Criteria for Selection and Permanence of Journals LILACS Brazil (2021)
LILACS – Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature is a regional index that establishes the bibliographic control of scientific and technical literature in Health Sciences produced and published in Latin American and Caribbean countries.
LILACS’ mission is to give visibility and access to quality scientific and technical production produced in Latin America and the Caribbean and to provide contextualized scientific evidence to the local reality for health-related decision-making in the Region.
LILACS is the result of a regional cooperative effort, coordinated by BIREME, in which national coordinators of the countries and coordinators of specialized areas participate, who, in turn, coordinate the Cooperative Centers (CC) that process and enter literature into the database.
The objective of this document is to guide the editorial and scientific quality requirements required of Brazilian journals indexed in LILACS, sustainably strengthening the development of this collection, and to serve as a guide for LILACS editors and cooperative centers responsible for the selection and insertion of scientific and technical quality production published in their countries and institutions.
LILACS Brazil’s evaluation and permanence criteria are compatible with LILACS regional criteria and were discussed and approved at a meeting of the LILACS Brazil Journal Evaluation and Selection Committee in March 2021 and have taken effect in July 2021.
1. Responsibility and selection process of titles by the Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Information System
BIREME coordinates the management of the LILACS index at the regional level, and since October 1992, each country of the Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Information System, through the National Coordinating Centers (CCN), is responsible for the selection of national journals. Within this structure, LILACS thematic networks were also created in the areas of Nursing and Dentistry.
BIREME coordinates LILACS’s International Journal Selection Committee, which endorses the titles selected by the National Selection Committees, periodically evaluates the titles indexed in LILACS, and promotes studies on Latin American and Caribbean scientific production.
Brazilian scientific journals are selected by the LILACS Brazil Journal Evaluation and Selection Committee, coordinated by BIREME, in support of the coordination activities of LILACS and VHL 3 Brazil networks, led by the Brazilian Ministry of Health. The evaluation and permanence of LILACS journals of the thematic areas is carried out by the coordinators of the VHL Nursing at the regional level (Latin America and the Caribbean) and by the coordination of the VHL Dentistry at the national level (Brazil).
The Lilacs Brazil Journal Evaluation and Selection Committee is responsible for evaluating journals for inclusion or exclusion of the index, monitoring the quality of journals with recommendations for improvement to journal editors, analysis of national scientific production, continuous updating of evaluation criteria and selection of LILACS Brazil journals, and sharing experiences with coordination of VHL Nursing and Dentistry networks to ensure uniformity in the evaluation process of Brazilian journals.
The inclusion of a journal in LILACS can only be made after a positive review in the annual process of evaluation and reevaluation of LILACS Brazil journals. In a meeting, the LILACS Brazil Evaluation and Selection Committee evaluates journals with the support of reports on format, endogeny, and citations, as well as assessments on scientific merit made by peers in the themes of the evaluated journals.
The Committee’s assessment will be sent to the editor with recommendations for the journal’s adaptation to LILACS criteria with a deadline for its implementation, and upon reevaluation and approval, the journal will be indexed in the database. Indexing will continue from the volume after the one that was evaluated.
The evaluation process is based on three main aspects: (1) format, on the adequacy of the journal to international standards, (2) endogeny (institutional and geographical concentration of the editorial committee, external reviewers, and authors), and (3) content, in order to ensure quality and scientific rigor. If the journal does not meet these standards, a report is sent with the points to be improved.
The evaluation of format includes the analysis of a set of characteristics, based on LILACS criteria and international standards for publication of scientific journals indicated by the editor in the guidelines to the authors. The evaluation of endogeny is based on the institutional affiliation of the editorial committee, ad hoc reviewers, and authors declared in the journal. It is suggested that more than 40% of reviewers come from other institutions or regions.
Journals that satisfactorily meet the aforementioned aspects will be evaluated for their content, based on the opinion of at least two experts in the thematic area of the journal, in relation to the following characteristics:
- Representation of the editorial board, reviewers, and authors;
- Scientific nature of published articles;
- Peer review process;
- Importance for the development of the subject area.
In case of a negative indexing assessment, the editor may submit a new request for evaluation, after the proper adjustment of the journal to LILACS evaluation and selection criteria. The new submission must explicitly comply with the Committee’s recommendations.
