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Chungará (Arica)

versión On-line ISSN 0717-7356

Chungará (Arica) vol.44 no.1 Arica mar. 2012 

Volumen 44, N° 1, 2012. Páginas 3-8 Chungara, Revista de Antropología Chilena




Calogero M. Santoro1,2 y Vivien G. Standen1

1 Departamento de Antropología, Universidad de Tarapacá, 18 de Septiembre 2222, Casilla 6-D, Arica, Chile.;

2 Centro de Investigaciones del Hombre en el Desierto (CIHDE), Avenida General Velásquez 1775, oficina 403, Arica, Chile.


The first issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, which appeared in March 1665, gave birth to the tradition of disseminating knowledge generated by reflection, observation and experimentation about matters that concerned the society and intelligentsia of that time. The distinctive feature of this journal, which continues to publish to this day, was that its articles were reviewed by peers of the Society before being published. In January of that same year, Journal des Savants, which had similar intentions, had been launched, but was discontinued in 1792 and resumed in 1816 (Vittu 2002). The practice of Philosophical Transactions multiplied and expanded in the nineteenth century and even more so in the twentieth century, when institutions tied to the generation of knowledge began to publish journals of this type, which in itself became a mission and a vital necessity.

In Chile, specifically in the field of anthropology, the publication of the only volume of Revista de la Sociedad Arqueolójica de Santiago in 1880 stands out. This was followed by the journal Actes de la Société Scientifique du Chili, published between 1891 and 1893 (Etcheverry 1989a). In the Actes, several archaeological and bioanthropological studies were published (Pardo 1898; Vergara Flores 1894a, b). In 1897, the journal Revista Chilena de Historia Natural was inaugurated, which still continues to this day. In one of its first issues, another bioanthropological report by professor Vergara Flores was published (1898a, b). In 1908, Federico Philippi founded the journal Boletín del Museo de Historia Natural, which publishes discontinuously to this day. This journal published works in archaeology and ethnology, which grew in number and frequency after 1930, with contributions from Ricardo Latcham and Grete Mostny (see the table of contents in Etcheverry 1990). In 1910, the journal Revista Chilena de Historia y Geografía was created at the initiative of Enrique Matta (Dannemann 2010). This journal served as the medium for important studies in archaeology and anthropology, such as the first works by Max Uhle in Chile (Uhle 1913). In 1912, the Museo de Etnografía y Antropología­a was created as part of the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Chile (Alegría 2007), which released the journal Publicaciones del Museo de Etnología y Antropología de Chile between 1916 and 1924 (Gusinde 1917). In this journal, Uhle published his first reflections on the Aborigine of Arica, known today as the Chinchorro culture (Santoro et al. 2010; Uhle 1917). Some years later, the Sociedad Biológica de Concepción, created in 1927, launched Boletín de la Sociedad Biológica de Concepción, which also included bioanthropological studies (Álvarez y Espinoza 2001; Etcheverry 1989b; Henkel 1933,1939; Sandoval and Wilhelm 1945).

A large number of these publications and other early publishing efforts in anthropology developed slowly and discontinuously, linked in some cases to local institutions such as the Sociedad Arqueológicas of La Serena, founded in 1944, which began to publish the journal Publicaciones de la Sociedad Arqueológica de La Serena in 1945, devoted to the archaeology of that area. In 1957, the journal Arqueología Chilena is launched by the Centro de Estudios Antropológicos of the Universidad de Chile (Sandoval 1957). The latter center was established in 1955 stemming from the Sección de Antropología Histórica y Social of the Instituto Pedagógico, which, in turn, had been founded in 1953 (Schaedel 1957). In 1963, this Center initiated the journal Antropología, which stopped publishing between 1967 and 1974 (Cunill 1963; Orellana 1974). In 1968, the Boletín de Prehistoria de Chile was set up by this Center, which, as of 1979, was taken up by the Departmento de Ciencias Antropológicas y Arqueológicas (Orellana 1974).

In 1978, this Department combined Antropologíaand Boletín de Prehistoria de Chile into one journal, Revista Chilena de Antropología (Dannemann 1978), which has been published irregularly to this day.

This overview of some of the journals related to anthropology and archaeology coincides with the developmental trajectory of several scientific disciplines in Chile, which experienced a sustained and continuous development after World War II (Hidalgo and Martínez1995). The creation of FONDECYT (Chilean national foundation for science and technology) in 1981 meant a qualitative leap forward in the scientific world and, as a side effect, contributed to the improvement and creation of new scientific journals, which today compete in the global indexing systems with remarkable results over the last ten years (Aguirre 2011; Gerding 2005).

