Sources of Information At the VHL, the contents are organized as shelves in a library, grouping in collections different resources according to their characteristics. Each one of these collections at the VHL is called Source of Information.

The scope of the sources of information at the VHL extends the composition of the traditional collections of libraries, allowing the inclusion and exchange of scientific literature with collections of other natures, such as the full texts of scientific evidence in the form of systematic reviews, technological assessments, multimedia, learning objects, and factual information, such as events and news. 


Sources of Information are represented through databases, directories and catalogues. They should be created according to the information demands and needs of the users - or the target audience of the VHL.

  • Products and Services Associated with the VHL


    FI-Admin is the system for Management of Sources of Information of the VHL.


    FI-Admin has the functions of bibliographic description and indexing of different types of content, such as journal articles, monographs, theses and dissertations, videos, events, internet sites and legislation. Using this system, it is possible to manage the following sources of information:


    • LILACS and other regional, national and thematic bibliographic databases;
    • LIS - Health Information Locator;
    • DirEve - Events Directory;
    • Multimedia resources;
    • LEYES - Latin American and the Caribbean Basic Health Legislation;
    • Educational Resources; and
    • Portal for Scientific Journals in Health Sciences.


    The FI-Admin replaces some systems previously used, such as LILDBI-Web, LIS, DirEve, LILACS-Express Editor and the TITLE base for Scientific Journals in Health Sciences.


    Additional information at:

    Integrated search interface (IAHx)

    VHL search service with multi-language interface, which retrieves in an integrated way the content of different sources of information. It offers resources for the refinement of search results by means of filters (clusters) and search by DeCS/MeSH navigation, among other resources.



    Knowledge Showcases

    The Knowledge Showcases are a VHL resource that seeks to highlight selected documents and information resources on a relevant health theme. It has the same function as a showcase itself, drawing attention to a selected and representative set of contents related to a theme, and may or may not be associated to an instance of the VHL Network Portal.


    The Showcases of Knowledge follow their own methodology, giving direct access to documents indexed in the sources of information of the VHL, links to pre-defined search strategies; external sources of information; websites and fundamental pages for the theme in question, or even, updated contents via RSS, such as blogs, epidemiological bulletins, and news. It also gives information in different formats, like videos, infographics, infometrics, or any other resource that enables the researcher to quickly and reliably access relevant information.


    Regarding Knowledge Showcases access:


    e-BlueInfo is an application for mobile devices that facilitates the access of Primary Health Care (PHC) professionals to a specific collection of documents of interest and relevance to a given target audience and/or health system. This collection, selected at the national level, is composed of resources from VHL sources of information.


    Regarding e-BlueInfo:

    My VHL

    My VHL is a service aimed at VHL users. It consists of a space that stores the information and preferences of the user, allowing them to create and store lists of selected documents, indicate topics of interest to receive alerts of new documents, history of searches made at the VHL, list of favorite links and the user's own publications.


    My VHL <> is connected to the Regional VHL Portal.


    Additional information at:

    Evidence Maps

    Evidence Maps provide a visual overview of existing studies or reviews in an area or sub-area, in terms of the types of interventions evaluated and the results measured. The evidence is mapped and applied in a framework that graphically highlights gaps, where there are few or no review studies and where there is a concentration of studies.


    The methodology for evidence mapping was adapted by BIREME based on the methodology of the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation - 3ie <>. The maps are developed based on infometric analysis - by type of review, by clinical application, by outcomes, among other parameters.


    The main purposes of the Evidence Maps are:

    • To give visibility to available scientific evidence;
    • To identify research gaps (evidence) and redundancies (multiple studies of similar issues);
    • To contribute to the establishment of research priorities in the area; and
    • To facilitate the use of available evidence by managers and health care professionals.


