Hundreds of employees of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization – both from the headquarters and country offices, together with professionals from universities, governments and networks of cooperating centers, participated at the launching of MyVHL, on August 25, 2017.
The new service was launched online in three languages (Spanish, Portuguese and English), using virtual platforms, in the year of the 50th Anniversary of BIREME. Dr. Francisco Becerra, Assistant Director of PAHO/WHO, welcomed the audience, emphasizing the importance of this new product for information end-users, which appropriately reflects the mission of BIREME of democratizing information, knowledge and evidence. Dr. Diego González, Director of the Center, stated “with this service, the users are able to create their own collections as they browse on the Virtual Health Library (VHL), which is the model developed by BIREME to systematize information and make it accessible. It has a Regional portal and over one hundred national, institutional and thematic portals.”
Mr. Renato Murasaki, Manager of Information Technologies and Database Administration at BIREME, presented the Customized Information Services: MyVHL, the history of this initiative, the services provided and future perspectives. Murasaki mentioned some of these elements:
- MyVHL is a free initiative that stores users’ information and preferences in order to provide customized services, such as: creation of collections of documents selected in the VHL, definition of topics of interest to receive new documents alerts, history of previous searches at the VHL, list of favorite links, and user´s publications.
- MyVHL is available for any user through an account on Facebook, Google, or MyVHL.
- Our aim is to customize the information provision service according to the user´s needs, in a systematic and proactive manner. Moreover, to allow users to retrieve and store material among the millions of documents available at the VHL, in order to meet their demands and priorities.
- To make searches easier, there is a virtual tour ready for use, explaining each service available, that users can take anytime.
A tour of each MyVHL service was performed, and one can see the different images presented in the following link. Mr. Murasaki underlined that “MyVHL will be under constant development and will give us feedback by means of users’ experiences when using the customized services. We are already planning the development of new functionalities and will inform you as soon as they are available online. Within six months, our goal is to integrate these customized services with other national and thematic fora of the VHL network”.
Finally, Dr. González, Director of BIREME, presented a calendar of training activities to be held in September, acknowledged all participants and declared that “the development and improvement of such services are made by many hands that comprise our working networks”. He asked everyone to collaborate and stated that BIREME will continue to enhance the quality, access and visibility of scientific output in Latin American and the Caribbean.