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

VHL News Network

January 2008

Newsletter VHL 077 09/January/2008

ISSN 1809-6859

CRICS8 will be held in Rio de Janeiro in September 2008

The 8th edition of CRICS -- Regional Congress on Health Sciences Information, will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, between September 16 and 19, 2008. The event will be organized by FIOCRUZ in collaboration with BIREME/PAHO/WHO and other national and international institutions. The scientific program centered on “Information and Scientific Knowledge to promote Innovation on Health” will provide a current overview of the fields of management of information, knowledge and scientific evidence, including scientific communication, librarianship, information science, methodologies and information technologies and its applications in the national systems of research, education and health care
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Free access to the Cochrane Library for all Latin American and Caribbean countries

In 2008 all Latin American and Caribbean countries will have free access to the Cochrane Library through the VHL Cochrane Portal. In addition to the original version in English, the VHL Cochrane Portal also provides a Spanish version and a select set of review abstracts in Portuguese. The library provides an essential collection of sources of scientific evidence on health, with special emphasis on systematic reviews of interventions related to health care prepared by Cochrane Collaboration based on the information from scientific research results, including clinical trials and other studies of intervention. The democratization of access to the Cochrane Library was enabled under the regional technical cooperation of PAHO, so as to gradually improve the quality of the decisions by the several players involved. The support of PAHO’s Director, Mirta Roses Periago, and of PAHO’s Representatives in each country has been decisive to ensure open access to the VHL Cochrane Portal to all Latin American and Caribbean countries
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A bill obliges the deposit of articles from research financed by NIH

A bill signed by President George W. Bush in December 2007 obliges any research financed by the National Institutes of Health and published in peer-reviewed journals to be deposited in the repository PubMed Central. The legislation is a major drive to the movement of Open Access to scientific knowledge in less developed countries. Two Open Access models prevail: 1) establishing scientific journals or changing the existing ones into OA and 2) the deposit of articles soon after their approval in open-access repositories. Today there are 3,000 open access journals indexed in the DOAJ. The SciELO network launched 10 years ago and coordinated by FAPESP and BIREME/PAHO/WHO has published about 500 journals in December 2007 (11% of the total of DOAJ titles). OpenDOAR has recorded more than one thousand institutional repositories in December 2007. Two PubMed Central repositories are to be highlighted in health sciences: one in NIH, United States, and the other one in Welcome Trust, United Kingdom
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Global Health Library holds regional technical seminars in Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean

The development of the GHL, under the leadership of the WHO, follows the guidelines established by its Framework document, in which BIREME/PAHO/WHO is responsible for the methodology and technology, based on the VHL, widely spread in the Latin America and the Caribbean region. The VHL, maintained and developed by BIREME and by a network of developers, will be progressively transferred, adopted and adapted by other regions which operate the GHL. Thus, two regional seminars were held in the second half of 2007 about the GHL technological platform with the collaboration of BIREME. The first seminar was held between November 12 and 16 at the WHO regional office for Africa (AFRO) in Brazzaville, Congo Republic, and the second from November 18 to 22 at the WHO regional office for the Eastern Mediterranean region (EMRO) in city of Cairo, Egypt. The seminars’ results were rather positive for the advancement of GHL
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Argentinean health legislation is available online

The Ministry of Health of Argentina established the system Legisalud to manage and publish online full texts of laws and resolutions of Argentina and the Mercosur for free on the web. The Legisalud site was approved by the Argentinean health minister at the Federal Health Council (Cofesa – acronym in Spanish), in September 2007. The initiative, which was made possible by the technical cooperation of PAHO, through its office in Argentina, and of BIREME/PAHO/WHO, organizes, publishes and indexes the current health legislation, enabling easier access and promoting the right to information to legislators and to the population in general. Legisalud will be indexed in the VHL, which will progressively include health legislation of all Latin American and Caribbean countries
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Cooperative management of science information on health grows in Argentina

The RENICS coordination meeting has pointed out both the advances and the challenges to promote access and use of health sciences literature in Argentina. The group, comprising representatives of libraries belonging to the LILACS network, met in Buenos Aires, on December 3rd and 4th, 2007, with the support of PAHO and the National Academy of Medicine (ANM). Since 2004, ANM has been in charge of coordinating RENICS promoting the development of the network with the active participation of 88 libraries all over the country that work as VHL Cooperative Centers. During the meeting, they also signed an Agreement with the VHL and installed a National Advisory Committee. Advances and challenges in scientific communication via LILACS and SciELO were also included in the agenda of the meeting of Scientific Publishers of Health Sciences and Social Sciences held by CAICYT and PAHO on December 12, in Buenos Aires
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