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Producer FAPESP - BIREME (Brazil)
Languages English, Portuguese, Spanish
Cost Free
Disciplines Multidisciplinary
Record depth Index, abstract & full-text
Format coverage Academic journal articles
Geospatial coverage Latin America, South Africa
Number of records 239,628

SciELO (Scientific Electronic Library Online) is a bibliographic database and a digital library of open access journals. The SciELO's model is used for cooperative electronic publishing in developing countries, originally from Brazil, currently in 12 countries with three more 'in development'.

SciELO is supported by the FAPESP (Foundation for Research Support of the State of São Paulo) and the CNPq (National Council of Scientific and Technological Development), in partnership with BIREME (the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information) and Spain.

Across the portal that integrates and provides access to the SciELO network sites, the users can search in the whole of all SciELO collections or at the level of a single country collection.

Database and projects[edit]

In June 2014 the database contained:

  • 1,161 open access scientific journals
  • 33,304 issues (journal numbers)
  • 487,517 scientific articles
  • 10,818,452 citations (sum of the number of items in each article's reference list)

from different countries, universally accessible for free open access, in full-text format.[1] The SciELO Project's stated aims are to "envisage the development of a common methodology for the preparation, storage, dissemination and evaluation of scientific literature in electronic format." All journals are published by a special software suite which implements a scientific electronic virtual library accessed via several mechanisms, including a table of titles in alphabetic and subject list, subject and author indexes and a search engine.

Today there are twelve countries in the SciELO network and its journal collections: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Spain, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, South Africa and Venezuela. There are other initiatives in development: Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay.


Projects's launch timeline[2]

1997: Beginning of the development of SciELO as a FAPESP supported project in partnership with BIREME.
1998: SciELO goes live.
2002: the CNPq also began its support for SciELO.
2005: Argentina joined as regional collection, project supported by CONICET
200X: Chile joined as regional collection, project supported by CONICYT.
2009: South Africa joined as regional collection, project supported by ASSAf.
2012: the SciELO Books project is launched.

Open access[edit]

In 2013 the Latin American SciELO project completed 15 years of free publishing.[3] Open access has long emphasized access to scholarly materials. However, open access can also mean access to the means of producing visible and recognized journals. This issue is particularly important in developing and emergent countries,[4] where are other benefits of and challenges for publishing scientific journals in and by emerging countries.[5]


Articles are sent to SciELO by publishers in XML or HTML+SGML, using a variety of article DTDs. The SGML DTD was used until 2013, when SciELO started to offer the JATS DTD standard for XML deposites.

In the SciELO portals, received JATS-articles are converted via XSLT to HTML, and "SGML+HTML pack" articles use the HTML content (in general a handmade PDF-to-HTML conversion). This process may reveal errors that are reported back to the publisher for correction. Graphics are also converted to standard formats and sizes. The original and converted forms are archived. The converted form is moved into a relational database, along with associated files for graphics, multimedia, or other associated data. Many publishers also provide PDFs of their articles, and these are made available without change.

Bibliographic citations are (SGML or XML) parsed and automatically linked to the associated articles in SciELO and resources on publishers' Web sites. Unresolvable references, such as to journals or particular articles not yet available at one of these sources, are tracked in the database and automatically come "live" when the resources become available.

An in-house indexing system provides search capability.

See also[edit]

Some journals on SciELO that have their own Wikipedia articles:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ SciELO: SciELO in numbers. Accessed 27 June 2014.
  2. ^ The SciELO 15 Years Conference is a milestone in SciELO’s History. SciELO in Perspective. [viewed 15 February 2014]. Available from
  3. ^ Van Noorden, R. (2013). "Brazil fêtes open-access site". Nature 502 (7472): 418. doi:10.1038/502418a. PMID 24153270.  edit
  4. ^ Packer, Abel L. The SciELO Open Access: A Gold Way from the South. Canadian Journal of Higher Education Vol 39, No 3, 2009, pages 111–126
  5. ^ Meneghini, R. (2012). "Emerging journals". EMBO reports 13 (2): 106–108. doi:10.1038/embor.2011.252. PMC 3271339. PMID 22240975.  edit

External Links[edit]