The 21st edition of the National Seminar on University Libraries (SNBU) was held virtually on December 7th to 10th, under the theme “University Library: tradition, practices, and innovations” and had more than 500 participants and a varied scientific program, with representatives of libraries and institutions in the field of librarianship and information science. The scientific program had a presentation by BIREME/PAHO/WHO, with the theme “BIREME towards Open Science”, presented by Lilian Calò, Coordinator of Scientific Communication in Health.
As with in-person conferences, the Ministry of Health, in cooperation with BIREME/PAHO/WHO, had a virtual stand, encompassing the Virtual Health Library Networks in Brazil (VHL Brazil) and the Network of Libraries and Cooperating Health Information Units (BiblioSUS). In this space, promotional materials were made available, such as videos and explanatory brochures about the services, in addition to the list of and link to the presentations in mini-course format that took place through the Teams application. A WhatsApp channel was also available to answer questions from users visiting the stand.
The presentations by the BIREME team focused on methodologies, products, and services developed for the management, access, and dissemination of scientific and technical information in health, promoting and giving visibility to these products and services, as well as to their information sources.
The products and services of the VHL Regional Portal were presented in two complementary mini courses, focusing on the objectives and content of the different information sources that can be accessed on this portal, in addition to user services and the MyVHL. The elaboration of search strategies to filter documents in the databases and the References Network were also themes of the presentations.
LILACS presentations were planned considering some of the current needs of university librarians, such as identifying possible databases for indexing their institutions’ journals, indicating quality journals for students to submit their manuscripts, and publishing materials such as events, educational resources, multimedia, and legislation. For this, aspects such as the specificity of LILACS as an indexing database in the health area in Latin America and the Caribbean were highlighted, complementing the MEDLINE database. The LILACS Methodology for information management was also mentioned, used in more than 80 databases that make up the VHL, developed and based on international principles and standards, complemented by the use of the controlled vocabulary Descriptors in Health Sciences (DeCS/MeSH).
A thesaurus reference in the health sciences area, the DeCS/MeSH controlled vocabulary, completed 35 years in 2021. A brief tutorial on how to use its portal was presented, with an emphasis on descriptor search modalities and new features implemented that year, such as accessing and using the DeCS/MeSH Finder, viewing records organized into concepts, and hierarchical view of categories. Furthermore, the application of vocabulary in indexing according to the LILACS methodology was presented. The promotional material available at the stand and the videos of the presentations held in the courses area are available on the VHL Network Portal.
The participation of BIREME and the Ministry of Health of Brazil in the SNBU was an opportunity to strengthen the VHL Brazil Network and to promote the information products and services resulting from networking. Furthermore, it was a reason to celebrate a continuous work of more than 50 years, especially with university libraries and research centers, which are the main centers of scientific production in health in Brazil. In all previous editions of the SNBU, the Network held gatherings and meetings as part of the Seminar program, taking advantage of the representativeness of the VHL Network in universities. In this virtual edition of SNBU, the Network showed up in numbers and actively participated.