Brazilian Journal of Anesthesiology: seventy years fostering research in anesthesiology
Brazilian Journal of Anesthesiology: sete décadas apoiando a pesquisa em anestesiologia
Seventy years ago, the first edition of the then Revista Brasileira de Anestesiologia, or RBA, was established as the official publication of the Brazilian Society of Anesthesiology (SBA), in April 1951. At the time, it already had much of the essence of leadership that the publication continues to display today, a mission of promoting science, and fostering the progress, improvement and promotion of anesthesiology, intensive care, cardiorespiratory resuscitation, pain control, and perioperative medicine. In October of the same year, the then SBA director, Renato Ribeiro, emphasized paper shortage of as one of the challenges for printing RBA, in addition to the high financial costs and red tape. Currently, the Brazilian Journal of Anesthesiology (BJAN) is digital, with eventual paper printing, following new global guidelines. New manuscripts approved for publication are promptly made available online, even before issues are published. This is BJAN aligned to the new era of scientific publishing – in addition to indexation of pre-proof articles, preprint publication on EmeRi also began, namely specific manuscripts with content of immediate interest, before peer review, duly flagged.
Launching the journal in 1951 crowned one of the objectives of SBA, founded only three years before, on February 25, 1948. In addition to approaching several topics in anesthesiology, BJAN was born international, with a variety of languages and countries. Among the five articles of the first issue, along with the contributions of Brazilian authors Flavio Kroeff Pires, Milton M. Luz, and Zairo E. Garcia Vieira, the article “Muerte de posible origen reflejo durante operaciones intratorácicas” was submitted in Spanish by Argentinian Mario P. Collados Storni, and the article in English “Progress in Anesthesia in the Western Hemisphere” was signed by Ralph M. Waters, considered the first professor of Anesthesiology in the world. To emphasize the international impact of launching Revista Brasileira de Anestesiologia, Howard Dittrick, editor-in-chief of Current Researches in Anesthesia and Analgesia, of Cleveland, Ohio, also published in 1951, an editorial entitled “A New Journal is Born”.
The first editor-in-chief of BJAN, Oscar Vasconcellos Ribeiro, from 1951 to 1957, was followed by Zairo Eira Garcia Vieira (1958–1964), Bento Mário Villamil Gonçalves (1965–1979), Masami Katayama (1980–1988), Antônio Leite Oliva Filho (1989–1994), Luiz Marciano Cangiani (1995–2003), Judymara Lauzi Gozzani (2004–2009), Mario José da Conceição (2010–2015) and Maria Ângela Tardelli (2016–2018), and I was given the honor of taking on the role of editor-in-chief in 2019.
BJAN has arrived to 71 volumes published without interruptions, and with the joy of the complete collection available on the https://www.bjan-sba.org/archive website, establishing itself as one of the major academic publications of Brazil and the main publication in anesthesiology in Latin America. BJAN is a reference for professionals in the country and abroad, and contributes to the strengthening of anesthesiology in the Brazilian and international scenario. Of the five original articles of the first edition, and publication of three issues in the year of launching, BJAN advanced to four annual numbers in 1963 and, since 1976, as of volume 26, it has six editions published every year. In 1990, Revista Brasileira de Anestesiologia began to publish an annual number in English called the Brazilian Journal of Anesthesiology – International Issue. Translating all articles into English as of 2002, and releasing abstracts regularly on PUBMED, has contributed to internationalizing and increasing the impact of the journal.
In 2019, with the ongoing support of the Sociedade Brasileira da Anestesiologia and focused on long-term financial sustainability, the national Editorial Board developed a structured strategic plan, defining guidelines to implement a journal-dedicated editorial office, comprised by professionals with expertise in editorial management and multimedia exposure, to improve domestic and international visibility aimed at increasing the impact factor and altimetric indexes. In the same year, after mentorship of UK EQUATOR Centre researchers, the Centre for Statistics in Medicine (CSM), of the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS) of Oxford University, the journal adopted guides for scientific article reporting (reporting guidelines) as a tool to increase accuracy and clearness of scientific promotion in anesthesiology. Using the mandatory guidelines was introduced by a vast revision of the Instructions to Authors as an additional search tool of quality for the journal. There is evidence that journals that adopt guides increase transparency, excellence, and completeness of publications, anticipating increase in citations and of the impact of the journal.
