Will Vibrant Survive?

Vibrant, the open-access journal of the Brazilian Anthropological Association, aims to disseminate knowledge of Brazilian anthropology around the world, publishing articles in English, French and Spanish. The following letter was sent to members of Vibrant's international advisory board last week. The Society for Cultural Anthropology stands in solidarity with Vibrant and encourages supporters of open access to speak out on behalf of this important initiative.

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Rio de Janeiro, December 14, 2015

Dear members of Vibrant’s International Advisory Board:

This is a rather sad letter, we are afraid.

Over the past few years we have enjoyed the financial support of the National Research Council (CNPq) and the Ministry of Education. While authors managed to find resources to translate most of the articles (usually from their graduate programmes), the funds from the CNPq were vital to pay our webmaster who also prepares the articles for publication and converts them into XML which is a demand made by SciELO. Occasionally some cash is left over to pay for the odd revision or a translation for young writers. Peter has done quite a lot of copydesk and editing himself.

As you know, Brazil is going through a major fiscal crisis that is leading government to impose cutbacks. Vibrant has become a victim of this policy. The CNPq turned down our request this year because although we are indexed by SciELO, they demand that we be also indexed by either Scopus or ISI. In fact we applied to Scopus, but still await their verdict. Without the CNPq resources (it was only R$20,000 last year, or at today’s exchange rate, just over US$5,000) we will have to close.

We sent a plea for reconsideration to the CNPq. Having found that at least one other periodical had been approved in spite of not being indexed by Scopus, we asked for similar treatment for Vibrant. Vibrant was the first Brazilian periodical whose mission was to project Brazilian science beyond the boundaries of the Portuguese language. Recently, the internationalization of Brazilian science has become a major governmental priority. We argued that killing off Vibrant would be totally inconsistent with this policy and hardly encouraging for those who are committed to building bridges between Brazilian science and the wider world.

The purpose of this letter is to ask you to help us by writing emails to the president of the CNPq (Hernan Chaimovich Guralnik, presidencia@cnpq.br) and to two important officers of the CNPq bureaucracy (Maria Angela Cunico, mcunico@cnpq.br and Alexandre Garcia Costa da Silva, cgcex@cnpq.br and cgchs@cnpq.br) asking them to reconsider their decision to cut off our funding.

If you could please let them know that Vibrant has become an important bridge between Brazilian anthropology and the English-speaking world, and we would be very grateful indeed.

Also, if any of you has the slightest idea where we might find funds outside Brazil, please let us know.

Yours sincerely,

Antonio Carlos de Souza Lima

President, Brazilian Anthropological Association

Peter Fry

Editor, Vibrant