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Jacqueline Leta
Birger Larsen
Ronald Rousseau
, and
Wolfgang Glänzel
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Summary The contribution of Brazil to the database of the Institute for Scientific Information, ISI, has increased remarkably during the last years. Among the Brazilian research institutions, the publications of the University of São Paulo (USP) have been around 30& of the country's total publication within the ISI database. A similar share was found for USP's publications published in the 1980-1999 period and classified in the Life Sciences. This was observed in publications from both the highest impact factor journals and from those with the largest number of articles. We have found that the present share of USP's publications in some of the fields of the Life Sciences was much less than 30&, suggesting a gradual decentralization of the scientific activity in Brazil. The data point out that this set of USP's publications were concentrated in traditional and basic fields of biological research, where the focus is mainly oriented by international trends. The data suggest that USP's researchers have not been much devoted to some of the fields where research is oriented toward national issues.

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In this study, we examine the scientific output of Brazilian psychiatry, based on the databaseof the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), publications in the 10 most important psychiatricjournals, and publications in major Brazilian journals. The number of Brazilian publications (i.e.,those carrying at least one Brazilian address) in psychiatry in the ISI database increased by 168%during the 15-year period under study (1981-1995) . Despite this growth, the relative contributionof publications in psychiatry to the country's publications in medical sciences did not change overthe 15-year period. This fraction, around 2%, remained at less than one-third of the averagecontribution of psychiatry journals to publications in medicine worldwide. The impact inferredfrom number of citations (1981-1992) shows that Brazilian articles in psychiatry were cited lessthan the world average in this field. In the 10 psychiatry journals with the highest impact,Brazilian authors published only 48 articles in the 1981-1995 period, representing only 0.2% ofthe articles in those journals. Like their American and British counterparts, Brazilian psychiatristsalso published primarily in domestic journals: 87.1% of the publications by Brazilians appeared inthe two major Brazilian psychiatric journals, compared with only 12.9% in foreign journals.Among publications in psychiatry in the ISI database, the number of articles co-authored byBrazilians with scientists from other countries increased 12.3 fold from 1981-1985 to 1991-1995,representing at the end 50% of all publications by Brazilian psychiatrists in international journals.Despite all cuts in funding for Brazilian science during the last decades, all of the articles in oursample originated in public universities, and only 10 universities were responsible for 70% of thepublications by Brazilian psychiatrists in our survey period. We conclude that Brazilianpsychiatric research is a subject worthy of particular concern, especially if we take into accountthe country's modest scientific performance and the socio-economic consequences of mentaldisorders in the Brazilian population.

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