São Paulo, Brazil, April 20th, 2012.

Open access and online content in LILACS

LILACS (Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature) was established in 1985 with the purpose of compiling scientific and technical literature in health published in Latin America and the Caribbean, adding international visibility to these publications and providing access to its contents through photocopies from the articles.

26 years later, LILACS has become the most representative index from Latin America and the Caribbean. It has currently incorporated the concept of the repository by including the journals’ electronic address or by hosting full text articles, enabling immediate access to its content to any user connected to the Internet. Such availability ensures the promotion of scientific communication.

About Open Access

Open access means ‘free availability on the Internet of scientific literature, which allows any user to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, and access the full text of articles and other sources of scientific information. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only rule for copyright in this domain, is the requirement to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited”.

The Open Access movement appeared in the 1990s, and the initiative was formally discussed and defined by the Budapest Declaration in 2001, and by the successive Bethesda and Berlin Declarations – both from 2003 – , which are generally called BBB declarations and still considered influential and central to the Open Access movement.

On September 23rd, 2005, the Salvador Declaration on Open Access was signed by the participants of the International Seminar on Open Access, during the 9th World Congress on Health Information and Libraries (ICML9) and 7th Regional Congress of Information in Health Sciences (CRICS7), promoted by BIREME/PAHO/WHO, which highlighted the importance of the implementation of policies for open access to scientific and technical information aiming to promote equity for developing countries.

LILACS actions to Open Access

In order to promote the broad and democratic access to scientific and technical information in health, the August 2008 version of  Journal Selection and Permanence Criteria for LILACS already included orientations to the editors of new indexed journals  in LILACS to commit themselves to providing open access to the full text to all indexed papers, which can be done in two different ways:  by publishing the journal on the Internet or by sending the file in electronic format (PDF) to the LILACS Repository. Based on standards adopted by the National Library of Medicine, the editor is responsible for the quality of the journal website and for the files sent to LILACS Repository. Embargo periods not longer than 12 months will eventually be accepted.

In operational terms, forwarding the issue’s data either through the journal’s website or through LILACS Repository shall be an activity that involves the journal editor in the LILACS-Express initiative, which consists in the entry of the metadata of each article / document with its link or the upload of the files in the database. This initiative aims to reduce the time gap between the journal publication and its registry in LILACS. It is important to point out that LILACS-Express records are in process and need to be reviewed and indexed by the Cooperative Centers (Libraries from LILACS Network).

In accordance to these activities, and in order to ensure the quality of LILACS journals, it has been established in the year of 2000 the LILACS Brazil Journal Selection Committee, whose purpose is to discuss about  the indexing of new journals;  evaluate journals already indexed in LILACS and, when appropriate, to suggest recommendations to improve the quality of the journals and modifications in the evaluation process and journal selection criteria for LILACS Brazil; to ensure uniformity in the selection process in all areas of knowledge; to share and discuss experiences in the national journal evaluation process and the three areas that perform independent selections (Dentistry, Nursing and Psychology specialties), with representatives of these three areas in the Committee.


Considering what has been exposed above, we wish to communicate the editors of LILACS indexed journals that from January 1, 2013, all journals in this database must provide open access to full text of the entire content of the journal in electronic format.

The open access to the content of the journal may occur through the online publication of the journal on the Internet maintained by the journal or by displaying the articles in electronic format (PDF) in the LILACS Repository.
In both cases, the online or printed journal editors indexed in LILACS that do not provide access to the full texts, will be required to commit to the LILACS-Express initiative.

Thank you for your cooperation


LILACS Brazil Journal Assessment and Selection Committee
São Paulo, November 18th, 2011.


BIREME/OPAS/OMS. LILACS – Journal Selection and Permanence Criteria [Internet]. São Paulo: BIREME/OPAS/OMS; [updated 2008 Aug; cited 2011 Abr 18.]. Available from: http://metodologia.lilacs.bvs.br/download/I/Criterios_LILACS_en_Abr10.pdf.

BIREME/OPAS/OMS. LILACS-Express. [Internet]. [cited 2011 Nov 17] Available from: http://metodologia.lilacs.bvs.br/php/index.php?lang=en.

Budapest Open Access Initiative [Internet]. [Cited 2011 Apr 18].Available from: http://www.soros.org/openaccess/read.

Salvador Declaration on Open Access: The Developing World Perspective [Internet]. 9th International Congress on Medical Librarianship; 7th Regional Congress of Information in Health Sciences; International Seminar on Open Access; 20-23 September 2005; Salvador, BA. Salvador; 23 Sept. 2005. [cited. 2011 Apr 18]. Avaliable from:

Open Access [Internet]. Wikipedia. [cited 2011 Apr 18] Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_access.

U.S. National Library of Medicine. MEDLINE Policy on indexing electronic journals. [Internet]. [cited 2011 Nov 17]. Available from: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/policy/ejournals.htm.