This web-based database project provides structured abstracts summarizing classic and contemporary works in Latin American Social Medicine (LASM). The abstracts are available in the Spanish, Portuguese, and English languages. LASM offers important information about the social, economic, and cultural determinants of health with descriptions of organized responses to confront the problems. Originally this information circulated mostly among interested professionals located in Latin America. The LASM database enhances access to this information worldwide.

Our database contains 382 abstracts each in Spanish, Portuguese, and English, totaling 1146 abstracts. The abstracts summarize the contents of 25 landmark books, 50 book chapters, and 100 journal articles from the classic social medicine. The database also contains abstracts from twelve more contemporary journals. The abstracts are accessible via the University of New Mexico’s Digital Repository within the Latin American and Iberian Institute Latin American Knowledge Harvester .

Phase I of the project was funded by the National Library of Medicine of the U. S. National Institutes of Health (Grant # 1 G08 LM06688 01A1) through the Health Sciences Center of the University of New Mexico (HSC-UNM) in the United States from February 2000 through January 2004. Phase I produced 531 abstracts. Howard Waitzkin, MD, PhD served as Principal Investigator and Holly Buchanan, MLn, MBA, EdD, AHIP, FMLA served as Co-Principal Investigator.

Phase II of the project ran from 2005 to 2009 to produce additional structured abstracts in the three languages. This phase was a collaborative project between the University Health Sciences Center (Centro Universitario de Ciencias de la Salud - CUCS) of the University of Guadalajara (Universidad de Guadalajara) (Mexico) and the HSC-UNM (USA). Phase II was partially funded by the United States Department of Education, Title VI through a research program “Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information Access” (TICFIA), managed by the Latin American and Iberian Institute (LAII) of the University of New Mexico (Grant # P337A050005). Cynthia Radding at UNM served as Project Director. Also, the Mexican team, led by Francisco Mercado, MD, PhD, received support from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Mexico during the first months of the second phase.

The UNM Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center’s Web Team developed and hosted the LASM website to support all facets of this project initially. The website consisted of subdued colors and limited content to allow faster loading by users with limited Internet capabilities. The project transitioned to the UNM Latin American and Iberian Institute in Phase II with access via the Latin American Knowledge Harvester. The following references track the historical development of the LASM database:

Buchanan HS, Waitzkin H, Eldredge J, Davidson R, Iriart C. Digital information for Latin American social medicine. In: Van Reenen J, ed. Digital libraries and virtual workplaces: Important initiatives for Latin America in the information age. Washington, DC: Organization of American States, 2002.

Buchanan HS, Waitzkin H, Eldredge J, Davidson R, Iriart C, Teal J. Increasing access to Latin American social medicine resources: a preliminary report. J Med Libr Assoc. 2003 Oct;91 (4):418-25. PubMed PMID: 14566372; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC209507.

Davidson R, Waitzkin H, Buchanan HS, Eldredge J, Iriart C, Teal J. Latin American social medicine – A new source of data and information. Latin American Studies Association Forum 2002 (fall);33(3):16-18.*

Eldredge JD, Waitzkin H, Buchanan HS, Teal J, Iriart C, Wiley K, Tregear J. The Latin American Social Medicine database. BMC Public Health. 2004 Dec 31;4:69. PubMed PMID: 15627401; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC544873.

Waitzkin H, Iriart C, Buchanan HS, Mercado F, Tregear J, Eldredge J. The Latin American Social Medicine Database: a resource for epidemiology. Int J Epidemiol. 2008 Aug;37(4):724-8. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyn148. PubMed PMID: 18653507.


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