Finisterra em Mudança

Since its foundation in 1966, the Finisterra has been run by prestigious scholars. Their dedication and the required scientific standards contributed to an uninterrupted publication, the maintenance of high standards of scientific quality and all together made possible that this became the Portuguese journal of reference in  Geography. The task of Finisterra's management today is therefore an inheritance of great responsibility, to which is added the complexity of internationalization, the survival in the competition of academic journals for the capture of scientific production in the professionalized publishing world and the consequent process Acceleration of publication.

The quality of scientific journals is not easily measurable, since the evaluation criteria have different purposes, from the impact of scientific content, indexing in databases, funding of publication by science and technology funding institutions, development of the collection, etc. Regarding to the content, which expresses the relevance of the publication, the dissemination of research results through original articles, thematically related to the mission of the journal and representing contributions to the advancement of knowledge, is valued. Other indicators of the content quality correspond to the double peer review, to the editorial staff made up of researchers of recognized scientific performance, respectability and recognition by peers, coming from institutions with national and international diversity. Periodicity, duration, standardization, editorial work, diffusion and indexing are also indicators of formal quality and currently play a major role in the evaluation of scientific journals. As is well known, the prestige of a scientific journal is increasingly measured by international indicators (citation counting, index h, impact factor, scimago journal rank, among others).

The editorial policy of the outgoing Directorate, under the guidance of Maria João Alcoforado for 15 years, accompanied by a team of "variable geometry" (see Finisterra, 2015, no. 100. Biography of a geography magazine, Finisterra, pp.9-33), fought continuously to preserve the prestige of Finisterra (by its predecessors) in the increasingly competitive world of international publishers who have absorbed scientific production. It obtained funding for the magazine and professionalized its management, with the support of successive directions of the CEG. With her team, she made numerous changes to the journal’s operations: restructuring of the various committees that make up the executive and advisory bodies of Finisterra; creation of the section editor (which includes the coordinators of the research centers of the CEG), extension of the consultant network, growth in the number of external (anonymous) specialized reviewers. Also noteworthy is the free online access to all of the journal's texts, since its inception, to join the platform of the Scientific Repository of Open Access of Portugal (RCAAP), through which the entire management / monitoring process (authors, revisers, editors), shortening the time between submission and evaluation and subsequent publication of texts, maintenance of rigor and transparency of publication criteria, extension of the geographical scope of authors who publish in the journal , especially to Latin America, the integration of the journal in international databases and the adoption of the content identifier (DOI), etc.

As a result of this collective effort, and efficient supervision, Finisterra began an internationalization process, as evidenced by the growing number of quotations from the journal’s contents in the databases that count citations (Scopus, Google Scholar, EBSCO, QUALIS, etc.). Indexing the Finisterra in the main multidisciplinary databases (Scopus, Scielo, Latindex, Dialnet, DOAJ, CAPES) was a goal achieved. This process of affirmation in the scientific publishing world is not yet assured and finished.

Still missing the goal of being recognized in the Web of Science, but its permanent reintegration into Scielo (Thompson Reuters is currently collaborating with Scielo, through the Scielo Citation Index, integrating it in the Web of Knowledge, where Finisterra is currently located) is an important step in that direction. The process of expanding its presence in other online databases is also a priority, as well as improving bibliometric / performance metrics indicators, shortening the time between submission and publication of articles, and capturing more recognized authors in the scientific world.

The project for the future of Finisterra (without neglecting the incentive to Portuguese scientific production) has an eclectic vision, renewed strategies for internationalization, review articles by authors of recognized international merit, encouraging international collaboration in publications.

The future of Finisterra is committed to this mission of continuing the expansion of the horizon of authors who communicate the results of their research and simultaneously of readers of scientific production, still mostly Portuguese, but which increasingly extends to other languages, such as to English. This commitment to validate the knowledge and formal channel of communication and scientific dissemination is equally important for the evolution of the Centre for Geographical Studies.

The management and executive committee now renewed have as criteria, gender parity, the integration of PhD from the various scientific areas of Geography, the scientific visibility through young researchers who publish and have experience of reviewing scientific articles and, as the process of publishing scientific production according to international and national requirements, as well as familiar with the digital edition component, giving Finisterra a competitive advantage that (without neglecting the paper edition) seeks a better positioning In the online publishing world.

The commitment of the new team for the next triennium will also include the publication of three issues a year, an essential factor for increasing their visibility, and will have thematic numbers responding to demanding selection criteria and without losing its eclectic characteristic, compromising this direction to open a call to thematic numbers, according to a predefined set of rules.

Starting in 2016, Finisterra will be present at national and international events and will establish an annual prize for best article published in the magazine, selected by a commission nominated by the section editors and the executive committee.

Also in the context of the acceleration of the diffusion process, Finisterra will: (i) continue to be present on social networks, encouraging authors and readers to discuss published articles, continuing to launch contests on edited texts and to publicize events related to the Publishing world; (Ii) it will have a web page where information on the procedures for evaluating text and management will be updated and available, in addition to all information already available and available online, (iii) it will also be an objective, the dissemination of online texts in Open access even before its official publication, procedure only allowed through DOI.

The current direction of Finisterra is also committed to the creation of an Annual Lecture from 2016. The Finisterra Annual Lecture Series will feature prominent personalities invited to conduct the debate on socially and scientifically relevant issues today. It will be presented as an important event of the CEG and will seek to encourage the academic community, professionals and students to engage in dialogue on controversial issues. The publication of the Lesson is part of the magazine's expansion process.


Lisboa, 31 de março de 2016

Margarida Queirós