 2017 Mar 3]. Available from: Available from: . [ Links ]

6. Bordons M, Zuluetab MA. Evaluación de la actividad científica a través de indicadores bibliométricos. Rev Esp Cardiol. 1999;52(10):790-800. [ Links ]

7. Eslava-Schmalbach J, Gaitán-Duarte HG, Escobar-Córdoba F. Producción científica de las facultades de medicina en Colombia, 1940-2014. Rev Fac Med. 2014;62(3):363-8. [ Links ]

Creative Commons License This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License