Recommendations from the III Meeting of the SciELO Public Health Consultive Committee

The III Meeting of the SciELO Public Health Consutive Committee took place in August 21st 2006, in Rio de Janeiro, as a previous evento to the 8th Brazilian Congress in Collective Health and to the 11th World Congress in Public Health. It has been chaired and conducted by Abel Packer, who started the meeting presenting its objectives and the evolution of the SciELO Public Health Collection.

The results of the evaluation of some journals that don't fulfill the SciELO Criteria completely have been presented. Among those criteria, one stands out for example: the authors affiliation must be identified, for it's indispensable for bibliometric studies. The results of the evaluation process will be forwarded to the journal editors, for them to attend the recommendations within one year.

Abel Packer has informed to the members of the Consultive Committee about BIREME's decision of adopting que DTD (Document Type Definition) from Central PUBMED (PMC) to mark the articles data elements in the new SciELO Publishing System, which is also going to be implanted in all SciELO Network in the next three years. During this period, both DTDs shall be used. PMC's DTD offers some advantages, since it marks the complete text and adds a grater amount of information and enables the index in Central PUBMED, which may result in more visibility to the journals.

SciELO Public Health will be encouraged by BIREME as a pilot to the initiative, and the journals indexed in the collection will be prepared based on the Central PUBMED DTD (Document Type Definition), with an estimated term of six to eight months for the process to begin.


Revision of the SciELO Public Health Selection Criteria

The selection criteria used to establish that should be included in the collection the Iberoamerican public health journals indexed in MEDLINE database, from the National Library of Medicine.

The selection criteria have been evaluated and discussed by the members of the Consultive Committee, who unanimously decided to enlarge its scope. Thus, every public health journal indexed in a national certified SciELO Colection may be added to the SciELO Public Health collection after BIREME has verified that the journal follows the national criteria and is up to date with its publication. Journals that fail to fulfill the selection and permanence criteria will have its condition documented by BIREME and presented to the Consultive Committee, indicating the need to decide wether the journal is able to be added or kept in the collection.

The Committee has also defined that the public health journals, subject to the inclusion in the collection, shall mainly publish articles related to the Public Health discipline, which includes politics, planning and management, social sciences and public health, promotion and intervetions in health and epidemiology. Thus, considering the fact that to be included in the collection the journal must be indexed in a certified national collection, it is one of the main duties of the Committee the identification of the journal's relation to public health matters.

Journals from other parts of the world - that do not belong to a national SciELO collection yet - will be submitted to the SciELO Criteria (see below the item "Globalization of the SciELO Public Health Colletion").

Embargo by a journal from the SciELO Public Health Collection: Gaceta Sanitária
Abel Packer presented to the Consultive Committee the postponement of the publication of new editions in the SciELO Public Health Collection, justified as to protect the subscription sales, which has been adopted in the past by Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública and now by the journal Gaceta Sanitaria in the SciELO Public Health Collection, with a 6 month embargo.

The journal is an official publication from the Spanish Public Health and Sanitary Administration Society and is published by Doyma, a private publisher, who made the decision of providing the journal editions to the SciELO Collection only 6 months after each release.

The Consultive Committee members recommended that BIREME should contact the directors of the Spanish Public Health and Sanitary Administration Society informing that it had been decided to maintain the open access condition in the SciELO Public Health Collection with no seizures, requesting them to resume the full open access publication of Gaceta Sanitaria.

Given this, the members reaffirmed the open access character of the SciELO Public Health Collection. It has been decided that journals will no longer be able to be published with this kind of seizure. The Committee has determined that the open access character, which distinguishes SciELO, shall be unfailingly maintained, considering that scientific knowledge in health is to be considered a public good.

Globalization of the SciELO Public Health Collection

The subject "globalization of the SciELO Public Health Collection" has been presented to the members of the Consultive Committee, who agreed with the inclusion of journals from other parts of the world, not only from Latin America and the Caribbean, including the journals from PAHO and WHO, as long as they obbey the quality criteria for inclusion and permanence in the collection, and maintain the publication in open access.

Abel Packer highlighted that this decision creates the possibility to operate a global SciELO Public Health Collection through the Global Health Library (GHL) of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Other matters approached

During the meeting, other subjects have been discussed by the members of the SciELO Public Health Consultive Committee, such as the strengthening of marketing and disclosure actions to increase the visibility of the SciELO Public Health Collection. It was suggested to the editors of the collection journals the introduction of new initiatives, like the creation of a session which would analyze articles published in the journals that compound the SciELO Public Health Collection, or the publication of the SciELO Public Health logo in the journals etc.

In order to improve the editorial process, the members suggested the creation of a directory of authors who have already published in the SciELO Public Health journals, which would allow the search by subject.

Another subject discussed by the Consultive Committee that deserves some emphasis is the obligation of registering the clinical trials in a repository recognized by the World Health Organization to publish them in the SciELO Public Health journals. The Consultive Committee supports the decision made by BIREME/SciELO, which will be responsible for providing the necessary instructions to attend this recommendation.

The Committee has affirmed the need to periodically promote meetings in person, in addition to the online meetings, so that the actors may be up to date and actually involved in the development of the collection.

The Committee has been informed that this year the Revista de Saúde Pública from Universidade de São Paulo completes 40 years of existence, the Revista Española de Salud Pública, 80 years, and the Gaceta Sanitária completes 20 years of existence during 2007.

Members of the SciELO Public Health Consultive Committee that participated in the III Meeting:

1. Hooman Momen
Bulletin of the WHO

2. Reinaldo de Souza Santos
Cadernos de Saúde Pública, representing Carlos E. A. Coimbra Jr

3. Andreu Segura
Gaceta Sanitária, representing Esteve Fernández

4. Edgar Pietro
Revista de Salud Pública, representing Carlos A. Agudelo C.

5. Carlos Augusto Monteiro
Revista de Saúde Pública

6. María Luisa Clark
Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

7. Carlos Oropeza Abúndez
Salud Pública de México

8. Abel Packer
Operational Coordination of SciELO, BIREME/PAHO/WHO
Coordinator of the SciELO Public Health Consultive Committee


SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online
FAPESP - CNPq - BIREME - FapUNIFESP
Rua Machado Bittencourt, 430 - Vila Clementino
04044-001 São Paulo SP - Brasil
Tel.: +55 11 5083-3639


scielo.avaliacao@scielo.org
avaliacao.scielosp@bireme.org