Methodology Components

Journal Selection and Permanence Criteria



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LILACS - Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature, coordinated by BIREME, is a regional index that establishes the bibliographic control of the scientific and technical health literature, produced and published in the countries of the Latin American and Caribbean Region from 1982 onwards.

The journal selection criteria for LILACS include printed and electronic format journals and provide orientation for editors and information unities that operate on the Virtual Health Library network and cooperate with the decentralized production of LILACS.

The structure of the decentralized production of LILACS is composed by National Coordinating Institutions, Specialized Coordinator Institutions and Cooperating Institutions.

The LILACS Cooperating Institutions are libraries, documentation institutions or information unities that collect select, process and register scientific and technical documents in LILACS.

1 Responsibility and selection process for titles within the Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Information System

The VHL national instances are responsible by selecting journal titles through the National Coordinating Institutions.  Each country must create its Selection Committee to be responsible for evaluating and selecting new titles, analyzing the national scientific production and updating continually the selection criteria in course.

LILACS International Journal Selection Committee is coordinated by BIREME. This International Committee countersigns the titles selected by the National Selection Committees, evaluates the journals indexed in LILACS periodically, and promotes studies about the Latin American and the Caribbean scientific production.

Brazilian scientific journals are selected by the National Selection Committee, coordinated by BIREME. In Brazil, the selection of journals of the specialized areas Nursing, Dentistry and Psychology is held by the Specialized Coordinating Institutions.

2 LILACS criteria to journals admission and permanence

It will be considered for indexing in LILACS the scientific Health Sciences journals, published in Latin America and the Caribbean, in Portuguese, Spanish, English and French.

Since August 2008, the editors must compromise to provide the full text to each article in open access on their own site and/or by sending the file for the LILACS Repository, and also compromise to participate the LILACS-Express process in order that the journal can be selected or be permanently in the index.

2.1 Content

Scientific merit of a journal is a primary consideration in selecting new journals. In order to assess scientific merit, the following quality factors are taken under consideration: validity, importance, originality of the topic, contribution to the specific area in question and the structure of the scientific work.

The publication of a significant number of original articles (at least 50% of them in each number) is required in the selection of a new journal title. Scientific journals must predominantly publish the result of original scientific research with regard to experimental, theoretical and observational aspects related to the Health Sciences area, and include descriptive analysis and/or inference of own data.

Whenever necessary, the National Selection Committee may request peers to confirm the predominance of original contributions.

The journals should basically be addressed to health care professionals in general (researchers, professors, students, physicians, nurses, dentists, psychologists, pharmacists, physiotherapist…), authorities, managers and the general public.

Occasionally, journals that cover topics correlated to the health care area may be selected, such as Sanitary Engineering, Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Biology and Veterinary, if considered to be of interest to this field, that is, if there are unfolding of these sciences to human health, for example, human diseases caused by animal vectors. In these cases, the journal will be selectively analyzed, rather than as a whole (cover to cover).

Texts characteristics to be considered in selected journals:

• Original article (contribution purposed to public original and unpublished research results to be replied or generalized. The discursive formulations with theorizing effect and the researches of qualitative methodology, on the whole, are also considered original articles.) (at least 50% of them in each number);

• Literature review article (contribution that uses researches methods that present the synthesis of multiple studies published and provides general conclusions concerning a particular study area,  carried out of systematical way, promoting the deepening of the knowledge of the investigated topic);

• Original clinical communications accompanied by analyses and discussions based on scientific researches;

• Reflection article or analysis of philosophical, ethical or social aspects related to the Health Sciences area;

• Case reports with discussions based on scientific researches,

• Epidemiological statistics with analyses and discussions based on scientific researches;

• Qualitative studies that broach subjects related to the Health Sciences area.

Publications that will not be indexed:

• Journals that basically publish articles translated or presented in other journals, save if they are part of the exceptions of item 2.1.1;

• Activities report from societies or scientific associations, abstracts, news and book reviews;

• News bulletins or publications directed to organizational and informative topics;

• Journals with commercial nature.

The advertising content or commercial sponsorships should not raise any doubts on the objectivity of the published material neither contemplates conflicts of interest.