Scientific and technical journals in the area of Health Sciences published in Brazil in the Portuguese, Spanish, English, and French are considered for indexation in LILACS index.
The limits for the thematic coverage of LILACS are not rigid and include related areas such as Sanitary Engineering, Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Veterinary Science, Biology, and multidisciplinary journals. Documents of interest and impact on human health should also be considered. In such cases, if the journal presents a minimum of 50% of articles related to health, per issue, it will be analyzed selectively and not in its entirety.
Journals should be intended for academics, researchers, health professionals, authorities, and public health managers.
The scientific merit of the journal is the main factor for its indexation in LILACS. The content of the journal must consistently reflect its mission, scope, and vision of the future, outlined by the editorial board.
The publication of original articles is a condition for the selection of a journal for the collection and should represent at least 50% of the articles published in the issue. Original articles are those that present scientific research results based on original data from experimental or observational findings. Systematic literature reviews (meta-analysis, meta-synthesis, scoping review, mapping review, overview, systematic review, integrative review) will be computed as original articles. Other types of contributions present in journals are case studies, theoretical reflections, and experience reports.
In journals that publish exclusively case studies or case series, the originality criteria will be disregarded. However, the relevance and pertinence of the reported cases will be evaluated.
In the evaluation and selection process, only peer-reviewed documents will be analyzed.
The following will not be considered:
- Newsletters or publications addressed to organizational and informative topics;
- Commercial journals;
- Journals exclusively for scientific dissemination;
- Journals that predominantly publish translated articles or those published in other journals.
Republished articles will not be accepted, except occasionally in cases provided for by the recommendation of the ICMJE (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors – Acceptable Secondary Publication) or preprints. The republication must be approved by the editor of the journal where the article was first published and the original source should be quoted in a footnote. The republication of articles for various other reasons, in the same or in another language, especially those published in journals in other countries, is justifiable and can bring benefits, provided that the conditions indicated in ICMJE are met.
It should be made clear in the Instructions to the Authors that the article cannot be submitted simultaneously to two or more journals. In addition, readers should be informed when the article is not original and is a republication, and the journal should include information about the editor’s approval by the journal in which the article was first published and the citation of the original source in a footnote. If the republished article has already been registered in LILACS, the republished article will not be included in the database.
LILACS strongly discourages the publication of multipart articles and partial results of the same research. If two or more articles from the same research team use the same data set for analysis (data set), each manuscript must have substantial content with different analytical methods, discussion, and conclusions, and previous publications of the same datasets should be cited for transparency purposes. If the interpretation of the data and the conclusions are similar, only the first manuscript will be registered.
The review and approval of contributions to scientific journals should be carried out by academically recognized peers in the area. The journal must formally specify what is the modality of evaluation (single-blind, double-blind, or open) and the review procedure followed for the approval of articles. It is recommended that the evaluation be made with the use of an automated system and guidelines to orient the reviewers.
► The dates of receipt, approval, and publication must be indicated in all articles and the list of reviewers published once a year, with the inclusion of their full institutional affiliation (institution, city, state, and country). It is also recommended to mention in each approved article the name of the editor responsible for conducting the evaluation process.
The journal shall comply with the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing (COPE), the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), and the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), the Singapore and Hong Kong Declaration on Integrity in Research. In the Instructions to the Authors, the journal should make its commitment to the observance of these best practices explicit.
It is recommended that the journal adopt and explain in the instructions to the authors an electronic similarity detection program or tool.
The composition of the Editorial Committee should be public, and its members should be specialists with recognized experience in the area, favoring the presence of different lines of research in the journal’s area of concentration. For LILACS Brazil, the recommended qualification is a doctorate.
The journal shall indicate the institution, the city, and the country to which the members of the Editorial Committee are from. The LILACS Brazil Journal Evaluation and Selection Committee verifies the scientific production of editorial committee members in specialized databases and the Lattes Platform.
No more than 40% of editorial committee members may belong to the same institution or geographic region. Journals with institutional concentration higher than indicated are considered institutional or local and are not considered for indexation in LILACS. Exceptions should be justified to the Journal Evaluation and Selection Committee.
