BIREME Bulletin n° 38

Global Index Medicus – Biomedical and public health literature produced by and for low- and middle-income countries

The new Global Index Medicus (GIM) portal was launched on November 1st with several global promotional actions, through social media and the institutional websites of the World Health Organization (WHO) and its Regional Offices. In the first week post-launch, the GIM portal had 9,400 pages viewed by people in 125 countries, which represents a 350% increase compared to the same period in 2008

GIM offers exclusive access to health data and information produced in low- and middle-income countries. The principal objectives of GIM are increasing the access, visibility, use, and impact of health information published in the countries and regions in question.

gim_enThe diffusion of the new GIM Portal was supported by other International Organizations, like the World Bank, by the Offices of PAHO/WHO in Brazil and Peru, and by other networks and initiatives of PAHO/WHO. On Twitter, from November 1st to the 8th, there were 30 tweets with more than 500 likes and 350 retweets. On Facebook, there were 17 posts with more than 130 likes and 60 shares. The launch was featured on the institutional sites of PAHO/WHO, BIREME/PAHO/WHO, the WHO Library and Information Networks for Knowledge, and the WHO Regional Office for Africa. Other on-site actions were also held at the WHO Regional Offices for the Western Pacific and for the Eastern Mediterranean.

The new GIM platform is more “powerful” and allows for deeper content through extensive search filters, advanced search features, and additional reading suggestions. It also enables the collection of research and usage statistics, as well as biometric information to help assess the impact of the content and the platform, which contains more than 2 million bibliographical references, with over 1 million available in full text.

“This platform is extremely important for WHO’s normative work and for the scientific community in general, as it provides access to scientific literature that is not included in the principal international databases and complements the body of knowledge necessary to realize systematic revisions and research rooted in data,” affirms Ian Roberts, coordinator of the WHO Library and Information Networks for Knowledge.

social_enGIM content is collected and aggregated by the WHO Regional Offices Libraries in a central research platform that allows for the recovery of bibliographical information and fill texts. It selects the scientific literature related to health (articles, theses, etc.) produced and published in low- and middle-income countries. This body of knowledge is enriched by the specificities of context and the real-world challenges encountered at regional and national levels, which are essential for producing relevant and actionable knowledge and guidance.


WHO Region Number of Bibliographical References1 Number of Scientific Journals 1
Africa 18,000 258
Southeast Asia 179,000 49
Eastern Mediterranean 207,000 714
Western Pacific 708,000 678
Latin America & Caribbean 888,000 800
TOTAL 2,000,000 2,499

1 in November 2019


Responsibility for the GIM platform was attributed to the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information (BIREME/PAHO/WHO), in coordination with the Library and Information Networks for Knowledge (LNK/WHO), considering the experience of the Center in the development of the Virtual Health Library (VHL), which was adopted and adapted to GIM.

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