04 julio 2008

ISIS3 - the road to a new library

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, July 04, 2008 8:50 AM
Subject: ISIS3 - the road to a new library

Dear colleagues:


In the call for papers for the CDS/ISIS 3rd World Congress, probably some of you must have wondered why we chose Web applications as the main subject and selection criterium, as you can see at http://www.eventos.bvsalud.org/agendas/isis3/presentationSubmission.php?lang=en


Well, it's simply because the world is going that way.


During the past few months you have seen that our information teasers or nuggets about the congress have comented on three lines of action: 

  • ABCD: an, integrated library management system, based on Internet technology, under development by a group of people coordinated from BIREME.
  • ISIS-NBP: a new ISIS development platform and architecture conceived entirely on Internet technology, and financed almost completely by BIREME.
  • J-ISIS: described simply (for human beings, as Egbert says) as the new UNESCO Winisis, but on the Internet.

BIREME is again taking the lead and defining policies as it has done for the last 20 years. And libraries must move into virtual space.


The current developments, particularly ABCD, are conceived as integrated packages of library functions and services to run on the Internet. You download it, you install it, and that's it! But this is the first version only, and not the end of the road.


BIREME is thinking of the next step, which is the library as an Internet service. Just like the Wikipedia and the Google workspace ? why not think of the library as a service area integrated in your website? I won't say more for now, but if you come to the congress, you will hear about several advanced initiatives which are part of BIREME's strategy for Virtual Libraries.


Many will immediately pose the following question: Hey, but how many libraries using ISIS are on the Internet and will be able to take this leap forward? It isn't just a technological step, it's a change of paradigm!


An the answer is: many libraries indeed.


This was the conclusion we arrived at last year, when we asked for information about Sites with ISIS databases on the Internet, which were NOT members of BIREME's VHL network, and were using any of the available ISIS web technologies.


The results of the survey, added to the VHL sites in the BIREME network, indicate that in 2007 there were more than 700 Sites, including more than 1.000 institutions, from all continents. There were more than 2.000 ISIS databases available with more than 30 million records in all. To this one must add the SciELO network, which includes 550 scientific papers from 14 countries, containing 180.000 full-text articles, all based on ISIS.

  • The survey results, registering more than 400 answers from 69 countries, some of them indicating several institutions and databases, can be seen at



Note: The published data does not display confidential information or any violation of the privacy of those who sent us the records. The information has not been edited. Any errors or inconsistencies correspond to the original data received.


Ernesto Spinak


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