    About Evidence Maps at:

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  • The operation of Sources of Information

    Sources of information are produced and operated in a decentralized and online manner, which enhances their visibility and accessibility, promotes cooperation between institutions and avoids duplication of work. For this purpose, they are created, organized, and operated according to pre-defined methodologies. At the VHL, each type of source of information has its own methodology, which includes manuals, guides and systems that facilitate its implementation.


    The development of the methodologies and systems is performed by BIREME with the collaboration of the VHL Network. The adoption of international standards and norms widely adopted in its areas are recommended, as well as the use of open-source tools following standards of information architecture, accessibility and responsiveness. The sharing of flows and processes in the use of methodologies and technologies within the VHL values the transparency of interactions among all participants in the network and strengthens the concept of interoperability in the management of sources of information.


    In the instances of the VHL Network it is recommended that each source of information be coordinated by an institution, according to the matrix of responsibilities. The coordinating institution is responsible for the integrity of this source of information following the corresponding methodology.

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  • Types of content organized in the Sources of Information

    The adoption of a form of standardized content organization in Sources of Information creates a common language that facilitates the identification, operation, retrieval of these resources in different instances of the VHL Network.


    The following describes the forms of organization of the different types of content in VHL Sources of Information. In addition to their main characteristics, links to more information on the methodologies and technologies associated with them are also indicated.

    Scientific and Technical Publications (bibliographic databases)

    At the VHL, scientific and technical publications are organized in databases used for the bibliographic control of the scientific and technical production on health of the LA&C countries. The bibliographic databases are composed of references of several types of documents, such as journal articles, books, theses, papers presented at scientific events, technical and scientific reports, projects, and other non-conventional documents.


    LILACS - Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature is the main database of scientific and technical production in the field of health published in Latin American and Caribbean countries, as well as the main source of information for the VHL. LILACS is coordinated by BIREME and has the collaboration of the cooperating centers that integrate LILACS Network.


    Moreover, the institutions of the VHL Network can, in a decentralized manner, create specialized databases on topics of interest to the field of health. These databases not only use the LILACS Methodology but also complement the LILACS database. In these cases, the coordinating institution of the database if responsible for defining the scope of the database, establishing the operation flows and updating.


    LILACS and other bibliographic databases of the VHL are operated through a system of Administration of VHL Sources of Information (FI-Admin) using the LILACS Methodology.




    About the LILACS Methodology:
    LILACS Portal:

    Journal Collections

    Data on the scientific journals and collections of journals in the Network libraries are made available at the VHL through the source of information Portal of Scientific Journals of Health Sciences, which registers and organizes collections of serial publications, allowing the creation of a collective catalogue of the VHL Network libraries. This catalogue contains the bibliographic description of journal titles (title, ISSN, publisher, city, periodicity, etc.), and information on the availability and access to the full text in electronic format of the journals, contributing to the visibility and access to the full texts of the articles, in addition to promoting the rationalization of resources among the entire Network.


    About the Portal of Scientific Journals of Health, access:


    Scientific events such as congresses, seminars, conferences, and symposia are registered in the Health Sciences Events Directory. The main objective of this source of information is to report scientific events in the field of health, presenting basic information about them to promote the exchange of knowledge among professionals and specialists on updated themes and ongoing research.


    The VHL Events Directory is operated through the FI-Admin system and the DirEve methodology.


    About the DirEve Methodology, visit:


    The Legislation at the VHL is provided in a source of information called LEYES - Latin American and Caribbean Basic Health Legislation. LEYES is a regional thematic database produced in a network by institutions in the areas of legislation and health that contains the references of the legislation in health and may also contain the full text or link to it.


    The LEYES database is operated by means of an FI-Admin application, from the LeisRef methodology and data interoperability processes.


    Regarding the LeisRef Methodology, visit: 


    Questions and Answers

    Contents such as Questions and Answers (known by the acronym FAQs, Frequently Asked Questions) are registered at the VHL following the model of the source of information originated from the Programa Telessaúde Brasil Redes, called Formative Second Opinion - SOF. Currently, this source is exclusive for Primary Health Care (PHC) themes, in Portuguese, and contextualized to the Brazilian Unified Health System (SUS).


