Qualily of Information Sources
The VHL, as a mechanism for health development through equitable access to information and to scientific and technical knowledge, takes an absolute commitment with the pursuit of quality and reliability of the information sources that integrate its network.
This commitment is present in all of its dimensions – in the constitution of social networks representing the producing institutions and intermediaries of reference in its geographic and thematic instances, as well as, in the adoption of criteria for quality control of management and production of networks of contents.
The reach and maintenance of this quality standard is guaranteed by the adoption of policies, criteria and procedures for the production of the information sources, which will vary according to each type of source. With the adoption of VHL model for information management and scientific, technical and factual knowledge in health, the universe of information sources expands enormously. This expansion contributes directly to the increase of volume and typology of scientific and technical information indexed by different information sources of the VHL.
Many publications contained in the VHL information sources are not submitted to review between partners. This doesn’t mean that they have inferior quality. Often, these publications don’t require this evaluation process because are institutional documents such as reports, formless, and others. Other variables must be considered in this evaluation, as the institutional affiliation of the document, the indexing in national and international databases, reliability and significance of the published data, etc.
As a characteristic of science, the scientific publications have criteria consolidated internationally for assurance and quality control. Between these criteria stand out, review two by two, editorial committee, regularity of publication, periodicity, among others. In VHL, the periodics indexed in the information sources LILACS and SciELO, obey the criteria for selection and permanence in the collections. (See Indicators for instances assessment of the VHL)
Aiming at contributing to the improvement on quality of publications and scientific periodics from Ibero-American region, one of the action lines of technical cooperation is the capacitation of the actors involved in the flow of scientific communication. The capacitation destined to publishers and people involved in editorial flow include information about all the management stages, from submission until final publication of the magazine. Scientific societies or institutions that want to create a new scientific periodic, are also instructed about the best practices on how to do it.
Considering the importance of language and format suitable for writing scientific articles, the academic community receives training aiming to improve the quality of the manuscripts that will be submitted for publication. This action contributes so that good results of researches aren’t invalidated because of an inappropriate writing.
The metrics used for assessment of scientific publications (impact indices, quotation, access and download data, database, and so on), its uses and limitations are part of the knowledge related to the scientific communication that is shared with the VHL network. The bibliometric and scientometric evaluation comprises quantitative analysis of the production, dissemination and use of information. Based on indices and metrics, such as citations, downloads and others, these studies provide data and rankings, that allow to attribute quality criteria to journals, articles, books and others.
Given the complexity of these methodologies, these studies aren’t applied systematically in the VHL information sources. Some associated databases, such as a SciElo network, make available a great variety of bibliometric data. These data can be used as a subsidy to support decision-making, policies public formulation, as well as, provide users with tools to assess a certain source of information.