The Virtual Health Library (VHL) - BVS - Literatura Cientifica y Técnica
The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO-WHO), together with BIREME (Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information, Brazil) provide open access to full-text health related publications from Latin America and the Caribbean, in several regional open access portals within the Virtual Health Library VHL (Biblioteca Virtual en Salud – BVS).
Examples of these Open Access portals are the LILACS database that, by 2015, has 618,004 full-text publications from 19 countries of LAC, the SciELO-Scientific Electronic Library Online and the Sustainable Development and Health collection (Biblioteca Virtual en Salud –Desarrollo Sostenible y Salud BVS-DSS).
Promoted and coordinated by BIREME, the The Virtual Health Library (VHL) was launched in 1998 as a network of information sources produced in a decentralized manner, by means of technical cooperation among countries and institutions of Latin America, The Caribbean and the global South. Most active network members are: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, El Salvador, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela.
The VHL is defined as a STRATEGY to put information and knowledge at the service of equity in health and incorporation of LAC countries in the global information flows; as a METHODOLOGY of information and knowledge management based on the development of the national capabilities and infrastructure; and as an OPERATIONAL FRAMEWORK based on the construction of social networks, learned and informed environment networks and content networks.