Quality and Meaningfulness in Editorial Processes


Quality, more than a goal or an objective, is a premise. As such, its ideal must be the starting point of all educational processes, including research and, of course, the editorial processes that seek to disseminate and promote the results obtained.

Here, at the Universidad Católica de Colombia Law School, we understand that quality is not an external imposition or requirement, but part of an internal culture that we have internalized and appropriated as part of who we are, what we believe in, and the reason why we give our maximum efforts. Subsequently, we transform this ideal into a reality in a continuous and permanent ascent, that is, in movement, which requires a process. This process demands work, continuity, commitment, struggle, critical sense and innovation. There are no limits: the world is wide and strange, but we are open to the challenge.

The indexing of Novum Jus Law Journal in Scopus and its inclusion in the first quartile (Q1), is the result of this culture of quality, which raises the constant need for emulation, not for others, but for ourselves. It is also the result of teamwork by the journal's editors, editorial board members, editorial coordinators, academic colleagues, and, without doubt, the authors. After learning about being indexed as a Q1 journal, scholars from various national and foreign universities have written to us and even visited us to ask how we did it. Well, the answer is the above.

Thus, in the field of law, Novum Jus Law Journal has managed to position itself as the first journal in Colombia, the second in Latin America after a Brazilian publication, and the third in Ibero-America, where it leads another Spanish journal, according to the Scimago Ranking Journal (SRJ).1 It is the first journal in the history of Colombia to reach the top quartile and the only one to date.

Considering that the leading magazine in the Ibero-American ranking publishes all its texts in English and that the main language of the second is Portuguese, ours is also the first in Ibero-America to have Spanish as its main language. This last detail is not insignificant. Although Novum Jus is a pluralistic and inclusive publication, which publishes articles in Spanish, English, and Portuguese, we are proud of our culture and our language; in addition, it is worth highlighting, in all its political and social dimensions, that a primarily Spanish-speaking Latin American journal has been indexed in Q1 by Scopus.

In an academic world that is essentially English-speaking, where the vast majority of Q1 journals in all fields - including law - are published in the United States and the United Kingdom, exclusively in English - often from a colonial perspective typical of the Global North - finding a Spanish-speaking journal in Q1 is truly an oasis.

This colonialism, in which many of the Anglophone journals from both left and right participate, perpetuates the idea that they are the only ones who can write about theory, that only articles that use their work as a theoretical framework, with research problems and topics of study that interest them, with a "state of the art" in which they must be included, and with research methods that they have approved, are admissible in their pages.2

Although the vast majority of the countries of the Global South earned their independence centuries ago, colonialism still imposes its guidelines in the cultural, economic, and social spheres in Latin America as well as in Africa, Asia, and Oceania. Culturally speaking, this means that the discourses of knowledge or science of the global North must be adopted and reproduced in the global South, even though, due to the enormous differences in social, economic and political conditions, what is useful in the North is often useless in the South. Therefore, for several years we have been trying to develop a kind of socio-legal and juridical-political research, linked to the development of our theoretical approaches, according to the research problems whose solution is demanded in the Global South. 3

Of course, it is not a matter of adopting a chauvinistic attitude, of making declarations of principle against the contributions to knowledge coming from the global North. We are very interested in a dialogue between the discourses of the North and the South, using the theoretical contributions of the North as an essential input, but we also strive for and vindicate the construction of theoretical proposals and the realization of research exercises appropriate to the specific and unique needs of our societies in the Global South.

The recognition that Scopus has given to Novum Jus, by indexing it in Q1, is a very important contribution in the direction just described - that is, in the search for scenarios that allow the emergence of scholarly lines to the Global South - and in the democratization of science, as well as in the demonstration that the scientific efforts developed from it are valued, when they are carried out with quality and transparency.

The key to the significant meaning that we have just explained and that we attribute to the indexing of Novum Jus in Scopus and Q1 is that the journal will continue to be open to all academics and researchers, from all universities and research centers in Colombia and the world, especially from the Global South. The rules that refer to the need to control endogamy, which significantly limit the possibilities of publishing in Novum Jus for research professors of the Universidad Católica de Colombia, make the journal the heritage of all researchers of the Global South.

Germán Silva García


1 Scimago Journal & Country Rank [SJR], "Journal Rankings", https://www.scimagojr.com/joumalrank.php?area=3300&category=3308

2 Germán Silva García and Bernardo Pérez Salazar, El papel de la investigación en la educación jurídica: un problema de poder y colonialidad [The role of research in legal education: a problem of power and coloniality], Revista de Pedagogía Universitaria y Didáctica del Derecho 8, núm. 2 (2021): 61-80. http://dx.doi.org/10.14718/NovumJus.2020.14.2.1

3 Fernanda Navas-Camargo, El Sur Global y la realidad social de América Latina: hacia la construcción de nuevos paradigmas [The Global South and the social reality of Latin America: towards the construction of new paradigms], Novum Jus 14, núm. 2 (2020): 11-13. https://doi.org/10.5354/0719-5885.2021.61453


Navas-Camargo, Fernanda. "El Sur Global y la realidad social de América Latina: hacia la construcción de nuevos paradigmas". Novum Jus 14, núm. 2 (2020): 11-13. http://dx.doi.org/10.14718/NovumJus.2020.14.2.1

Scimago Journal & Country Rank [SJR]. "Journal Rankings". https://www.scimagojr.com/journalrank.php?area=3300&category=3308 (acceso junio 18, 2023).

Silva García, Germán, y Bernardo Pérez Salazar. "El papel de la investigación en la educación jurídica: un problema de poder y colonialidad". Revista de Pedagogía Universitaria y Didáctica del Derecho 8, núm. 2 (2021): 61-80. https://doi.org/10.5354/0719-5885.2021.61453