Since the first issue, BJAN adopted static cover models, repeated through several editions – albeit it had had several models. In 2020, it introduced a new proposal, with different covers aligned to the topic of the issue and to the colors adopted by the SBA. Cover, editorial and info graphs related to the main article of each edition aligned BJAN to the major journals in anesthesiology. Notwithstanding to continue publication in issues, making articles available online first, expedites diffusion processes.
In addition to indexation on SciELO (Brasil Scientific Electronic Library Online) and on LILACS (Literatura Latino-Americana and do Caribe em Ciências da Saúde), the journal is indexed on Pubmed, Scopus, Embase, ScienceDirect and Web of Science Group, allowing ample international exposure. And, in the era of open science, BJAN is proud of always having been a totally free of cost and accessible journal, not only to SBA members, but to whoever accesses the databases on which the journal is indexed.
In 2021, the Revista Brasileira de Anestesiologia was reindexed as the Brazilian Journal of Anesthesiology, and adopted English as its official language. ISSN codes 2352-2291 identify the online version, and ISSN codes 0104-0014, the issues printed optionally. BJAN receives submissions in English and Portuguese and, when accepted, manuscripts are indexed only in English. The journal is responsible for the translation, and the version in Portuguese is made available on the journal`s official website https://www.bjan-sba.org/.
The recent changes strengthened the internationalization process of BJAN, with manuscripts submitted from several countries, and an editorial board comprised, largely by non-Brazilians. With the growing number of submissions received, surpassing 600 manuscripts received annually, and most in English, rejection rates have been growing and the selection of the articles published has become better, contributing to ongoing improvement. Achieving less time between submission and acceptance or rejection of manuscripts is a challenge for all journals, and also for BJAN. The recent adoption of the structured checklist for submission, mandatory use of guides for writing scientific articles, and the commitment of reviewers and associate editors are essential to optimize this quality indicator.
The recent restructuring of BJAN included the effort to qualify peer review, especially among Brazilian reviewers. The improvement in quality of review processes proceeds, largely, through scientific capacity and improved scientific writing of Brazilian researchers, even taking into account the limitation represented by not having English as a native language. Toward that end, specific webinars on research methods, scientific writing, using guides to write scientific articles, processes, and editorial flows are made monthly by the editorial board of BJAN, supported by SBA. Broadcast in Portuguese and with simultaneous translation into Spanish, the webinars are available on the BJAN and SBA platforms on the internet. Improvement in scientific research and building skills of reviewers are considered as a contribution to the improvement of the journal.
During the ongoing progress throughout the years, the outcomes attained by BJAN result from the effort of the editors, editorial boards, and of everyone that has contributed by sending articles, comments, criticism, suggestions, letters, e-mails, and by social media interactions. In 1951, the then president of SBA, Renato Ribeiro, stated that it would be possible to overcome all the challenges of the new journal with the support of the professionals of excellence who would always seek improvements in the journal. This is the spirit BJAN held during these 70 years, and will continue to display in the many years to come, spreading knowledge and fostering scientific progress, disseminating new knowledge in anesthesiology in Brazil and worldwide.
1 H. Dittrick A new journal is born Anesth Analg., 30 (1951), p. 300
2 M.P.C. Storni Muerte de posible origen reflejo durante operaciones intratorácicas Rev Bras Anestesiol., 1 (1951), pp. 31-34
3 R.M. Waters Progress in anesthesia in the western hemisphere Rev Bras Anestesiol., 1 (1951), pp. 3-12
4 V.C. Quintao, P. Logullo, M.M. Schlüssel, S. Kirtley, G. Collins, M.J.C. Carmona Reporting guidelines: tools to increase the completeness and transparency of your anesthesiology research paper Rev Bras Anestesiol., 69 (2019), pp. 429-431
5 A. Stevens, L. Shamseer, E. Weinstein, et al. Relation of completeness of reporting of health research to journals’ endorsement of reporting guidelines: systematic review Brit Med J., 348 (2014), p. g3804
6 L.M. Cangiani Revista Brasileira de Anestesiologia: Modificações na Composição e na Capa Rev Bras Anestesiol., 49 (1999), pp. 1-3