Recent Posts

Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz celebrates 115 years of scientific publishing: what it needs to keep moving on…

  • 30 April 2024
The Federal Decree n. 1802, published in December 12th 1907,(1) determined the creation of the “Instituto de Pathologia Experimental de Manguinhos”, now the “Instituto Oswaldo Cruz” and one of the current 20 research institutes of “Fundação Oswaldo Cruz - Fiocruz”. The same decree also determined the creation of a journal to disseminate the research work of the ‘Instituto’, stating in its 9th paragraph: “The research work carried out at the ‘Instituto de Manguinhos’ will be published as Memorias soon after confirming the experiments.” The first printed edition of the journal Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz appeared in April 1909, with…

Not all research results should be disseminated through the traditional “scientific article” format

  • 03 July 2023
Until the mid-1990’s there was no doubt on how a biomedical science researcher should proceed to start solving a problem or providing explanation to a natural phenomenon: use the “scientific method”. As taught in undergraduate science training programs, the “scientific method” consists of observing a fact or identifying a relevant question, formulate a hypothesis, collect data obtained under rigorous experimental set up, analyse these data with appropriate statistical methods, discuss them in view of the current knowledge, draw conclusions and finally (ideally) make a decision to reject or not reject the hypothesis. From the viewpoint of a bench lab researcher…

Some remarks on peer review and preprints

  • 23 March 2023
In 2013 the biomedical research community saw the birth of its first preprint server, the bioRxiv ( Since then, we have witnessed both the growing of repositories dedicated to the fast and non-peer-reviewed publication of scientific articles (preprint articles) and the community mind changing about the benefits (and risks!) of the immediate release of research results. It is a new scenario for biomedical and biological researchers but not for the physics research community whose arXiv physics has been publishing preprints since 1991. In view of current challenges, we may say that scientific publishing is now living under the "disruption of…

For the first time, to the best of our knowledge, a novel, robust, affordable: these words are not necessary to describe relevant research results.

  • 06 December 2022
The scientific practice is one of the few human activities that do not require high amounts of financial rewards to attract talented people. Due to a peculiar feature of this activity, i.e., a feeling of being constantly challenged by problems whose solution appears far from simple makes some people get involved without expecting to make a lot of money. Of course, in some scientific fields there are many opportunities to start a business that might lead to big financial returns, for example, biotechnology, nanotechnology or molecular biology. Yet for the skilled and talented people not interested in making money through…

Where the DNA hides... In praise of Jose Rodrigues Coura

  • 20 June 2022
  In the biomedical sciences timeline, 2021 will be marked by two major events: (a) the second year of Covid-19 pandemics and its huge impact on our society; (b) the consolidation of new vaccine technology to deal with emergent infectious agents. For the Brazilian community of researchers in tropical medicine nonetheless, it is also a year that will be remembered as the farewell to José Rodrigues Coura (1927-1921), medical doctor, professor and researcher in human infectious diseases, director of the Instituto Oswaldo Cruz (IOC), vice president of research at Fiocruz, author of hundreds of scientific articles, editor and enthusiastic collaborator…

Published scientific articles should be read nowadays with skepticism, and the preprints even more...

  • 29 November 2021
 The COVID-19 pandemic has affected human activities on a scale never seen before. In the scientific world it has been particularly hard: people involved in the activity of generating new knowledge have been under both huge demand and maximum expectation of proposing solutions to stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Under these exceptional circumstances, the research community has sought alternatives for the rapid dissemination of their work. An example of such alternative is the “fast track publication”, which was proposed by WHO during the epidemics caused by the Ebola and Zika viruses in 2015-16 (1). Many funding agencies and journals, including…

Midpoint: the publishing platform as a hybrid between a preprint server and a peer reviewed journal

  • 17 October 2019
Last year, we published a possible scenario for scientific journals, or, as we stressed in that post—our turn to fail miserably in the art of predicting the future (Brandao & Pirmez, 2018). Now it is time for a little incremental change (or adjustment?) to this forecast doomed to fail miserably, which noted a large shift in journal function and operational structure. There is a chance that journals will lose control over both the dissemination of research results and the reviewing process. These scenarios are projected from initiatives which are underway and are giving a new shape to scientific publishing, particularly…

Decentralizing scientific publishing: can the blockchain improve science communication?

  • 16 July 2019
We present a decentralized solution for managing scientific communication based on distributed ledger technologies also called Blockchains.The proposed system aims at solving the incentive problems displayed by traditional systems for scientific communication and publication. A minimal working model is presented defining roles, processes and expected results from the novel system. The proposed solution is viable given the current status of blockchain technology and should lead to a rethink of current practices and their consequences to scientific communication. The current model of scientific publishing is in crisis (De Wit, Altbach, & Leask, 2018; Horton, 2016). Even without looking at the numbers,…

This year, One Hundred and Ten. And counting!

  • 10 March 2019
Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz was officially created by federal decree 1.802, on December 12, 1907 (click here for the Portuguese version of this decree). Memorias effectively started its life as scientific publishing journal only two years later. This start could not have been better: in the second issue of the journal (August 1909), Dr. Carlos Chagas reported the discovery of a new human trypanosomiasis, including both its infectious agent (the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi) and the vector (the triatomine bugs). This trypanosomiasis is currently known as Chagas Disease. Because of the breath and impact of this discovery to tropical medicine…

Possible future for editors and scientific journals in an environment of decentralized and instantaneous dissemination of science

  • 29 August 2018
Predicting the consequences of current events in the medium to long term has only one certainty: in the overwhelming majority of cases, the prediction will fail!  That rate of failure is the reason why future studies scholars always caution that the main goal of a future analysis is to delimit "probable and desirable outcomes" of current events under social, demographic and technological aspects of human society. Computers are a good example of how difficult it is to predict future developments from the current standards. If we went back to the computer industry in the 1950s, took its concepts, hardware and…

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