objective: to characterize the situation of pulmonology journals published in latin america. methods: a survey was conducted in a meeting sponsored by the latin american thoracic society. each journal editor presented a report and answered a questionnaire. results: improving information acquisition is the main motivation for pulmonology societies to edit their own journals, whereas disseminating medical knowledge and reporting experiences are the main motivations for authors to submit papers. the most common failing in the manuscripts submitted is poor compliance with the journal guidelines. improving author-editor-reviewer relationships would be the best strategy for improving the quality of manuscripts. suggestions for improving latin american journals included the following: promoting professionalism in editorial tasks; encouraging manuscript reviewers to be more meticulous; and embracing international norms for editing medical journals. the following major problems were reported: a lack of regular, appropriate periodicity of issues; a shortage of original papers that are considered 'milestones' in the specialty; a low rejection rate for submitted papers; a high turnover of editors. conclusion: based on our findings, we can make the following recommendations: although many journals are available in electronic form, they should also be maintained in print form; each journal should divulge its subscription fee, even if it is included in the annual society membership dues; although each latin american country might decide to publish its own pulmonology journal, the feasibility of publishing a multinational latin american pulmonology journal should be explored.