The principle of peer reviewing is one of the most important aspects for scientific publications to be considered at a high level and respected within and outside of their area of encompassment. Also databases, such as Medline, take into account the evaluation of the articles to include journals among their linked periodicals.
The "Revista Brasileira de Cirurgia Cardiovascular" (RBCCV) / Brazilian Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery has adopted this criterion as a form of guaranteeing its quality and the impartiality in choosing the works published. On receiving a manuscript for publication, the editor indicates three reviewers among the Associated Editors or members of the Editorial Board (in exceptional cases, the editor can choose other reviewers to make the evaluation).
After being consulted, if the reviewers accept the task, the manuscript is sent via e-mail together with an assessment questionnaire, with a one-week deadline for it to be returned. The reviewers answer questions about how they would classify the manuscript, give a rigorous appreciation of all the items that should constitute a scientific work and a grade for each of the items on the questionnaire. Finally, they give general comments about the work and state whether it should be published, corrected according to the recommendations of definitively rejected. With these data, the editor will make the final decision. If the reviewers do not raise doubts and do not suggest alterations, the editor authorizes publication of the article. In the case of alterations, the work is returned for the authors to make the necessary modifications.
As soon as the authors return the corrected work to the editorial staff of the RBCCV, it is sent to the reviewers again to check if they agree with the new version. In special cases or in those where there is a discrepancy between peer-reviewers or with the authors, the Editor may ask other specialists, who are not members of the Associate Editors and the Editorial Board, to assess the work. On the bases of their suggestions, the Editor gives the final word as to accept for publication or not.
The ideal is that this process does not take longer than one month - two weeks in the case that the work is approved without need of alterations. This still does not occur in some cases, but we are counting on the efforts of the reviewers and authors to help us solve this problem and we ask, yet again, that everyone tries hard to comply with the designated deadlines.
To hasten the process, we adopted electronic revision since the start of our administration in the RBCCV. Until now, we have permitted that, in some cases, evaluation was made with remittance of the work and the questionnaire by normal mail, but from now on there will not be any exceptions. This procedure is already stipulated in the best international publications of our area and its implantation in a definitive form in our journal is a natural evolution.
Thus, we count on the understanding of all our colleagues, who always have warmly welcomed innovations and we are always available to elucidate any doubts. We would like to emphasize, in particular, the fundamental support of the Board of Directors of the Brazilian Society of Cardiovascular Surgery (SBCCV), who have gone out of their way to make the journal possible, and the advertisers, for trusting our work and believing in the seriousness of the RBCCV.
Another novelty starting with this issue is the creation of two more categories of publications:
1 - "Experience of Services" has the intention of opening a space to report experiences showing the viability of certain techniques and surgical conducts in our area that are worthwhile divulging.
2 - "Clinical-surgical correlation", a section in which reports of rare cases or reports that might represent novel conducts in cases of general interest of our community will be accepted. They should systematically contain the elements necessary to understand the intention of the work, the adopted approach and the obtained result.
We will continue to publish the abstracts of our main events, as long as a commission that functions as reviewers of the presented themes selects them. Thus, the abstracts have value as scientific publications (even though they are abstracts) in a top-line journal.
We believe that our journal can only gain with these innovations, which, together with the electronic version in English, puts us together with the best international journals of the genera. We must emphasize that a publication is dynamic and so always open for changes which might improve it both in form and in content. For this, we continue with our compromise to make the RBCCV better with each issue, always with the indispensable collaboration of all our colleagues.
My warmest regards