Frequently asked questions about LILACS

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See below some questions about LILACS. The content is divided in General Questions (all audience) and specific questions of users, journal publishers and information centers which composes the LILACS Network.

If your question isn´t listed here, please send an email to Email lilacs.jpg.



What is LILACS?

LILACS which means Latin-American and Caribbean System on Health Sciences Information, is a bibliographic index and repository base of technical and scientific production in Health Sciences published on Latin American and the Caribbean countries.

In LILACS, we register technical-scientific documents of Health Sciences area, published on Latin American and the Caribbean, since from 1982 to nowadays. Among the documents types included are:

The main objectives of LILACS are bibliographic control and dissemination of Health Sciences technical-scientific literature of Latin America and Caribbean, absent from international databases.

How to access LILACS database?

LILACS can be accessed from:

  • Directly from LILACS Portal. It contains quick search manual, data and useful links about LILACS.
  • Via Regional VHL, at the item Bibliographic Search in Information Sources column.

Note: Integrated search of VHL will return not only results from LILACS, but also MEDLINE, IBECS information sources etc.

My institution would like to cooperate with LILACS database. How must I proceed?

To become a LILACS database cooperating center it is necessary, first, that your institution become a Virtual Health Library Cooperating Center. To do it, you have to send a form to BIREME that, after analysis, will approve or not the participation of your institution as a Cooperating Center of Brazilian Network. If your institution is from another country, you should ask for more information at your National Coordinating Center.

How do I get access to available documents on LILACS?

Some available documents on LILACS have a link to the full-text (almost 40%). LILACS supports open access initiatives, so trends points to a increase of this number. Currently, most of journal articles included on LILACS are available in open access. In this case, just click on the link to access the full-text.

It´s possible to request a copy via SCAD from documents which don´t have available full-text on Internet, To know more about, access:

In LILACS, search has two different interfaces: index search (iAH) and new filter search (iAHx). See below how to access documents, A LILACS está disponível para pesquisa por duas interfaces diferentes: a pesquisa por índices (iAH) e a nova pesquisa por filtros (iAHx): either SCAD or full-text link.

Pesquisa iah.JPG

Pesquisa iahx.JPG

How often LILACS database is updated?

The LILACS database is updated weekly in the VHL.

What is the average time for processing the files sent to BIREME?

The average time for processing the files is about 15 to 30 days from the date of its receiving in BIREME. If there are no errors in the file, it can be transferred to LILACS before it.

How to visualize the Cooperating Centers contributions in the LILACS?

It is available at To see more statistics, click here


What is LILACS-Express?

LILACS-Express is an initiative which aims to immediate dissemination of journal articles in LILACS database, even before their publication and indexing. Its objective is fast dissemination of scientific-technical information on Health Sciences in Latin America and the Caribbean. It was implemented in partnership with editors and it is designed to solve the time gap between journal publication and its dissemination through LILACS.

When LILACS-Express was launched? Which documents does it contain?

LILACS-Express was launched in March 2003, from some LILACS journal titles (see the titles available). LILACS-Express will be expanded until it comprises the whole collection of journals indexed in LILACS, corresponding to more than 800 titles today.

Are LILACS and LILACS-Express distinct information sources in the Virtual Health Library (VHL)?

No. LILACS and LILACS-Express are the same information source. The activities developed by LILACS-Express reinforce LILACS database as the main reference index of technical and scientific literature in Health Sciences, in Latin America and the Caribbean. The data of articles in LILACS-Express are available for search in LILACS database. They may be identified by the LILACS-Express icon LILACS-Express icon.gif.

How to research the LILACS-Express records in LILACS?

Access the tutorial available in PDF format.

Is it possible to access full-text articles from a LILACS-Express record?

Yes. It is possible to access full-texts when journal is available online.

How often is LILACS-Express updated?

Just like LILACS, it is updated every week.

Who sends the journals' data to LILACS-Express?

The data are automatically sent by: 1) SciELO network team since 2003; 2) LILACS journals publishers which are not SciELO, since October 2007 through LILACS-Express system; 3) LILACS journals publishers that work with SciELO methodology but still are not indexed in SciELO.

What is the participation of the publishers in LILACS-Express?

The publishers from Latin American and the Caribbean journals in Health Sciences and SciELO network are the major partners in the decentralized network of feeding LILACS-Express. Many SciELO journals are already at LILACS-Express. The publishers are also responsible to send the metadata of journal articles that are under publication process, to be disseminated in LILACS-Express.

What is the participation SciELO network in LILACS-Express?

SciELO network automatically sends the metadata of the electronic journals for dissemination in LILACS-Express.

What is the participation of the Cooperating Centers of LILACS network in LILACS-Express?

The Cooperating Centers remain responsible for indexing journals and for controlling literature in Health Sciences generated in their institutions, regions or countries. With LILACS-Express, the Centers will be benefited by modernized indexing and contribution flow processes for LILACS database. They start to have bibliographic reference and a link to full text available, therefore optimizing article indexing using Health Sciences Descriptors (DeCS) vocabulary.

Are LILACS-Express references indexed?

Yes. Indexing, that is, the attribution of subject descriptors that represent the articles content, continues to be carried out by the Cooperating Centers of LILACS network, in a decentralized way and according to their attributions and responsibilities. Therefore, an indexed bibliographic reference of a jornal article replaces the LILACS-Express reference.

What is indexing?

