In September 1952, Dr. Ettore de Girolami proposed to Dr. Alfonso Trejos, Director of the clinical laboratory in the San Juan de Dios Hospital, the creation of a scientific journal sponsored by the University of Costa Rica. Dr. Trejos accepted the idea with enthusiasm and begun planning the journal.
By that time, Dr. Rodrigo Facio, with whom Dr. Trejos and Dr. de Girolami had a good relationship, was elected University President. They knew that Dr. Facio had other priorities in his new administrative position, yet they submitted their idea to him and to the University Council. The establishment of a journal would bring the opportunity to disseminate, in Costa Rica and foreign countries, the scientific goals and products of the institution and would also enrich the university library.
In October of the same year, in an informal meeting, Dr. Facio, recommended them how to proceed with the administrative paperwork, prior to the presentation of the project to the University Council. In December, the formal proposal was ready, and the Council approved it on January 5th, 1953. Few days later, founder members met several times to discuss details, such as journal name, size, issues published every year, type of paper, shape and color of the front cover and how many copies would be printed in each edition. All were difficult decisions that, at the end, were properly solved.
Considering that most articles were expected to be regional, the word “tropical” should be part of the journal's name. The University of Costa Rica had only four faculties at the time: Pharmacy, Odontology, Sciences and Agronomy, in consequence, the appropriate word was “biology”. To choose the first word of the name, a list of known journals was consulted: Acta, Anales, Boletin, Publicaciones, Gaceta, Revista, Prensa, etc.
On February 9th, 1953, founders met with the deans of the four faculties and made a final pronouncement: the name of the journal would be "Revista de Biología Tropical".
Most steps were followed as expected, with the exception of some problems in the university’s printing office, that was not ready to start publishing the new journal. To solve this, the University President and the Treasurer, Mr. Abel Méndez, authorized the Board to hire an external company that could print the Revista. The company FALCO, offered the best options in quality and price, and had a linotypist with experience in scientific terminology.
On July 15, 1953, the first issue of the Revista de Biología Tropical was out of the printer and ready to be distributed.
Since then, the journal has been an important motivation for young scientific minds who work in tropical countries, and find in Revista de Biología Tropical a good medium to express their ideas.
Adapted and summarized from an Spanish account written by Dr. Ettore De Girolami in 1988.
See the full document (only available in Spanish)