Increasing access to Latin American social medicine resources: a preliminary report.
Additional Document Info
This preliminary report describes the development and implementation of a project to improve access to literature in Latin American social medicine (LASM).The University of New Mexico project team collaborated with participants from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Ecuador to identify approximately 400 articles and books in Latin American social medicine. Structured abstracts were prepared, translated into English, Spanish, and Portuguese, assigned Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), and loaded into a Web-based database for public searching. The project has initiated Web-based publication for two LASM journals. Evaluation included measures of use and content.The LASM Website (http://hsc.unm.edu/lasm) and database create access to formerly little-known literature that addresses problems relevant to current medicine and public health. This Website offers a unique resource for researchers, practitioners, and teachers who seek to understand the links between socioeconomic conditions and health. The project provides a model for collaboration between librarians and health care providers. Challenges included procurement of primary material; preparation of concise abstracts; working with trilingual translations of abstracts, metadata, and indexing; and the work processes of the multidisciplinary team.The literature of Latin American social medicine has become more readily available to researchers worldwide. The LASM project serves as a collaborative model for the creation of sustainable solutions for disseminating information that is difficult to access through traditional methods.