It is recommended that the Editorial Committee be assisted by an editorial team composed of technical professionals and librarians responsible for the editorial secretariat, review, and standardization.
The periodicity and number of articles published (eligible for inclusion in LILACS) per year are indicators of editorial production flow and the relevance of the journal in the area in which it is inserted. For LILACS collection in Brazil, the following is recommended:
|Periodicity||Number of articles published per year|
|Biannual||Quarterly or ongoing publication||40||60|
Regardless of the periodic’s frequency, this information should always be updated on the ISSN portal.
Publication regularity is one of the mandatory criteria in the evaluation process. To be selected in LILACS, it is recommended that the journal be published at the beginning or before the established editing period (for example, in the first month of the quarter). Journals of continuous publication should publish the articles throughout the year, as soon as they are approved and edited.
Journals delayed in their annual publication target will not be considered in the selection process. Journals one year late in publication will be excluded from LILACS.
The journal must have at least three issues published to be considered for evaluation and selection. Thus, newly edited journals should not be sent before completing the three required issues. In the case of the continuous publication journal, there should be published articles referring to 75% of the volume.
In principle, volume 1, number 1 of a journal, will not be indexed. If the journal is selected, it can be retrospectively indexed from volume 1, paragraph 1, if the National Selection Committee so indicates.
Standardization spans several stages of the editorial flow and can even provide relevant information about attention to, best practices, and quality in the management of editorial procedures and processes. The following topics are considered for evaluation and selection:
- Title and subtitle, if any, according to the ISSN record;
- ISSN of the online version and, if any, ISSN of the printed version;
- Previous title, if any;
- Name of the entity or legally responsible entities;
- Date of creation;
- Thematic coverage;
- Full bibliographic citation (title, volume, number, paging and year);
- Creative Commons License;
- Abstract indicating content division into sections;
- Bilingual abstract.
- Types and structure of accepted documents;
- Scope and prioritization of research that can be evaluated for publication;
- Evaluation process of the manuscripts received;
- Languages accepted for publication;
- Bibliographic standard adopted for citations and references (the use of internationally accepted standards, without adaptations, is recommended);
- Orientation for the presentation of tables, graphs, boxes, and figures;
- Guidance for the preparation of a structured abstract (Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion);
- Recommendation for the use of DeCS (Health Sciences Descriptors) descriptors for selection of keywords;
- Form of presentation of the authors’ names (full name, no abbreviations);
- Complete institutional affiliation of all authors (institution, city, state, and country);
- Corresponding contact details of the author;
- Persistent digital identifier (ORCID, Researcher ID or the like);
- Author’s responsibility concerning the content, according to the ICMJE criteria and functions defined in the CRediT taxonomy.
- Guidelines on good ethical practices that articles should present:
- Identification of the investigation’s integrity in accordance with the Singapore and Hong Kong Declarations;
- Indication of whether or not the research was funded and what the source was;
- Formal declaration of the existence or not of possible conflicts of interest in the conduct and communication of the research in all articles;
- Application for the submission of an opinion of an ethics committee recognized by the Health Authority or national health council (or similar body) of each country for studies involving human and animal experimentation;
- Requirement for registration of clinical trials in the Data Providers of the WHO’s International Clinical Trial Registration Platform (ICTRP), ReBEC (Brazilian Registry of Clinical Trials) or similar, when approved by the national ethics committee and before the selection of research participants. The name of the database, acronym, and/or number of the clinical trial shall appear at the end of the abstract of the article and in the materials and methods section;
- Requirement to record systematic reviews in the PROSPERO database (International Prospective Registry of Systematic Reviews), preferably before the start of the procedures for applying the eligibility criteria. The database registration number should appear at the end of the abstract of the article and in the materials and methods section;
- Adoption of international guidelines and standards for the presentation of research results for each type of study, according to the recommendation of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the EQUATOR network (Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of Health Research):
- Randomized controlled trial – CONSORT
- Observational studies – STROBE
- Diagnostic / prognostic studies – STARD or TRIPOD
- Systematic reviews and meta-analyses – PRISMA or MOOSE
- Study protocols – SPIRIT or PRISMA-P
- Case reports – CARE
- Guidelines / protocols of clinical practice – AGREE or RIGHT
- Qualitative studies – COREQ (checklist) or SRQR
- Pre-clinical animal studies – ARRIVE
- Quality improvement studies – SQUIRE or Economic Assessment – CHEERS
- Accordance of the manuscript with the best practices of open science:
- Indicate acceptance criteria for manuscripts previously deposited on a recognized preprints server with DOI registration and server name;
- Guidelines on the identification, referencing, and availability of data used and generated by the research, data processing program codes, and other materials underlying the manuscript text for evaluation, reuse, and reproducibility purposes.