    The questions are questions from family health teams, which were previously answered based on the best evidence, by the Teleconsulting service of the Programa Telessaúde Brasil Redes. The answers are adapted and formatted as a source of information, based on teleconsultations selected for their relevance and pertinence to PHC topics in SUS.


    The SOF is available at the instance VHL APS do Brazil < > and integrated to the regional VHL index. 


    About the SOF, visit:

    Educational Resources

    At the VHL, the educational materials and contents, such as courses (complete or in part), support materials, software (for the creation, registration, and organization of educational resources and for the development of online learning communities), and implementation resources, like intellectual property licenses, among others, are provided at the VHL through Educational Resources Repositories.


    From the production and organization of this type of content by the LA&C countries, they are gathered and offered, freely and openly, at the portal of the Open Educational Resources Repository Network CVSP/BVS, available at


    About this initiative, visit:

    Internet Resources

    Internet resources, such as websites, portals, blogs, databases, repositories, and other types of resources with information on health are organized in a catalogue called LIS - Health Information Locator.


    The main objective of LIS is to provide quick visibility and access to scientific, technical, and factual information on Internet resources. With content evaluated according to quality criteria, the LIS complements the flow of scientific communication with non-conventional materials, which are generally not published in scientific communication channels or should only be published after a validation period.


    The LIS at the VHL is operated through the FI-Admin system and the LIS Methodology. For further information, visit:

    Multimedia Resources

    Images, videos, and presentations published on the Internet and freely accessible produced by the VHL network and/or on themes that make up the scope of the VHL activities are offered at the VHL through the source of information Multimedia Resources Catalogue. The Multimedia methodology is an adaptation of the LILACS Methodology with fewer fields and unfolded others to provide a better description of the specific characteristics of this type of publication.


    The multimedia resources are registered through the FI-Admin system and the Multimedia for Wordpress plug-in, using the LILACS Methodology.


    For further information please visit:

    Reports of Experiences

    Testimonials, reports of relevant situations and cases that can serve as reference and lessons learned for managers and health professionals are made available at the VHL through the source of information Reports of Experiences. Through this, it is possible to provide and integrate different formats of complementary narratives: a main text that contextualizes the central axis in question, videos of testimonials from managers who share their experience at the head of the project, photos and a content selected to go more in-depth into the material.


    For additional information, visit:

    Search Strategies

    Bibliographic search strategies contribute to the development of systematic reviews, definition of health policies, situation analysis, production of evidence maps, infometrics, definition of thematic structure for a VHL Network Instance, construction of research filters, among other applications.


    For this reason, search strategies prepared by specialists for the retrieval of information on different themes at the VHL and other sources of information are made available in the Repository of Search Strategies This repository has the following objectives:


    • To give visibility to the search strategies elaborated by the VHL Referral Professionals Network, in different health themes;
    • To enable the reuse of searches by different audiences, in different places and contexts; and
    • To promote the cooperation and contribution among members of the VHL network, associated networks, and specialists for the updating of published search strategies, and the publication of new strategies in different information contents.


    About Search Strategies as an information resource at the VHL:

    Terminology and Controlled Vocabulary

    Terminologies and controlled vocabularies at the VHL have the role of defining a common language for content description and retrieval. DeCS - Health Sciences Descriptors is the main controlled vocabulary of the VHL, and was created by BIREME to serve as a unique language for indexing scientific journal articles, books, congress proceedings, technical reports, and other types of materials, as well as to be used in the search and retrieval of scientific literature subjects in the sources of information available at the VHL. The concepts that comprise the DeCS are organized in a hierarchical structure that allows the execution of research in broader or more specific terms, or all the terms that belong to the hierarchical structure.


    Furthermore, instances of the VHL Network can also develop terminological instruments, such as glossaries, thesauruses, and controlled vocabularies.


    About DeCS, visit:

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