Similar initiatives were launched in other countries of Andean America, such as the journal Boletín de la Sociedad Ecuatoriana de Estudios Históricos Americanos, founded by Jacinto Jijón y Caamaño in 1918 as a member of the Society. This Bulletin published archaeological studies of northern Chile (Uhle 1919a, b). In 1932, Luis E. Valcárcell founded the journal Revista del Museo Nacional in Peru (Mujica Bayly et al. 2010), while the Sociedad Argentina de Antropología launched Relaciones in 1937. In Bolivia, Carlos Ponce Sanjinés and Jacobo Liberman established the journal Kahna, in 1953. This journal was associated with the municipality of La Paz and was published for ten years. In 1972, Ponce Sanjinés pushed for the publication of the journal Pumapunku, which was revived in 1991 by the Centro de Investigaciones Antropológicas de Tiwanaku (Lémuz 2005).

Chungara, created in 1972, aspired to publish the results of research carried out at the interdisciplinary center of anthropological studies, which was established at that time by the Universidad del Norte in the city of Arica and is currently under the auspices of the Universidad de Tarapacá (Niemeyer 1983). Since its inception, this journal has published articles by external authors and has been an open space for debating different theoretical and methodological positions (Hidalgo 1981). Thus, the journal has emerged as a leading benchmarkfor studies in Andean history, anthropology, archaeology and bioanthropology (Córdova 1988). In addition, the processes of evaluation and certification of quality and originality of the articles published in the journal have become more rigorous since 1983 (Hidalgo 1983). As a consequence, Chungara began to be referenced in indexes and bibliographic directories of America and Europe. Foremost among these is the Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO), created in Brazil in 1997 and adopted in Chile in 1998. In 2001, Chungara was incorporated into SciELO because it met the selection criteria of editorial quality for the SciELO platform in Chile ( (Aguirre 2011). Another important network is Scopus, of Elseviere, where Chungara is also included. Yet undoubtedly, the Web of Knowledge and Web of Science (WoK and WoS, respectively) is the platform of highest interest and is almost an imperative for editors worldwide who strive to obtain this international certification (Salas 2008).

In this provocative and competitive academic environment, Chungara was accepted in the Web of Science in 2005, which brought with it an increase in the quantity and quality of manuscripts submitted for review. Accordingly, our rejection rates also increased. For the world's most prestigious journals, rejection rates could be as high as 90%, while with Chungara it is about 30% per year. Despite this high rejection rate, there is still a lag of several additional months from the moment an article is accepted until its publication. This delay affects authors and the image of the journal alike. For these reasons, starting this year the issues published every year will double. Previously, we had published one volume annually with two issues, with occasional special issues. Switching from a six-month to a three-month periodicity means that, starting in 2012 each volume will contain four issues. Thus, we expect to reduce the time it takes from the moment a manuscript is submitted until it is printed, which should not exceed twelve months. This will also make it possible to widen the thematic coverage of the journal to include emerging lines of research and to broaden its geographical coverage. Currently, we receive a significant flow of anthropological and historical research results from Mexico down to the extreme south of South America, as well as Spain.

This structural change coincides with the 40 years of almost uninterrupted publication of the Chungara. Consequently, this new publication plan is also an act of celebration and commemoration and constitutes another important step in the development of the Journal, which has grown systematically since it was founded, becoming an internationally recognized vehicle of scientific dissemination. This implies facing important challenges in the future such as the launching of an online platform to handle the entire editorial process of the manuscripts. With these innovations and the maintenance of strict control for quality, originality, coverage and relevance of the articles, we should see a boost in the rate of impact on the Web of Science.

Finally, it is important to highlight that our website at offers free access to all the articles published since 1972, in PDF format. All issues from 1988 onwards are also available on SciELO. They are also available with paid access on JSTOR. Paid access to the online versions of a large number of traditional scientific journals has given rise to strong controversy, as scientific knowledge has become a lucrative commodity traded in the market, despite the fact that an important part of the initial investment for research comes from a wide range of public sources (Monbiot 2011). For this reason, more journals should follow the lead of others who offer free access to scientific knowledge, such as Chungara, for the benefit of future generations on this planet (Watson et al. 2010).

In short, starting in the late nineteenth century, scientific journals containing bioanthropological as well as archaeological and ethnographic studies began to be published in Chile. This editorial vocation increased through the twentieth century, but several of the initiatives did not last or they are only published irregularly. In contrast, the three Chilean journals associated with anthropology, archaeology and history included in the Web of Science, Magallania (Martinic 2009), Estudios Atacameños (Le Paige 1974; Núñez 1996; Serracino 1974) and Chungara, created in the late sixties and early seventies, emerged out of local intellectual initiatives that last to this day in provincial state universities. In its short and uninterrupted history, Chungara has gone through what European journals experienced during a period of two centuries, which is good reason for it to become a more solid and visible journal in the dissemination of results of archaeological studies while maintaining and improving its quality and management standards.

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