Environment for scholarship and journal impact factor in Brazil: Case study


Environments for scholarship
Impact factor


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Background: Universities worldwide are seeking objective measures for the assessment of their faculties’ research products, to improve their national and international standing. Despite concerns, many have adopted bibliometric measures such as the impact factor (IF) of journals for these purposes. The objective of this study was to explore conditions created within Brazil as a result of national and institutional policies requiring faculty to publish in high IF journals, and the extent to which these facilitated or hindered the development of nursing science.

Design: The design was a case study, with the country as the unit of analysis. A key informant for the country was identified to assist in identifying institutions and individuals for participation, and to provide relevant information on the context within the country. Faculty members of senior rank from six of the highly ranked nursing doctoral programs were invited to participate.

Methods: A data collection instrument was developed; it has content validity. The study was approved by a human subject review committee. Five respondents provided information. All communication occurred electronically.

Results: Respondents confirmed the presence of national and institution policies, but faculty committees, in the main, did not use it. There was general criticism of the policy. The policy led to competition rather than cooperation. Characterization of current published works in the country did not convey high regard for such publications.

Conclusions: The policy in the country does not seem to have created an environment conducive to collaboration or interactions with international scholars, nor does it seem to have led to scientific production viewed as noteworthy. This may in part be due to the lack of general acceptance of the policy and/or the opportunities provided by newer regional data bases for indexing publications.