“Empowering authors to use, produce and disseminate information in public health. The experience of the NECOBELAC project in Europe and Latin America”.
Abstract:A training experience performed in European and Latin American countries, in the period April 2010-December 2011, to promote information literacy in public health is reported. The training was focused on creating awareness and providing tools to improve scientific writing and open access publishing. The target was mainly represented by inexperienced authors working in academic and research institutions to improve their capacity to search, produce and disseminate health information through different channels.
The experience was developed within the project NECOBELAC (Network of Collaboration Between Europe and Latin American-Caribbean countries, 2009-2012), financed by the European Commission (7 FP Capacities – Science in Society), aiming to foster the production and dissemination of open access scientific information in the field of public health (www.necobelac.eu). The project is part of a global commitment towards a cultural change in information dissemination, a long term process requiring a strong commitment by different stakeholders.
A train-the-trainer model (T1) was adopted to enhance the training impact and sustainability through training replication activities at local level (T2). The development and use of ad hoc training tools based on the semantic web technologies (Topic maps) helped the NECOBELAC trainers to carry on both T1 and T2 initiatives in a flexible and modular way, within a wide geographical area having different socio-cultural and technological backgrounds. A total of 7 T1 courses and more than 30 T2 activities were performed.
The positive results achieved and feedback received can be considered as a starting point to develop new education initiatives in other contexts and sectors.
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Paola De Castro: Head of the Publishing Unit at Istituto Superiore di Sanità (www.iss.it, National Institute of Health in Italy), she promotes the dissemination of scientific information to different targets including students. She supports open access publication models and fosters scientific cooperation at national and international level. She is the coordinator of a European Project linking Europe and Latin America to promote health information dissemination (www.necobelac.eu). She delivers courses of scientific writing and open access and is involved in a number of initiatives to promote information literacy and science culture in schools. She organizes exhibitions on public health issues addressed to specialized staff and the general public. A list of publications is available here. Paola is also the EMMILE Poster Committee Chair and, in this role, she will be chairing a stimulating and lively poster session the “MIL-lab“, on Tues. Feb. 28, 2012, afternoon.