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December 2008 Edition

New Vision for PAHO Scientific Journal

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is working to develop a new mission and vision for the Pan American Journal of Public Health, the organization's 85-year-old peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Pan American Journal of Public HealthThe process was launched in September with a meeting that brought together PAHO and external experts on scientific communication and knowledge dissemination to discuss the Journal's future and ways to make its operation more effective and efficient.

PAHO Deputy Director Cristina Beato opened the meeting, whose participants also included David Brandling-Bennett, former PAHO deputy director and now senior staff member at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Henry Fraser, dean of medical sciences at the University of the West Indies; Guillermo Carroli, director of the Rosarino Center for Perinatal Studies in Argentina; and Hooman Momen, editor of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization.Among the topics they discussed were benchmarks of success for a scientific journal, how to raise the Journal's global visibility, and the Journal's position in PAHO's recently created Area of Knowledge Management and Communication.

The experts analyzed the Journal's current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and the elements of a new mission and vision, and produced a list of basic principles for a quality scientific journal. A final report on the meeting will summarize the discussions and present recommendations on content as well as operational issues.

The Pan American Journal of Public Health (known before 1997 as the Bulletin of the Pan American Health Organization) provides a scientifically validated, peer-reviewed outlet for public health research findings from the Americas, with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean. It also presents major conceptual, social, and political trends, indicating the general direction of public health in the countries of the Americas.

The Journal is indexed as "Rev Panam Salud Publica" in major bibliographic databases, including Current Contents/ Social & Behavioral Sciences, Social Sciences Citation Index, Index Medicus/ MEDLINE/PubMed, EMBASE, LILACS, SciELO Salud Pública, and others. It can be accessed electronically through SciELO Salud Pública (http://www. at no cost, and through Ingenta ( at a cost that depends on the user's country of residence. The Journal also has its own interactive website (, where its full contents may be downloaded free of charge.


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