December 1, 2021

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35 years of DeCS, the tool that facilitates the search for scientific information about health in Spain

35 years of DeCS, the tool that facilitates the search for scientific information about health in Spain

MADRID, October 15 (European press) –

Just completed the 35th anniversary of the Thesaurus ‘Descriptores en Ciencias de la Salud’ (‘DeCS’), the tool that facilitates the search for scientific information in the field of health in Spain that is reviewed and updated by the Carlos III Institute of Health (ISCIII) through the National Library for Health Sciences (BNCS).

Thesaurus is a list of hierarchically controlled words or terms that are used to unambiguously represent the concepts contained in the text; The thesaurus is used to convert the natural language of documents into a controlled language, allowing their contents to be properly interpreted, indexed and retrieved for continued use and shared nationally and internationally. For this reason, they are very useful tools in the management of scientific, biomedical, and health information.

In the field of health sciences, the most frequently used thesaurus in the English language is Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), prepared by the National Library of Medicine in the United States. In Spanish, the above-mentioned DeCS is used, which is a translation of the MeSH symbol promoted by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO / WHO); It includes additional categories such as public health and is published in four languages ​​(Spanish, French, English and Portuguese).

The Virtual Health Library (VHL), an international network of 22 countries for health information and knowledge management that coordinates in Spain the BNCS-ISCIII, provides, together with bibliographic databases, access to a wide range of scientific information and health resources, including The Scielo gateway, the above-mentioned MeSH and DeCS thesaurus is used as an information retrieval tool.

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The BNCS of ISCIII annually performs translations of biomedical terms from the DeCS dictionary, based on new MeSH terms, in collaboration with BIREME/PAHO/WHO and the National Library of Medicine. The main activities are the translation of new terms and their definitions given by NLM, those that are annually revised, and new and revised synonyms.