How to create

Step by step for the development of a virtual library according to the model of the VHL


An instance of the VHL Network is an initiative developed by a group of institutions using the VHL information management model - the VHL Model. All the production, selection, organization, and systematization of content carried out by this group is materialized through a VHL Portal, which can be developed in different areas, such as geographic, thematic, institutional or others.


How to develop a VHL Network instance

For the development of an instance of the VHL Network, it is initially necessary to:

  • Define its main objectives;
  • Define its scope, main subjects and related themes;
  • Identify its target audience and their main information needs;
  • Identify the institutions that have scientific production on the defined scope and structure a network of collaboration/governance structure;
  • Define which contents and sources of information respond to the identified problems, and create and/or collaborate with these contents and sources of information to make up the collection of the VHL portal; and
  • Develop the VHL portal to organize and provide the identified sources of information.

Register your VHL

Send information about the VHL instance for your registration and formalization in VHL Network.

Form to register VHL (only in portuguese)



  • Available the content on the portal

    The portals of the instances of the VHL Network give users the visibility of the contents organized in sources of information, as well as allow them to get to know the institutions responsible for the project and its management and organization mechanisms. In this way, they reflect and express the accomplishment of a work aligned with the three pillars of the VHL.


    The development of a portal is based on standards that aim to allow the integrality and convergence of the communication of the instances with each other, from them to the regional portal of the VHL and its users. These standards are applied to the different elements that make up a portal: information architecture (navigation structure and organization of sources of information), accessibility standards (access by the largest possible number of people, regardless of their physical conditions), interface design (formatting the contents for different access devices), visual programming and the technology to be implemented.

    Support material

    [icon name="youtube-play" class="" unprefixed_class=""] Developing VHL Portals with WordPress (in Spanish)

    [icon name="wordpress" class="" unprefixed_class=""] How to install WordPress

    [icon name="file-pdf-o" class="" unprefixed_class=""]  VHL Visual Identity Manual (in Portuguese)

    Other material

    [icon name="youtube-play" class="" unprefixed_class=""] What is the VHL plugin for WordPress? (in Spanish)

    [icon name="github" class="" unprefixed_class=""] VHL Plugin for Wordpress - GitHub by RedDes

    [icon name="slideshare" class="" unprefixed_class=""] Using the VHL Plugin for WordPress manual

    [icon name="youtube-play" class="" unprefixed_class=""] How to organize content in the VHL Plugin and handle plugin widgets? (in Spanish)

    [icon name="arrow-circle-right" class="" unprefixed_class=""] VHL Technological Platform Update Workshop – 2014 - Event Content (in Spanish)

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  • Defining the type of VHL

    Each of the integrated initiatives of the VHL develops in the geographic institutional and thematic scopes, in a complementary way.

    • Regional Thematic Instances – In the regional thematic instances a set of countries assumes the responsibility of mobilization and coordination of the institutions that are producers, intermediaries and users of information of a particular thematic area for operation in the VHL.
    • National Thematic Instances – In the national thematic instances, a set of the institutions that are producers, intermediaries and users of information about of a specific country meets to ensure the representativeness of a particular subject in a certain area in a national context in the VHL.
    • National Instances – In the national instances of the VHL, the set of more representative institutions producers, intermediaries and users of health information of a particular country meet to ensure the development of the VHL in a national scope, accompanying the development of national thematic initiatives in the country.
    • Institutional Instances – The institutional instances of the VHL are linked to relevant and numerous scientific and technical production health institutions that adopt the VHL model as policy and operational framework for information management produced institutionally.
    • Biographical Instances – The Biographical instances of the VHL are dedicated to register professional trajectories of personalities that marked the history of health and biomedicine. Therefore their social network has the compromise to assemble contents and develop the VHL, considering the person and its realization and production as main subject.

    The participation in the instances of the VHL is always institutionalized; therefore, network members are integrated as legitimate representatives of institutions which are linked to them. This characteristic preserves the continuous participation of the institutions on the network, even though their representatives can be changed. The participation of institutions in the network is formalized through document commitment and of justificative institutional, as an adhesion term,
    cooperation protocol or minutes of meeting.

    In this sense, the adoption of the model by leaders of the areas related to the instance is strengthened, as well as hold up the support of the related authorities, manifested inclusively in the elaboration of a positioning document on behalf of VHL.

    The VHL proposes a change of paradigms of work of the social network, since it requires the use of methodologies and technological tools of collaboration in network. This change of paradigm increases the abilities and competences of social subjects in the production and application of knowledge in health, also increasing the participation of these social subjects as producers, intermediaries and users of scientific and technical information in health.