2.1.1 Articles re-edition

Journals that publish articles present in other journals will not be accepted, save in the cases mentioned by the recommendation of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors – ICMJE ( > Overlapping Publications), that is, some articles as directresses produced by governmental agencies or professional organizations that require wide publication. The articles re-edition by many other reasons, on the same or other language, especially that ones published in journals of other countries, is justified and can brings benefits since the conditions mentioned on the ICMJE be satisfied.

The journal must include information about the approval of the journal editor where the article was published by the first time and must be made the citation of the original source in footnote.

2.2 Peer Review

The review and approval of the contributions to scientific journals must be performed by peers. The peer review is the critical evaluation of the manuscripts submitted to the journal by specialists that can be part of the editorial board, without predominance or exclusivity of this editorial board. The journal editor should formally specify the peer review process adopted for contributions approval. It is required the indication of the main dates of the process, including the receipt and acceptance dates.

2.3 Editorial Board

The journal must present a competent Editorial Board. The constitution of a journal’s editorial board must be public and its members should be renowned specialists with well-known experience in their areas, including members from foreign institutions with known prestige. It is recommended that the journal indicates the institutions which the members of the editorial board belong, the city and the country The National Selection Committee will check the scientific production of the members of the editorial board in specialized international databases.

Journals whose Editorial board members are predominantly from one institution or a single geographical region should be analyzed by the National Selection Committee as institutional or local nature journals and may not be considered for indexing in LILACS.

2.4 Regularity of publication

Regularity of publication is one of the mandatory criteria in the evaluation process. In order to be selected for the LILACS, the journal should appear punctually as scheduled. In other words, a quarterly journal has to be published four times a year; six-monthly publication has be published twice a year, and so on.
Journals with more than six months delay in publication will not be selected. Journals with one year or more delay in publication may be excluded from the LILACS.

2.5 Frequency

Frequency is an indicator of the scientific production flow in a specific area covered by a journal. In the Health Sciences area, it is recommended that journals should be published at least quarterly.

2.6 Lifetime

Journals must have published at least three issues in order to apply for evaluation. Consequently, new journals should not be sent to the National Selection Committee before bringing out the required number of issues. If there is not issue published in the year of the submission of the journal for LILACS, it will not be considered for the evaluation.

Note: the collection of the title approved at LILACS must be initiated from the last analyzed and approved issue, in accordance with the selection criteria. The National Selection Committee may recommend later its retrospective indexing.

2.7 Standardization

Journals should:

• Specify the followed rule(s) for the presentation and structuring of the text and references, in order to allow the evaluation of compliance with the proposed standardization;

• Include clear instructions for the authors that reflect the following criteria, if possible:

  • selection of the works (peer review);

  • institutional affiliation of the author(s);

  • indication of the source(s) of research funding;

  • identification of the responsibility of the author(s) for the contents of the work;

  • conflict(s) of interest that may affect the outcome;

  • presentation of report from ethical committee (recognized by NHC – National Health Council) for experimental studies in humans and animals;

  • rules adopted by the journal, including guidelines for the presentation of abstracts and the selection of key words;

  • classification of the sections found in the journal;

  • exigency of register of the Clinical Trials studies in databases according to the recommendation for the editors of LILACS and SCIELO available in: Attention: The instructions for the authors must inform that the database name, the abbreviation and/or the number of the Clinical Trial should be registered in the end of the article abstract(s).

• presentation format compatible with the rules for scientific articles publishing;

• contain the abstracts and key words for the works in both original languages and English version. The use of the Health Sciences Descriptors (DeCS) is recommended for the selection of the key words

• display the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN).

2.8 Layout

The journal should feature high-quality graphics, illustrations and printing for its layout. The presentation format is very important in order to ensure access to the document, through either traditional publishing way or electronic media.

3 Forwarding journals for selection

The last three issues must be sent to the National Coordinating Institutions to the journal be submitted to the LILACS evaluation process. Journals are forwarded by their editors to the National Coordinating Institutions to be evaluated for inclusion in LILACS, as well as by users or Scientific Editors’ Associations. The National Coordinating Institutions may also analyze a journal and recommend it to the National Selection Committee, even if the editor has not formally requested its inclusion in LILACS.

