In the current year of 2006, Revista de Saúde Pública celebrates its 40th anniversary of continuous existence. Indeed, forty years have passed by since an outstanding group of masters Armando Piovesan, Elza Salvatori Berquó, Flavio Wagner Rodrigues, Oswaldo Paulo Forattini, Paulo Nogami, Reinaldo Ramos, and Walter Belda took up the challenge posed by then the director of Faculdade de Saúde Pública of Universidade de São Paulo, Professor Rodolfo dos Santos Mascarenhas, of creating a new scientific journal. Their challenge would be to meet international standards of scientific rigor and independence while promoting and disseminating the knowledge produced in Public Health, especially that knowledge most relevant for improving health in Brazil. Over forty years, without departing from its commitment on independence and quality and, at the same time, reaffirming its commitment to health, Revista de Saúde Pública has overcome obstacles, has improved, renewed, become international and expanded.
Between 1967 and 2005, 2,474 articles were published all MEDLINE-indexed and, since 1982, a good number of them indexed to the International Scientific Information database. They covered a variety of subjects and their authors presented multiple analytic approaches, most certainly reflecting changes in the epidemiological profile of Brazilian populations as well as economic, political and cultural changes nationwide and the advances in scientific disciplines that give support to research in public health. While reviewing these past articles, we decided to select a set of them which would be representative, in their subjects and approaches, of the Brazilian scientific production in the first 10 years of Revista de Saúde Pública. We then invited renowned researchers, frequent contributors of Revista, to read and comment on these articles, particularly focusing on their input to the knowledge at the time they were written, their impact on public health practices in our local conditions and the current relevance of their analyses, findings and conclusions. A total of 12 articles were selected and will be republished throughout the year 2006, along with the respective commentaries by invitation, in a specially created section of Revista de Saúde Pública called "Classics of the First Ten Years".
By launching this new section in the first 2006 edition, we give start to the celebrations of Revista's 40th anniversary and all together we honor, through the authors of these republished articles, all authors of the 2,474 articles published between 1967 and 2005, as well as all those, in the capacity of writers and editors, who helped make the dream of the founders of Revista de Saúde Pública come true.
Carlos Augusto Monteiro
Rita de Cássia Barradas Barata