The Global Index Medicus (GIM) offers unique access to health evidence and information produced in low- and middle-income countries. The main GIM objectives are to increase the access, visibility, use and impact of health information published in the countries and regions concerned. Its content is a crucial addition to the international body of scientific knowledge and ensures coverage of most evidence on health topics for the elaboration of systematic reviews and guidelines that help in public health decision- and policymaking.
The GIM material is collated and aggregated by WHO Global Library Group, on a central search platform allowing retrieval of bibliographical and full text information related to the context-specificities and real-world challenges encountered at country and regional level that are essential to the production of information and guidance that is both relevant and actionable.
The GIM platform is extremely important to WHO’s normative work and to the scientific world at large as it provides access to scientific literature that is not included in major international databases (such as PubMed) and complements the body of knowledge necessary to carry out thorough systematic reviews and in-depth evidence research for instance.
The responsibility of the GIM platform was assigned to the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Science Information (BIREME/PAHO/WHO), in coordination with the Library and Information Network for Knowledge (LNK/WHO), considering the Center’s experience in the development of the Virtual Health Library (VHL), which was adopted and adapted for the GIM.
The technical cooperation activities of BIREME/PAHO/WHO for the GIM in 2018/2019 were recognized by the LNK/WHO teams and the WHO Regional Offices, reinforcing the importance of its continuity and enlargement in the field of the Global Library Group.
The new GIM platform that is now available is far more “powerful” and allows to delve more deeply into the content with extensive search filters, advanced search features, and suggestions for further reading, for example. It also allows us to gather search and usage statistics as well as bibliometric information that helps assess the impact of the content and the platform.
The new GIM platform enables retrieval of approximately 2 million bibliographic references, with over 1 million available in full text.