Brazilian journals should be sent to BIREME or to the Specialized Coordinating Institutions to the evaluation of specific journals from areas mentioned at item 1.

4 Admission process report

Admission of a journal to LILACS must be carried out only after a favorable report by National Selection Committee in each country.

The evaluation process is based on three main aspects: (1) format, related to the adaptation to the rules; (2) endogenous, related to the institutional and geographic concentration of the editorial board and the authors; (3) content, to assure the scientific quality. If these items are not satisfied, it will be sent a report with the items to be improved.

The evaluation of the format aspects includes characteristics based on international studies and rules about the edition of scientific journals.

The endogenous evaluation is done from the declared affiliation of the editorial board, the reviewers and the authors. The verification of the tendency to the institutional or geographic concentration of these elements is considered as a negative result for the admission of the journal in the collection.
Journals that attend satisfactorily the anterior aspects will be evaluated by their contents, based on the opinion of at least two specialists from the area of the journal, in relation to the following characteristics:

a. Representation of the editorial board, reviewers and authors;

b. Scientific character of the journal articles;

c. Peer review process;

d. Importance for the development of the area.

LILACS Unit will contribute with the work of the Brazilian National Committee of Selection, organizing the necessary information and documentation. Only the journals that follow the item 2 will be directed for the analyses of the LILACS Evaluation and Selection Committee.

The Committee’s report will be forwarded to the journal editor with the recommendations to the journal be in accordance with the LILACS criteria with a period stated to its implantation, and in the case of it be approved, after the revaluation, is will be indexed in LILACS. Indexing will be done from the evaluated and approved issues.

In case of a negative Committee’s report, a new evaluation can be required by the editor, after the journal has been properly adapted to the LILACS Selection Criteria, proven through the submission of the three issues published after the evaluation date, and at least one of them should be published on the year of its new submission to the evaluation process.

BIREME must always be notified about a new title selection by the National Selection Committees for its inclusion in SeCS (Serials in Health Sciences) before its indexing in the database.

5 Exclusion process report

A journal indexed in LILACS may be excluded if it fails to comply with the requisites specified at item 2. This exclusion will take place after the appearance of the National Evaluation and Selection Committee and the sending of the communication to the editor. The non-response to the communication will be considered a wish to interrupt the indexing of the journal in LILACS.

6 Judgment appeals

Journal editor may appeal against judgments of the National Selection Committee, in relation to both admission and exclusion process. These appeals will be analyzed by the National Selection Committee and by LILACS International Journal Selection Committee if necessary. The Committee final report will be sent to the editor.

7 Readmission process

The journal must be submitted again to the evaluation process for the readmission, when should be presented the three consecutive issues more recent. The readmission will not be carried out immediately after its exclusion from the LILACS. The journals may be re-admitted whenever they comply with the Selection Criteria in at least three new consecutive issues.

8 Commitment of the editors

As a counterpart to the indexing and international dissemination of the journals, scientific editors of the journals selected for LILACS are committed to keeping it up to date, while maintaining the high standards of the indexed journals. Indexed journals are evaluated regularly in order to ensure compliance with LILACS quality control.

In addition, BIREME as a signatory of the Salvador Declaration about the Open Access provides and stimulates the publication of full texts of all the documents indexed in LILACS.  So that, only the journals that agree with this condition and promote the full access to the content of the journals will be selected to be indexed in LILACS.

The editors of the printed journals  selected for LILACS should sent a copy of new issues as soon as they are published as a donation to the Indexing Cooperating Institution, to BIREME (in the case of Brazilian journals) and to the National Coordinating Institution (in the case of journals from other countries) and provide the access to the full text of each article through the LILACS-Express initiative.
Submitting the journals indexed in LILACS to the National Coordinating Institutions and BIREME ensures immediate response to user requests. LILACS strives to guarantee full access to the indexed documents.

Full text in PDF april/2008 version (available only portuguese)

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