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    About SciELO

    Guide for the installation of SciELO sites

    Guide for the installation of SciELO sites

    Version January 2013

    The SciELO Model – Scientific Electronic Library Online ( is oriented to the publication of scientific journals in the Internet, with emphasis on those produced by Ibero-American countries.

    The SciELO Methodology is the first component of the SciELO Model. The second component of the Model is the SciELO Site that operates decentralized collections of scientific journals selected according to with previously established criteria. The third component is the SciELO Network that integrates the individual SciELO Sites.

    The SciELO Methodology includes a set of policies, standards, guidelines, procedures, and tools for the execution of the function of journal evaluation and selection, as well as for the preparation, storage, publication, preservation, control of use and impact of scientific journals operated through the SciELO Sites.

    The development of the SciELO Methodology is the product of the cooperative project between BIREME - the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information, FAPESP - Foundation of Support for Research of the State of São Paulo, CNPq - National Council of Cientific and Technological Development, and Brazilian editors of scientific journals, launched in 1997 and adopted subsequently by other countries in the region. In the area of health, the SciELO Model operates in the space of the Virtual Health Library (VHL) and the SciELO Methodology becomes the common methodology for the publication of scientific journals in the Internet. The methodology has or considers extensions and adaptations for other types of literature, for example, monographs, theses, etc.

    The SciELO Model of publishing is maintained, updated, and diffused under the coordination of the SciELO Brasil Collection, which is also responsible for a periodic evaluation of the sites in the SciELO Collections according to the SciELO methodology, particularly the guide of policies, criteria and procedures of journal sevaluation for their inclusion and permanence in the SciELO collections and this guide for evaluation and certification of SciELO collections.

    Sites in the SciELO Collection

    All the SciELO Collection is operated through SciELO sites and, according to the fulfillment of the criteria, policies and procedures of development and operation. They can be classified as: certified, in development, or pilot.

    Certified Collections

    The Certified Collections sites are indexed in the SciELO Network Global Portal ( in the SciELO Network section in column 1 below Collections category.The journals titles are listed in Regional SciELO collections and the published articles are indexed in the regional portal search and in the indexing services that interoperate with SciELO.

    A SciELO collection is certified when it meets the following conditions, checked on the site:

    Coordinating Institution

    The management, operation and funding of the national SciELO Collection and its website are under the responsibility of a national reference institution on scientific communication and investigation. The Coordinating Institution is responsible for articulating and coordinating the operation of the national network of support and technical cooperation institutions, publishers of the journals in the national SciELO Collection in order to ensure that the online publication of individual journals and of the collection as a whole is according to the SciELO Model.

    In each country there is only one SciELO Collection under a sole Coordinating Institution. However, the production and hosting of a national collection may be shared by two or more institutions that operate jointly or that operate subsets of the national collection by subject or institutional areas in a separate manner. Operation of sub regional collections joining two or more countries is also possible, always under the same Coordinating Institution.

    Theme collections may also have regional or global coverage, preferably with the support by international organs or networks.

    The identifying of the Coordinating Institution should be clear in the Collection SciELO site.

    In all cases, the Coordinating Institution is responsible for operating the National Collection according to the SciELO Model.

    Advisory Committee

    The development of any SciELO collection must be assisted by a scientific Advisory Committee responsible for the collection development, performance evaluation and, primarily, the indexing of the periodicals in the collection. In other words, for applying policies, criteria, and procedures for quality control of journals evaluation for inclusion and permanence in the collection. The Coordinating Institution acts as Executive Secretary of the Consulting Committee.

    The Advisory Committee is preferably comprised of representatives of the national institutions that support the development of research, human resources qualification, and scientific communication. It is also consisted of representatives elected by the SciELO journals publishers of the major areas of knowledge. Committee members serve for two years and may be reelected without limitation. Committee members hold their offices for two years and may be reelected without limitation. It is important that changes occur in different years so the first group must hold their offices for 3, 2 and 1 year.