Indexing is a process by which the thematic content of a document is described by attributing descriptors or keywords, after its technical reading and analysis. Descriptors are terms extracted from controlled vocabularies that express concepts of one or more fields of knowledge or activity. Descriptor attribution enables searching by subject. Indexing of LILACS database contents is performed according to Health Sciences Descriptors (DeCS) terminology.

What happens with LILACS-Express records after indexing?

After indexing, LILACS-Express records are complete and able to provide the search tool by subject descriptors. As a consequence, they become integrated to LILACS database records, and no longer display the LILACS-Express icon.

How could a journal be part of LILACS-Express?

To participate in LILACS-Express, a journal should first belong to LILACS network. The journals that are not included in the network should apply for LILACS journal selection process, as established by the Journal Selection Criteria for LILACS database. If the first requisite is meet, see the information on LILACS-Express.

Do only electronic journals participate in LILACS-Express?

No. The only printed version journals may also take part in LILACS-Express Initiative if they are indexed by LILACS and if the issue journal files send by the editors, preferentially in PDF format, to the LILACS Repository.

How could I get more information about LILACS-Express?

See the LILACS-Express page or write to: Email lilacs.jpg


How can I publish my article in LILACS?

In order to publish your article, contact with a publisher of a journal on your specialty, who is responsible for receive, evaluate and publish articles. Criteria, proceedings to submission and contacts are generally available on own journal and also on Internet.

Access Health Sciences Scientific Journal Portal [1] for search journal on specialty of your interest. Clicking on "advanced search" below search box, it is possible select interest subjects and filter search by databases which index journal, if the journal articles are available on Internet etc. In "title status", select "current" option to avoid, in the results search, discontinued journals or journal with title changes.

At LILACS Unit, we make evaluation of journals to get indexed in this database [2], which is one of information sources of Virtual Health Library (VHL). When a journal is selected to be indexed on LILACS (as well in other databases), journal articles are included on database by institutions (Cooperating Centers) who collaborate with LILACS.

To know more, see all journals indexed on LILACS: Indexed journals on LILACS

How can I publish my monograph or thesis on BVS?

In order to turn this documents available on BVS, make the register of the documents in some of information sources of VHL, as example, on LILACS (Latin-American and Caribbean System on Health Sciences Information), which is the main information source of VHL.

On LILACS database, we have scientific-technical documents of Health Sciences area, produced on Latin America and Caribbean and published since 1982. The records of this documents are made, cooperatively, by several Cooperating Centers of LILACS network, and coordinated by BIREME. In this network, Cooperating Centers are libraries, documentation centers or information units who collect, select, process and register scientific and technical documents to insertion on LILACS. This document selection is based on Document Selection Guidelines for LILACS Database, available in the manuals section of LILACS Methodology Portal

Therefore, in order to register your work on LILACS and consequently on VHL, forward it to a LILACS Cooperating Center. On VHL network directory, clicking on LILACS network, it´s possible search by institutions that are already part of our network. We suggest you to, if possible, forward the material to some Cooperating Center with which you already have contact.

Besides LILACS, VHL has other information source called LIS (Health Information Locator, in English). It is a catalog of quality sites that presenting technical-scientific information in Health Sciences. If you are interested, you can forward documents to insertion on LIS through the site[]=@/I/define.xml&xsl=lis-Regional/home.xsl.

We remember you that, besides Regional VHL (about Health Sciences in general), there are Thematic VHLs. See menu to the left to check the Thematic VHLs that inserts documents in their databases, according to their subject and criteria.


LILACS Journal Selection

What are the criteria for a journal to be indexed on LILACS database?

In order to index a journal on LILACS, the journal must have scientific articles in Health Sciences area and must be in accordance to Journal Selection Criteria for LILACS Database.

How to proceed to index a journal in LILACS?

It´s necessary to send a formal order with the 3 last current issues to the National Coordinating Centers of your country. For Brazilian scientific journals, BIREME coordinates the National Journal Selection process. In order to submit the journal, besides issues added, you must send the peer review form and data about the journal in a Excel spread sheet provided by LILACS Journal Selection process website.

How is the selection process?

The selection process is decentralized and each National Selection Committee analyses the journals from your own country.

How is the selection process for electronic journals?

To evaluation of electronic journal, see Journal Selection Criteria for LILACS Database. Also, it is essential that the electronic journals have full operation website, publish members names of the editorial board with their institutional affiliation and country and also the instructions to the authors.

What kind of evaluation are performed?

The evaluation process consists in analysis of presentation and standardization format, endogamy analysis (geographical and institutional distribution of the editorial board and author´s articles) and the scientific content of the journal analysis by experts in the thematic areas.

How often the evaluations are done?

Once a year.

How are constituted the National Selection Committees?

They are constituted by specialists from information and health area, indicated by VHL National Advisory Committee. Also, there is the contribution of specialists of specific areas like: nursing, dentistry and psychology.

After the journal evaluation, how it is made communication of the results of the selection?

The results of the selection process will communicated by the National Journal Selection Committee to the publisher by letter, e-mail or fax, and it could contains recommendations for improving the journal and this recommendations normally has a deadline date to be implemented.

If a journal is selected, from which issue will be indexed?

The indexing usually starts from the evaluated issues or in agreement decision of the National Selection Committee.

In case of a journal not be selected or journal is excluded from LILACS, what is the procedure to follow?

In both cases, the journal can be submited to a new evaluation to LILACS by sending the last 3 issues published in the year of the evaluation and other requirements according to the National Selection Committee. The journal will be analysed in the same way of the new ones. It is important to highlight that it is necessary to implement the recommendations of the report sent by the Committee before the new request.==