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Latin American and Caribbean Center On Health Sciences Information
Pan American Health Organization | World Health Organization

VHL News Network

February 2007

Newsletter VHL 070 28/February/2007

ISSN 1809-6859

BIREME celebrates 40 years in favor of information and knowledge on health

In 2007, BIREME/PAHO/WHO - Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information - celebrates 40 years of existence, fully dedicated to the improvement of health in Latin America and the Caribbean, through democratization of access and use of information and scientific knowledge, duly updated and relevant for research, education, health promotion and healthcare. BIREME was established in Brazil, in March 1967, thanks to an agreement between PAHO and the Brazilian Government, represented by the Ministries of Health and Education, the Secretariat of Health of the State of Sao Paulo and the Federal University of Sao Paulo. BIREME is located in the University campus. BIREME's action in 2007 covers all Latin American countries, most Caribbean countries, Spain and Portugal. A total of over 2000 institutions are directly or indirectly related to the development, production, operation and use of the VHL and its complementary regional and international networks, chiefly SciELO
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CRICS 8 is postponed to 2008

The 8th Regional Conference on Health Sciences Information - CRICS8 - will take place in 2008, in Cartagena de Indias, in Colombia. Originally scheduled for August 2007, the CRICS8 and its associated meetings were postponed by decision of the institutions coordinating the event organization - BIREME/PAHO/WHO, COLCIENCIAS, Fundación Santa Fé and PAHO Representative in Colombia. The organization efforts and the scientific program development are currently being implemented and should be finished within the next six months. The main theme is "Knowledge and Health: Social Challenge of the Millennium" and the event will focus on state-of-the art matters, successful and innovative experiences, as well as on the challenges posed by contemporary theories and movements related to information and communication
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Dominican Republic launches VHL STD, HIV and AIDS

The AIDS Presidential Counsel (COPRESIDA) of the Dominican Republic launched in an opening ceremony, in Santo Domingo, on February 20, 2007, a complete and specialized information system on Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and other health issues, as part of the National Response to achieve the 6th Millennium Development Goal: to fight against the epidemics. The set of services made available to the Dominican population comprise the institutional web page of COPRESIDA, the documentation center and the VHL STD, HIV and AIDS, that complement the call center established by the state agency last December
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Public Health Virtual Campus in Cuba - advances and challenges

The current status and the future development of the Public Health Virtual Campus (CVSP) in Cuba were analyzed and debated in a special session of the Information Technology Congress, held in Havana, from February 12 to 16, 2007. The session was attended by approximately 30 participants, including representatives of well-known Cuban institutions that are current or potential members of the Cuban network CVSP, which, in turn, is part of the regional network. The CVSP is a space to converge actions of individual and organization networks that aim at development of individual competences and institutional capacities in Public Health. In an interoperation with the VHL, the CVSP is promoted and coordinated by PAHO. Its decentralized implementation and operation shall progressively take place at national and thematic areas
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BIREME and INFOMED organize workshop on "Web Standards and CSS"

As part of the events held before the "1st Meeting of VHL, SciELO and ScienTI Network Developers" and the congress "Information Technology in Health 2007", the workshop "Web Standards and CCS (Cascading Style Sheets)", took place in Havana, Cuba, on February 9, 10 and 12, 2007. This initiative is part of a series of events and internal and external trainings that BIREME/PAHO/WHO has implemented to strengthen the dissemination of good practices to develop applications and web portals of the VHL, SciELO and ScienTI Networks. The use of standard web is a priority action of the BIREME/PAHO/WHO to promote interoperability of sources of information
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European Petition Fosters the Open Access movement

The Open Access movement has varied proposals to make available a broad range of scientific articles in the Internet. One day through a few metadata, one will be able to access an article of interest in a few seconds. This is already a reality with roughly 100 thousand articles published in the SciELO Network, but not yet with most articles indexed by the Web Of Science from Thomson Scientific, which are published by journals of commercial publishers or scientific societies, both with business-minded. In the past few years, however, there is an increasing number of scientists and financing agencies that are pro open access to report results of researches, particularly when financed by public funds. A petition to be submitted to the European Commission has gathered support through the Internet. Over 20 thousand signatures have already been collected
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