The Fifth Session of the Scientific Committee (SC) occurred on November 28th and 29th, attended by specialists from Brazil (Technology and Information), Colombia (Education, Management and Knowledge), Costa Rica (Scientific Investigation), Cuba (Information Management), and Mexico (Scientific Communication). The specialist from Jamaica (Georgiana Gordon-Strachan) justified her absence, while sending her contributions after evaluating the information presented and the Session’s program. The inauguration of the session included words of welcome, remotely given, by the Subdirector of OPS/WHO, Dr. Jarbas Barbosa da Silva Jr., who highlighted the importance and the role of the Scientific Committee in generating recommendations to improve and give visibility to the institutional strengthening and the technical cooperation program with BIREME with its products and services in technical and scientific information for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Dr. Diego González Machín, Director of BIREME and ex-Officio Secretary of the SC BIR, supported by the Managers, Coordinators, and other members of the team led the meeting. Dr. Roberto Carlos Pacheco and Dr. Jaider Ochoa Gutierrez were named, respectively, President and Rapporteur of the session.
Dr. González and his team presented, each within his/her area of expertise, advances in the implementation of the Recommendations of the Fourth Session of the SC, which occurred in 2018, punctuated by comments and questions by the Committee members. In general, the members expressed recognition of the developments presented and of the new products that will be developed by BIREME under the new PTB 2020-2021. Furthermore, the punctual responses to each recommendation by the SC were well-received.
To follow, each SC member made relevant and pertinent considerations and recommendations about what they considered to be the key points for BIREME’s products and services in the near-future. The members also committed to sending, in the short-term, a document formalizing these recommendations to the Director and the same will make up part of the final report of the Fifth Session that will be shared with the Director and Subdirector of PAHO/WHO.
New members for 2020-2022
In accordance with the Statute of BIREME, the SC is named by the Advisory Committee (AC) for a mandate of three years. The membership of the current SC concludes in December 2019, and the process of electing new members is in the process of completion. A list of specialists proposed by BIREME and by the AC is in the process of analysis and approval, and will soon be communicated to the Director of PAHO/WHO who will formalize the invitations to the selected specialists.
The main purpose of the Committee, according to the Statute of BIREME in the context of its new institutional code (CD49.R5), is to make recommendations to the Advisory Committee and the Director of PAHO about the programmatic functions of BIREME in accordance with the state of international art in information and scientific communication, which includes: quality policies and criteria for content selection; information management; scientific knowledge and evidence; editorial management; information storage and recovery infrastructure; bibliometrics; infometrics; and scientometrics.
The Statute establishes that the Committee be composed by at least five international specialists, appointed for their recognized competence in scientific research, information and knowledge management in health, scientific and technical communication in health, and knowledge in the areas of research, ethics, development, operations, and finance.