Continuing the series Strengthening Health Information Networks, the second webinar of the Virtual Health Library Network (VHL Network) and BiblioSUS Network was held on July 29, with the theme “The importance of bibliographic control in the health area: expanding visibility and access”, which was presented by three experienced information science professionals directly involved in the management of the VHL databases.
The theme was approached based on the premise that the bibliographic control of the literature produced in Latin America and the Caribbean (LA&C) is essential for the democratization of access, publication and visibility of these publications, and for this reason, it is so important. Bibliographic control is nothing more than the process of identification, selection, evaluation and registry of scientific and technical output in the databases of the VHL Network. The focus, certainly, is the literature on health sciences and related areas. This work is only possible through a decentralized network of Cooperating Centers throughout the L&C Region that shares responsibilities and uses a common methodology, with pre-established workflows and operations. To operate in this gear, it is also necessary to develop capacities and constantly update the Network professionals. To keep this operation functioning satisfactorily, there are quality control and verification mechanisms based on committees and other bodies.
The regional bibliographic control is even more important since the large international databases (PubMed, for example) do not index more than 1% of the scientific literature published in LA&C, in addition to limiting to scientific articles. Grey literature, theses, books and monographs are not included, and as a result, much of the science produced in the region that is relevant to the countries is not found in the international mainstream. Hence the importance of LILACS and the national and thematic databases that complement LILACS, such as ColecionaSUS, BBO (Dentistry), BDENF (Nursing), SES-SP, PrevCancer and many others.
The databases are coordinated by institutions of the VHL Network, and each database has its own document selection criteria, access interfaces and integrates one or more VHL collections (Regional VHL, Brazil VHL, and Nursing VHL, for example). For the management and regular updating of the databases following standards and norms of the LILACS Methodology and using DeCS for indexing, the contribution of the Cooperating Centers of the VHL Network, in Brazil and other AL&C countries, is essential. It is possible to consult the contribution statistics of each Cooperating Center on the LILACS portal, by country.
To keep the Network mobilized and aligned with actions to strengthen collaborative work, BIREME promotes a series of meetings and webinars in four main categories: sessions on Indexing Specific Types of Documents; meetings with LILACS Coordinator Networks in countries; the series on Good Editorial Practice in Scientific Journals, with invited speakers, and the training on LILACS Methodology.
In the context of the VHL Network in Brazil, the ColecionaSUS database fulfills the role of a national database that contributes to the bibliographic control in health sciences for scientific and technical publications in Brazil. The database was created in 2005 as a repository of the intellectual output of SUS, with the expectation that the Cooperating Centers of the BiblioSUS Network could index the health literature produced locally, complementing LILACS. With this, it was expected to expand the dissemination and access to this scientific production, in addition to consolidating the scientific output of SUS in a single repository. To date, the database has around 30,000 records and integrates the databases of the VHL network.
About the second webinar
The series of six webinars for the Networks that make up the Brazilian Health Sciences Information Network (Brazil VHL Network) is part of the cooperation established between BIREME and the General Coordination of Documentation and Information of the Ministry of Health (CGDI/SAA/SE/MS) through the TA6/TC95, with and aims to strengthen the VHL Brazil Network and, in particular, the Unified Health System Library Network (BiblioSUS Network).
The second webinar of the Virtual Health Library Network (VHL Network) and BiblioSUS Network, with the theme “The importance of bibliographic control in the health field: increasing visibility and access”, was moderated by Silvia de Valentin, Administration and Planning Manager at BIREME/PAHO/WHO. Diego González, Director of BIREME, welcomed more than 80 participants and stressed the relevance of the work with the databases that integrate the VHL information sources, such as LILACS, and the BiblioSUS Network.
Verônica Abdala, Manager of Services and Information Sources at BIREME, presented the concept of bibliographic control and made considerations that reinforced the importance of the VHL Network databases and the collective effort to achieve bibliographic control of health publications in the countries of the Region AL&C.
Sueli Suga, Supervisor of Referential Information Sources at BIREME, who coordinates the operation of the LILACS database, detailed the tools, methodologies and actions that contribute to the bibliographic control, making an interesting analogy with the distribution network and electricity services.
Sandra Teixeira, responsible for the Virtual Library of the Ministry of Health (Secretariat for Administrative Affairs/Executive Secretariat/Ministry of Health), presented the role of the ColecionaSUS database for Bibliographic Control in Health in Brazil, and left two questions to the audience: (1) Does your institution produce any publications that could be made available on the ColecionaSUS database? (2) Would you like to contribute to ColecionaSUS? Interested parties can contact the Ministry of Health VHL.
At the end of the session, Silvia acknowledged the experts for their presentations, commenting that they had been very clear in explaining the importance of bibliographic control. In his final remarks, Diego González stated that he is proud to lead a team like that of LILACS, with this ability to work in a network that allows achieving excellent results. “I join the comment made by Cristina de Carvalho, in the platform chat ‘Congratulations Verônica and Sueli. I am proud to know that we have in the VHL and LILACS Network a powerful tool for scientific dissemination. What a wonderful job’.”