As the most important bibliographic index of the scientific and technical regional output, LILACS (Latin American and Caribbean Literature on Health Sciences) celebrates 25 years on 29 October 2010. The index commemorates its history of effective contribution for the increase of the visibility, access, and quality of the scientific and technical literature in the region.
The date represents the beginning of the production of the index, in 1985, which meant a radical change for the region, expanding the scope of the scientific knowledge in health published in the countries in the national, regional, and global area (more on the history of the LILACS). Furthermore, it has initiated the development of the national capabilities in the bibliographic control of the science produced by the countries.
From its conception, LILACS is developed in a decentralized mode and represents today the result of the collaboration of nearly 800 institutions from 19 countries. Currently LILACS indexes more than 800 scientific journals, with over 500 thousand bibliographic reference records of articles, monographs, congress proceedings, thesis, governmental and non conventional documents, including links to full texts, when these are made available in open access.
Coordinated by the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information (BIREME/PAHO/WHO), LILACS is available in free and open access in the Virtual Health Library (VHL) network complementing international indexes such as MEDLINE and the Web of Knowledge.
LILACS gains inputs in methodology and technology
Within the framework of the 25 years of LILACS, a new Portal was launched on October 20th [http://lilacs.bvsalud.org] during the XIII Meeting of the Brazilian Information Network in Health Sciences, event in the context of the XVI National Seminar of University Libraries (SNBU), in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In addition to access to LILACS records, the portal makes available highlighted subjects, fast search guides, useful links on LILACS, and numbers on the coverage of the network updated weekly.
Another feature is that, since August 2010, sending the records of the Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO) network to LILACS became automatic, making the arrival of these contents much faster. This activity is part of the LILACS-Express initiative, that makes available bibliographic description data for search and also the access to the full text of each record. Meanwhile, the center responsible for the indexing of the journal performs the review of the records and completes them by attributing the Descriptors in Health Sciences (DeCS).
As part of the celebrations, it must be pointed out the first distance learning course on LILACS Methodology, made available in May 2010. The activity expanded geographically the participation of librarians and is currently in process of distribution so that the participants can replicate it (read more).
The recent framework of half a million records in LILACS, reached in mid November 2009, aims for the perspective to continue facilitating and expanding the contribution by the Cooperative Centers to the index, mainly through the LILACS-Express initiative. The expectation is that this will strengthen the LILACS repository, especially by promoting the adoption of open access policies by the indexed journals in LILACS.
In the near future, LILACS methodology should also contribute to the clinical trial registry in the context of the OpenTrials project (learn more on this subject). Moreover, shortly, there will be discussed the recommendations on conflicts of interests proposed by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) by means of the LILACS Assessment and Journal Selection Brazilian Committee (more information).