    The initial collection, inclusion of new titles and exclusion of journals from a SciELO collection must be formally approved by the Advisory Committee and deployed by the Coordinating Institution. In other words, no title is included in or excluded from SciELO collections without the Advisory Committee approval. However, the Advisory Committee is responsible for promoting the compliance with the SciELO Methodology and this SciELO sites operation guide, whether to become a certified collection or to avoid losing such certificate. Especially, journals delayed for more than 6 months should be excluded from the collection.

    The minutes with the conclusions, recommendations and list of participants of the Advisory Committee meetings should be published on the collection website.

    The SciELO Advisory Committee should meet periodically, at least, three times a year.

    SciELO Methodology

    It is important to note that the SciELO Methodology can be applied to the operation of any individual journal or any journal collection. However, the establishment of a collection that is recognized as a SciELO Site requires that the titles are selected according to quality criteria defined in the document 'SciELO Criteria: criteria, policy, and procedures for the admission and permanence of scientific journals in the SciELO collection' ( ). Collections of journals that do not obey the criteria of SciELO quality can be operated in the Internet using the SciELO Methodology. In this case, they are not recognized as SciELO Sites.

    The progressive application of the SciELO Methodology to operate in the Internet selected collections of scientific journals of the countries in the region will give rise to an integrated collection network decentralized from scientific journals - the SciELO Network, whose development will decisively help to increase the visibility and access to the scientific production of the region.

    A fundamental characteristic of the SciELO Model is the control of use of the journals in the Internet through the publication of statistics of use of the sites as a whole, of the titles of journals individually, their issues and articles. The methodology also permits the publication of bibliometrical indicators, especially the ones related to bibliographic references. The indicators of use and those of appointments will permit the monitoring of the impact on scientific journals operated in the SciELO Network. These performance indicators will make possible, among other applications, the evaluation of the permanence of the journals in the SciELO collection. Thus, SciELO represents an entity for the evaluation, monitoring, and improvement of the quality of the scientific journals of its collection.

    The establishment of a SciELO Site in the area of a country requires a series of conditions related to the quality of the journals and to the sustainability of its operation in the political aspects and of management, including, specifically, the financial aspects, human resources, infrastructure of technologies of information, promotion and marketing. For this it is necessary to have the leadership of one or more national institutions with a recognized role in the management of scientific research in general and of scientific communication in particular. When the SciELO collection covers all the scientific areas, it is important to have the decisive support of the national boards of science and technology, of the national academies of science, of the associations of scientific editors etc. When the collection is restricted to health sciences in particular, the institution leader should in addition be recognized by its role in research and scientific communication in health. In the area of health, the operation of SciELO collections should be integrated in the VHL.

    The establishment and operation of a SciELO Site in addition requires the cooperative participation of the editors and scientific publishers, and should be attended by an National SciELO Consultancy Committee that aims at ensuring the enforcement of the quality criteria, in addition to defining priorities and strategies of development. The Consultancy Committee should be formed by representatives of the editors and publishers and of the institutions of support for scientific research.

    In short, the establishment of a SciELO Site in a country requires an articulated cooperative action that should involve the active participation of the institutions and entities related, directly and indirectly, with national scientific communication. As a result of this articulation, an institution responsible for the operation of the SciELO Site is defined with the assistance of an National Consultancy Committee.

    The institution responsible for the operation of the SciELO Site should have a devoted administrative unit and the resources of adequate infrastructure, including physical space, human and technological resources. In terms of human resources the performance of the following functions is required: (a) general coordination, responsible for the project as a whole; (b) operational management, responsible for up-to-date and efficient operation of the SciELO Site work flow; (c) technical functions of librarianship, related to the treatment of full texts and metadata; (d) technical functions of system manager, related to the infrastructure and operation of data flow, hardware, software and communication. The establishment and operation of collections SciELO in regional or subregional area should take into account the same orientation in addition to other specific demands.

