Information for user

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If you do not find the information needed, please contact us: https://bvsalud.org/en/contact_us/

General questions

How to retrieve full-text scientific articles?

On VHL many full-text documents are open access. For documents which do not have full-text available, one option is requesting a document delivery from your University library or looking for other options available on the search result.

  • Select the document of interest at the search results page, click on the title and click "full text" option. The documents may be presented in full-text mode. A password may be required in some cases.

Is it necessary to be at BIREME to use its services? What are BIREME opening hours?

In order to access the VHL It is not necessary to come to BIREME. VHL is a virtual library and can be accessed 24 hours a day. BIREME does not offer physical attendance.

If you have any questions about how to search in the VHL, BIREME can provide support to your search through: https://bvsalud.org/en/contact_us

Do I have to register myself to access VHL?

VHL access is free and it is not necessary to register.

Is it possible to obtain medical advice through VHL services?

VHL aims to provide access to technical and scientific information. Therefore it does not offer medical advice to users. For counseling on diagnosis, therapy or procedures, we suggest that you consult a specialist to answer your questions.

Remember that any information retrieved from the internet or other source does not replace an appointment with a physician.

Does BIREME offer bibliographic search by demand?

Currently in BIREME we do not offer bibliographic searches, but we can guide you by e-mail on how to use search resources offered for free at the VHL Portal. For bibliographic searches we suggests that you contact the nearest specialized library in the area of your interest.

Does BIREME offer article translation service?

No, BIREME does not offer this service.

Links and partnership

BIREME is a Specialized Center from the Pan-American Health Organization (OPAS) and its main goal is to promote broad access to scientific information within the health sciences department to users from Latin America and the Caribbean. BIREME is a non-profit organization and it shares no ties with commercial institutions. However sharing the VHL Portal link on your website is allowed. Please do not highlighting pages or documents isolated from his source.

Search questions

How to search DeCS/MeSH Subject descriptors in health?

Access the DeCS/MeSH on https://decs.bvsalud.org/en

What are the advantages of using VHL to access the MEDLINE database?

The advantage of accessing MEDLINE via VHL search is the integration of the results of these database with other VHL databases and in addition, the ability to retrieve scientific articles using search terms in Portuguese or Spanish.


If I write a search term in Spanish, will it result only in articles in Spanish?

No. The search is done on various document fields (title, abstract, subject descriptor) and it can retrieve texts in any other language besides Spanish.

Must the search in MEDLINE via VHL be in English?

Most of MEDLINE documents are in English. If you are searching for meaningful words, the result will be more efficient if you write the words in English. However, if you are searching by subject descriptors, you can write them in Portuguese, Spanish or English that the result will show articles published in several languages, including English. Refer to How to Search for more information.


Is it possible to export a search result to a file or reference manager?

After doing a search, check the page of results for the bullet “Send results”. Select the references of interest and choose how you want to send them:

  • by e-mail
  • by print form
  • Export citations in RIS format (for Reference Manager, ProCite, EndNote, etc)
    • How to import the search results to Endnote web? Access here
    • How to import the search results to Endnote desktop?

Instructions for version X5 and up:

  1. Download sources normally, as .txt
  2. File>Import>Import File
  3. Choose file
  4. Set “Import Options” to RIS
  5. Optional: choose Remove Duplicates
  6. Choose “Import”
  7. Once imported, select all sources
  8. Click “References” from the top menu bar
  9. Select “Find Resource Updates” which should update sources linked to Medline, PubMed, EBSCO, and others as EndNote adds databases

How to create a RSS from a search result from the VHL search Portal?

The first step is to obtain a RSS reader, for example Feedly, The Old Reader, Netvibes, etc. Refer to the step by step on the file: How to create RSS* from the result obtained from the VHL Portal. (in Portuguese)

How can I search on Virtual Health Library (VHL)?

Access the How to Search