Thursday, October 2, 2008

[EQ] Seek, and ye shall find: Accessing the global epidemiological literature in different languages

Seek, and ye shall find: Accessing the global epidemiological literature in different languages

Isaac C-H Fung, Department of Infectious Diseases Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, UK.

Emerging Themes in Epidemiology 2008, 5:20 (30 September 2008)


Available online PDF [11p.] at:


“….The thematic series ‘Beyond English: Accessing the global epidemiological literature’ in Emerging Themes in Epidemiology highlights the wealth of epidemiological and public health literature in the major languages of the world, and the bibliographic databases through which they can be searched and accessed. This editorial suggests that all systematic reviews in epidemiology and public health should include literature published in the major languages of the world and that the use of regional and non-English bibliographic databases should become routine….”


Analytic perspective    
Chinese journals: a guide for epidemiologists
Isaac C-H Fung

[Abstract] [Provisional PDF]
Emerging Themes in Epidemiology 2008, 5:20 (30 September 2008)


Analytic perspective    
Harnessing the wealth of Chinese scientific literature: schistosomiasis research and control in China
Qin Liu, Li-Guang Tian, Shu-Hua Xiao, Zhen Qi, Peter Steinmann, Tippi K Mak, Jurg Utzinger, Xiao-Nong Zhou

[Abstract] [Provisional PDF]
Emerging Themes in Epidemiology 2008, 5:19 (30 September 2008)

Analytic perspective    
Public health and epidemiology journals published in Brazil and other Portuguese speaking countries
Mauricio L Barreto, Rita Barradas Barata

[Provisional PDF]
Emerging Themes in Epidemiology 2008, 5:18 (30 September 2008)


“…..It is well known that papers written in languages other than English have a great risk of being ignored simply because these languages are not accessible to the international scientific community. The objective of this paper is to facilitate the access to the public health and epidemiology literature available in Portuguese speaking countries. It was found that it is particularly concentrated in Brazil, with some few examples in Portugal and none in other Portuguese speaking countries. This literature is predominantly written in Portuguese, but also in other languages such as English or Spanish.

The paper describes the several journals, as well as the bibliographic databases that index these journals and how to access them. Most journals provide open-access with direct links in the indexing databases. The importance of this scientific production for the development of epidemiology as a scientific discipline and as a basic discipline for public health practice is discussed. To marginalize these publications has implications for a more balanced knowledge and understanding of the health problems and their determinants at a world-wide level….”

Hispanic Latin America, Spain and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean: a rich source of reference material for public health, epidemiology and tropical medicine
John R Williams, Annick Bórquez, María-Gloria Basáñez

 [Provisional PDF]
Emerging Themes in Epidemiology 2008, 5:17 (30 September 2008)


“…There is a multiplicity of journals originating in Spain and the Spanish-speaking countries of  Latin America and the Caribbean (SSLAC) in the health sciences of relevance to the fields of epidemiology and public health. While the subject matter of epidemiology in Spain shares many features with its neighbours in Western Europe, many aspects of epidemiology in Latin America are particular to that region. There are also distinctive theoretical and philosophical approaches to the study of epidemiology and public health arising from traditions such as the Latin American social medicine movement, of which there may be limited awareness.


A number of online bibliographic databases are available which focus primarily on health sciences literature arising in Spain and Latin America, the most prominent being Literatura Latinoamericana en Ciencias de la Salud (LILACS) and LATINDEX. Some such as LILACS also extensively index grey literature. As well as in Spanish, interfaces are provided in English and Portuguese.


Abstracts of articles may also be provided in English with an increasing number of journals beginning to publish entire articles written in English. Free full text articles are becoming accessible, one of the most comprehensive sources being the Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO).

There is thus an extensive range of literature originating in Spain and SSLAC freely identifiable and often accessible online, and with the potential to provide useful inputs to the study of epidemiology and public health provided that any reluctance to explore these resources can be overcome. In this article we provide an introduction to such resources….”


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