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  • Definition of the action plan

    The representatives of the Advisory Committee, with the support of the Executive Secretariat, should develop an initial concept project and specific action plans to guide the activities of the VHL Network instance. In general, they include actions for maintaining and updating sources of information and the portal, communication and dissemination actions, inter-institutional technical cooperation activities, etc.. Projects should define priorities according to the needs and available resources, as well as the distribution of responsibilities and networking.


    The planning, definition of scope, schedule, budget, execution, monitoring and closure of projects and/or action plans with documentation of the activities developed are important tools for strengthening the VHL, positioning it favorably in technical cooperation actions and funding opportunities with development agencies, ensuring and strengthening its sustainability.

    Support material

     Guide to elaborate a project proposal (in Portuguese)

     Model of a VHL project proposal

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  • Establishing governance Instances

    Establishing governance Instances

    Once the institutions that will collaborate in the development of a VHL instance are mapped, they are organized following a pre-defined governance structure, taking different functions, namely:

    Coordination and/or Executive Secretariat

    • Represented by an institution that has favorable political, economic, and human and technological resource conditions to lead the operation of the VHL Network instance.
    • Responsible for monitoring the actions deliberated by the Advisory Committee, expressed in its project and action plans, especially related to the promotion of cooperative and networking work for the operation of sources of information.
    • Responsible for promoting the effective operation of the Advisory Committee, including the organization of periodic face-to-face and/or remote meetings.

    Advisory Committee

    • Formed in an equitable manner by a group of institutions of the scope to which the VHL Network will be developed, represented by its specialists. It is recommended that different profiles of institutions compose the Advisory Committee, (research, academia, government, scientific societies, etc.) to consider the needs and interests of different types of users.
    • Responsible for the projects and work plans that define the priority lines of action of the VHL, as well as its development, continuous evaluation, and definition of quality criteria for sources of information.
    • Responsible for guiding the creation of groups for specific themes, such as the Selection Committee for the evaluation of scientific journals, thus contributing to the quality and representativeness of relevant scientific literature at the VHL.
    • It is the deliberation forum of the VHL instance.

    Technical Committee

    • Composed by information and information technology professionals from institutions that make up the VHL Advisory Committee.
    • Responsible for the operation of sources of information and their continuous updating.
    • Its composition can be validated by the Advisory Committee.
    • Also called Executive or Operational Committee.
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  • Organization of cooperative and decentralized work

    The responsibility for the management and operation of the collections of sources of information developed within the VHL Network instance is shared by the participating institutions. It is up to them to define their form of insertion and participation in the development of projects/action plans.


    The definition of these different roles is made explicit and consolidated in the Matrix of Responsibilities, a document that indicates the coordinating institution and the cooperating organizations of each source of information of the VHL Network instance.

    Support material

     Matrix of responsibility

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  • Promotion and Dissemination of the VHL

    The promotion and dissemination actions are considered an integral part of the development of the VHL. These actions position the VHL as an updated and reference space for access to information, knowledge, and scientific evidence, and make the target audience aware of the strategic importance of the VHL. They are also mechanisms to strengthen technical cooperation and expand partnerships with other networks.


    The main lines of action in promoting and disseminating the VHL are presented below.

    Courses and Training

    Courses and training on the VHL are activities developed in partnership with the VHL Network in the face-to-face and online modes. These activities are directed to health and information professionals, in the geographic and thematic scope of the VHL.


    The training fulfills the demand of countries and of the region for training and fosters the VHL in universities, research institutes, hospitals, secretariats, and other public agencies with a focus on health care and the training of professionals.


    The training events from the VHL Network are disseminated at:

    Production and reporting of news

    The drafting and reporting of news about the VHL and its contents contributes to its promotion and expands the communication channels with users and potential partners. In this direction, several communication and social interaction functionalities and tools, such as newsletters, hotsites, blogs, social media, among others, should be considered.

    Preparation of graphic products

    To support the above-mentioned action lines, the VHL makes use of different graphic products to visually communicate concepts, projects, products and services through pamphlets, banners, etc.. These products are made in a decentralized manner by the VHL's institution network using the materials available at:

    Participation in Events

    The promotion of the VHL in the main events in the field of health, librarianship and information science should be a constant activity. The participation in fairs, exhibitions, congresses, conferences, seminars, forums, workshops, among other types of events, are opportunities to demonstrate the sources of information and resources of the VHL, whether with the presentation of scientific-technical works or through stands in these events.

    Studies and publications

    Publications such as books, guides, and reports systematically document and disseminate the work carried out within the VHL with producers, users, and intermediaries of health information.


    Moreover, as the object of work with a large volume of information, technology and health professionals distributed in the VHL Network, the VHL is the target of a large number of pieces of research on its different facets. These studies feedback into the work plans of the VHL and its instances by indicating paths and solutions for the challenges encountered in its mission.


    To know about the studies, publications and statements already made for an on the VHL visit:

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