The National Medical Sciences Information Center and the National Council of Scientific Health Societies conducted the VII National Workshop on Scientific Publication in Health Sciences. The activity took place online from March 15 to 26, 2021, and had as central themes the quality of editorial management and the advances in the implementation of the principles and models for Open Science.
The workshop, aimed at scientific editors, researchers, health professionals and other stakeholders, proposed to analyze particularities that affect the quality of editorial management in scientific journals; to propose strategies to increase the quality of production and editorial management; and to learn about the implementation of models in favor of Open Science in Cuba.
Speakers are experts in scientific communication from institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean, including PAHO and its Specialized Center for Scientific and Technical Information, BIREME.
Diego González, Director of BIREME, presented the theme “BIREME’s mission and health information products”, where he highlighted the mission and trajectory of the center, always committed to democratizing access to scientific evidence for decision-making in health. He also presented BIREME’S three main products: LILACS, VHL, and DeCS, as well as all those that are developed at the global, regional and national levels. He made a special mention of the products developed during the COVID-19 pandemic and highlighted the network strategy used by the center for the development of its products and services.
On the same day, Sueli Mitiko Yano Suga, supervisor of BIREME’s department of Reference Information Sources, presented “LILACS, an ecosystem of scientific and technical information in Health Sciences of Latin America and the Caribbean”, highlighting the mission, and the different interfaces of LILACS, as a database that recently commemorated its 35th anniversary and gives visibility and access to the scientific and technical production of the countries in the Region.
The LILACS methodology is adopted by more than 80 databases that make up the LILACS and VHL networks; and the Latin American and Caribbean Health Science Information System, which is one of its main strengths. When she presented the Methodology, Sueli Suga talked about the use of DeCS/MeSH – Health Science Descriptors for the thematic indexing of documents, their use in search strategies and demonstrated the new DeCS Finder, a service that works on the web and automatically locates any descriptor, synonym or qualifier of the DeCS/MeSH-controlled vocabulary of a given text in a fraction of seconds.
On March 26th, Lilian Calò, Scientific Communication Coordinator at BIREME, delivered a presentation on “Open Peer Review: Greater Transparency in Scientific Communication”, making an analysis of the evolution of scientific communication from the beginning of the twentieth century to the changes in scenario that led to publication in open access, alternative impact indexes, preprints, open peer review, and open data. The paradigm shift is irreversible, and the scientific community and society will benefit from the adoption of open science, something already demonstrated during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The event was also attended by Eliane Pereira dos Santos, Regional Advisor in Knowledge Management and Networks of the Department of Evidence and Intelligence for Health Action (EIH), who spoke about the “100 Years of the Pan American Journal of Public Health: trajectory, current scenario and future perspectives”.
The event official Report highlights BIREME’s participation: “The participation of Dr. Diego González Machín, director of the Latin American and Caribbean Center for Health Sciences Information, with 54 years of existence, allowed us to get updated on the strategy to fulfill its mission of contributing to the development of health in the countries of the region through the democratization of access, publication and use of information, knowledge and scientific evidence; highlighting LILACS as one of its priorities and the main repository of scientific and technical production in health sciences in Latin America and the Caribbean, presented by its coordinator, the Master Sueli Mikito Suga, as a networked information ecosystem to which Cuba should continue to integrate and contribute with the indexing of its health publications […] Another pillar of open science, open peer review, today was the apex of this important topic at the event, explained by a of its greatest exponents in our region, Dr. Lilan Calò, who coordinates the department of scholarly communication of the Latin American and Caribbean Center for Information on Health Sciences. In her intervention, she showed us how much we must advance in the evaluation process of what we publish, certifying its transparency.”
According to Jose Henrique Manzanet, who is part of the Organizing Committee of the event, “PAHO’s support and participation in publiCIENT 2021 through BIREME and the Knowledge and Network Management Unit, both belonging to EIH, has served as a stimulus and catalyst for the growth and development of information and scientific communication activities in health sciences in Cuba”.