    It is recommended that the establishment of a SciELO Site begins with an experimental period from 3 to 8 months with selection from 4 to 7 scientific journals that are due to the criteria of selection SciELO. The pilot or experimental operation has as the objective of developing the local capacity of the unit in use of the SciELO Methodology for the operation of the flow of work of the SciELO Site.

    After the initial stage, the regular operation of the SciELO Site should be continually attended by the National SciELO Consultancy Committee, in particular with respect to the income of new titles of journals in the collection and the permanence of the titles already selected according to their performance.

    The selection criteria of titles for a collection SciELO are described in the document ' SciELO Criteria: criteria, policy, and procedures for the admission and permanence of scientific journals in the SciELO collection' ( ). The criteria aimed at evaluating the scientific nature of the journal, that is, predominant communication of results of original research. In short, in order to ensure the scientific nature, the criteria request that the articles are arbitrated by peers (peer-review), the publishing body of the journal is representative of the speciallity, that has sustainability of the flow of articles measured by its annual volume and its distribution in terms of periodicity and punctuality of publication. The titles and summaries should be translated into English when the original text is not in English. Furthermore, the presentation of the journal and of the articles should obey international standards of scientific publication.

    The work flow of operation of a SciELO Site begins with the reception of the full texts in electronic format sent by the editors and/or publishers of the journals that compose the collection. The texts, converted to the HTML format, preserve the integrity of the text printed matter, and have their structure and bibliographic elements (metadata) marked following the ISO general standard 8879/1986 SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) and specifically SciELO DTDs (Document Type Definition), available at < >. The marked texts are loaded on the basis of data for their operation in an Internet server. After the charge in the database, the metadata of the full texts are exported for external databases to SciELO, like as LILACS, MEDLINE, and the curriculum vitae of the authors in the databases of CVLACS, to provide dynamic links.

    The application of the methodology is based initially on the inclusion of a journal in a collection and the treatment of the texts of each new issue by means of its five modules, as seen in the figure below:

    The principal nodes in the data flow are described briefly below:

    1. the Unit SciELO receives the electronic files sender by the journals in different formats

    2. if the files are already in HTML they are sent directly for the process of marking and final verification of the HTML

    3. if the files are not in HTML they are sent for the conversion to HTML

    4. with the files all in HTML format the final verification of the files included there, the integrity of the text, the link for the images, and then the marking of the structure and of the bibliographic elements of the text are made

    5. the files are loaded in a local database, in which they will be quality control carry out

    6. once the quality control is made, the database will be available in the Internet so that the users can access it

    7. with the SciELO database loaded, will be sent the metadada for the external databases and the links are generated with external sources of information.

    SciELO, in particular, cooperates in the process of establishment of collections through the dissemination of the SciELO Model among the community of authorities and professionals related with scientific communication in general and in health sciences. Once the conditions for the establishment of a unit for the operation of a SciELO Site, are accepted SciELO promotes together with the responsible national institution a workshop on training in the SciELO Methodology as the starting point for the beginning of the operations. Following the workshop on training, it follows a period of pilot operation that can take from 3 to 12 months until the normal operation of a SciELO Site integrated in the SciELO Network is reached.

    The operation of the SciELO Network is currently summarized in the portal (, that refers to the different SciELO Sites in operation, and make available all the documentation about SciELO Methodology. In the future the SciELO Network will permit the recovery and navigation in the set of SciELO collections, in addition to producing indicators of use and impact. In the area of health sciences, the SciELO Network will be progressively and dynamically integrated in the network of sources of information on the VHL.

    The SciELO Model and more specifically the SciELO Methodology are in constant development in order to respond with efficiency to the specific demands of Latin American and the Caribbean countries and at the same time, to accompany the international developments in scientific communication in the Internet. Therefore, BIREME promotes jointly with national and international institutions meetings with follow-up and evaluation with a view to the continuous improvement of the SciELO Model.

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    • FAPESP
    • CAPES
    • CNPq
    • Biblioteca Virtual em Saúde
    • Organização     Pan-Americana da Saúde
    • FapUNIFESP