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Science communication impact on journals visibility in Brazil

Germana Barata  

Some prestigious science journals have invested in science communication strategies to boost readership and to share results with society. Although Brazilian journals have improved their quality within the last decade, their visibility and quality perception still remains limited. On one hand, the national media underestimate the importance of Brazilian journals (some with international standards and others with great national performances), and on the other hand science policy remains focused on international publications. Meanwhile, international science policy has paid attention towards alternative indicators of science impact on society - as Altmetrics that evaluates papers appearance in blogs, News, social media etc. This paper aims to enrich and strengthen the evidence that communication strategies in Brazilian science journals can contribute to change the current overview. We have analysed the ten most popular posts about papers published in Brazilian journals through Facebook, the most used social media in Brazil. The fanpages of 4 Brazilian journals with good performance (up to 1,000 likes each) and weekly activity at Facebook were selected: Revista Brasileira de Educação Física e Esportes-RBEFE (Physical Education); Revista de Medicina (Medicine); História, Ciências, Saúde de Manguinhos (History) and Psicologia USP (Psicology). The same analysis was done in Divulga Ciência fanpage, a project dedicated to the science communication of Brazilian journals. The papers downloads were then analysed in the months previous and after communication on Facebook. The results show a direct impact of social media communication in the papers visibility, with a clear increase on downloads in the month of Facebook communication. For instance, a post about a RBEFE paper jumped from 51 downloads monthly on average to 397 in the post month. This research highlights Brazilian journals potential to draw public interest, which could be enhanced by investing in communication strategies to increment journals value and visibility.

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