The VHL, in its dimension of library, is expressed through its collection of sources and information flows, defined as any resource – including products, services, researchers, professionals, and communities of practice, news, and others – which respond to a information need of the users of the VHL.
As we have seen, the management and production of information sources is one of the pillars of the VHL (see VHL as an operational framework of cooperative work networks), to fulfill its purpose of promotion of the access to and use of information and of scientific and technical knowledge in health, in an equitable manner by managers, researchers, teachers, students and professionals of the research teaching and health care systems and to the general public.
The responsibility for the management and operation of collections of information sources of the VHL is shared by participating institutions. It is for these institutions the definition of their mode of introduction and participation in the development of the VHL. The definition of these different roles is explicited and consolidated in the Responsibility Matrix, a document that is part of the development plan of the VHL, and that indicates for each source of information of the VHL, which is the institution that coordinates and that are the cooperatives (see Instances Management Network).
Among the activities of management of the information sources, stand out the definition of scope, quality control of information, updating and validation of registers, accompaniment of decentralized and shared operation by different institutions, and others (see Instances Management Network).
The producers, intermediaries and users of information sources of the VHL, in consonance with the paradigm established by Internet, interact with each other and with the content networks in a dynamic context. Thus, the functions and activities related to the production, intermediation and use of the information sources are operated and converge to the VHL space on the internet.
Therefore, the VHL, as space of convergence of producers, intermediaries and users of scientific and technical information in health on the internet, contributes to reduce the high dispersion of information resources on the Web and to generate reliable and qualified contents. The adoption of the cooperative work also results in optimization of resources through network with the use of patterns and standards that impact positively in the reduction of inconsistencies in information, decisively contributing to increase the visibility and access to health information.
The scientific character and the quality control of the information, published the commitment to the preservation of the collections and guarantee of access to the complete documents, either in electronic format or paper are some of the characteristics of the information sources of the VHL, which distinguish them from other contents available on the Internet. It is worth stand out that unlike the Internet search engines, VHL promotes the generation and production of information sources and not only the retrieval of contents already available on the Internet.
Thus, VHL is conceived 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. The decentralization of network management and operation based in the development of local capacities, is a crucial issue aspect for the political sustainability of the VHL, being a determinant factor for the preservation of its character of public domain and common property of health systems at national and regional range. The VHL as a resource of free access ensures by democratic means the participation of all in its production, management and use.
To make possible the management and operation of information sources through network cooperation, BIREME promotes the strengthening of the capacities of countries and institutions in adoption of methodologies, technologies, parameters of interoperability and quality, besides cooperative services, information events and programs of permanent education, presented as follow.