BIREME GSoC 2010 Application

See also: BIREME GSoC 2010 project ideas

For further information, please join our GSoC mailing list.

Organization Name (required)


Description (required)

The Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information (BIREME) is part of the Information and Knowledge Management Area of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), World Health Organization (WHO). It is a Specialized Center, established in Brazil since 1967, in collaboration with the Brazilian Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Secretary of Health of the State of São Paulo and the Federal University of São Paulo

Home page (required)

Main Organization License (required)


Why is your organization applying to participate in GSoC 2010? What do you hope to gain by participating? (required)

BIREME has developed software for digital libraries since the 1980s. Practically all of that software is open source now, but most of that codebase was developed in-house and very few contributions came from outside. By participating in GSoC we hope to attract new contributors, while enhancing our ability to collaborate with an open community of developers.

Did your organization participate in past GSoCs? If so, please summarize your involvement and the successes and challenges of your participation. (required)


If your organization participated in past GSoCs, please let us know the ratio of students passing to students allocated, e.g. 2006: 3/6 for 3 out of 6 students passed in 2006. (required)

Not applicable.

Add a Comment (optional)

Our GSoC administrator successfully participated as student in the 2006 and 2007 editions of GSoC.

If your organization has not previously participated in GSoC, have you applied in the past? If so, for what year(s)? (required)

This is our first application.

What is the URL for your ideas page? (required)

What is the main development mailing list for your organization? This question will be shown to students who would like to get more information about applying to your organization for GSoC 2010. If your organization uses more than one list, please make sure to include a description of the list so students know which to use. (required)

Special mailing list for GSoC students, mentors and contributors:

Public mailing lists for BIREME projects:

What is the main IRC channel for your organization? (required)

We do not have a permanent IRC channel.

Add a Comment (optional)

Does your organization have an application template you would like to see students use? If so, please provide it now. Please note that it is a very good idea to ask students to provide you with their contact information as part of your template. Their contact details will not be shared with you automatically via the GSoC 2010 site. (required)

  • Full name (required):
  • E-mail (required):
  • University/College/Institute (required):
  • Degrees (undergrad, masters, etc.; include degree currently pursued) (required):
  • Field of research (required if graduate student):
  • Blog URL (optional):
  • URL of a page about you (optional):

What criteria did you use to select the individuals who will act as mentors for your organization? Please be as specific as possible (required)

The mentors: - have volunteered to participate (*) - have deep knowledge of their codebases or have experience participating in open source projects - can communicate fluently in English

(*) this is relevant because our mentors are also BIREME employees; but only those who freely asked to participate were invited

What is your plan for dealing with disappearing students? (required)

Students will be encouraged to communicate at least weekly with their mentors and also directly with our GSoC administrator. We will ask about progress and encourage them to discuss any obstacles openly or privately with the mentor or the administrator.

What is your plan for dealing with disappearing mentors? (required)

Our mentors are employees of BIREME, and we see each other daily, so it is unlikely that this will be a problem. In the future, we'd love to have mentors from outside of BIREME, but for that we need to attract outside contributors.

What steps will you take to encourage students to interact with your project's community before, during and after the program? (required)

We will encourage students to participate in the main CDS/ISIS mailinglist ( where they will be in touch with the users who benefit from our tools. Students will be encouraged to submit papers or posters for CRICS9, the 9th Regional Congress on Health Sciences Information to be held November 21-24, in Santiago, Chile.

What will you do to ensure that your accepted students stick with the project after GSoC concludes? (required)

BIREME is the hub of a network that includes hundreds of collaborating institutions that use our tools. We will try to arrange academic contacts so that their work for GSoC can be the start of possible graduate research in the field of Helth Sciences Information.

Is there anything else you would like to tell the Google Summer of Code program administration team? (required)

We are aware that BIREME is not a typical Open Source project. Most of our tools have always been free of charge, and recently they've become open source as well, under the LGPL, but still are basically developed in-house. However, we are committed to increased collaboration with outside contributors and working hard to adopt the Open Source way. Our most recent projects, Clinical Trials ( and ABCD (, already show a more open and collaborative development process.

Add a Comment (optional)

Luciano Ramalho, our GSoC administrator, successfully participated as a Library Sciences student in GSoC 2006 (Horde Project) and 2007 (Zope Project). He recently joined BIREME, bringing the experience of contributing to open source projects since the 1990s.

Backup Admin (Link ID) (required)