- Guidance on the assignment of copyrights;
- When adopted, inform the value of publication fees and exemption options. LILACS recommends reviewing and updating the Authors’ Instructions at least once a year, always informing the date of the last update.
In digital media, articles are treated as individual digital objects. Therefore, each of them must contain a minimum set of metadata for identification and identity of the journal:
- Bibliographic caption (abbreviated title, ISSN, year, volume, [number], e-location [paging], URL);
- Identification of the type of article;
- Include electronic location identifier (e-location) in articles. In such cases, do not use traditional paging;
- DOI (Digital Object Identifier) registration: THE DOI must always be published along with the article in any medium, whether in PDF, HTML, or descriptive metadata of the article; it is recommended to include the DOI in tables and charts.
- Adopt methodology and technology that ensures digital preservation, for example, LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe).
- Maintain access links to the journal’s website and active articles.
According to the Recommendation on Open Access and Online Content in LILACS, since 2013, articles will be registered in LILACS only with the full text.
It is recommended to take up the CC-BY license, which allows the material to be copied and redistributed in any medium or format, remixed, transformed, and constructed from the material for any purpose, even commercially. Due credit should be given, the license must be provided, and if changes have been made, they must be informed. Legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from making any use of the license should not be applied.
It is mandatory that the texts of the articles, in any format, contain the indication of the CC-BY license for machine and human reading. It is also essential that the journal has a copyright assignment document that authors must sign when submitting manuscripts.
The journal must have quality in the graphic presentation (layout), illustrations, and/or printing. The presentation format is important for access to the content of the article, either by traditional print or electronic means.
Journals that maintain printed and electronic versions, within the characteristics and specificities of each format, must maintain the same content in both versions and display the standardization requirements of journals appropriate to their format. A journal will always be evaluated comprehensively, that is, the printed edition, when any is available, electronic edition, and the journal’s website will be analyzed.
The journal’s editor may appeal the decision of the National Selection Committee, either in cases of a favorable assessment with restrictions or an unfavorable assessment. The resources will be examined by this Committee and a final decision will be sent to the journal editor. The deadline for appeal is 30 days after receipt of the report on the evaluation recommendations.
Since the result of the selection and evaluation process is made available between January and February of the year following submission, submissions from journals with unfavorable assessments in the year immediately following submission will not be accepted, so that there is sufficient time for at least one entire volume to be published with the proposed implementations.
LILACS journals are reevaluated annually in their formal requirements and access to the full text and the editors of indexed journals that no longer comply with LILACS criteria will receive a report of improvement recommendations with a deadline for their implementation. Once aware of the deadline, notified journals will be excluded if they do not comply with the recommendations.
For readmission, the journal must be submitted again to the evaluation process, when the equivalent of three consecutive issues or 75% of the annual target of articles, in the case of continuous publication, should be presented. Readmission will not be accepted immediately after a journal is removed from LILACS.
Journals that are more than one year overdue in contributing to LILACS (sending metadata via the publisher and/or Cooperating Center) will be excluded from the collection.
The editors of journals indexed in LILACS are committed to:
- Maintaining the journal according to LILACS criteria;
- Joining LILACS-Express and providing metadata, links to the full texts of the articles and, if available, research data published in LILACS;
- Designating a librarian or Cooperating Center to perform thematic indexing;
- Informing the person responsible for thematic indexing about the availability of new articles;
- Sending printed issues (if any) to the Cooperating Center, if requested.
 1 Document Selection Guide for LILACS database. Available in: https://lilacs.bvsalud.org/metodologia-lilacs/guia-de-selecao-de-documentos-para-a-base-de-dados-lilacs/