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 Disasters Controlled Vocabulary

The Disasters Controlled Vocabulary (DCV) is a tool for content analysis of bibliographic information. It can also be used as reference material on disaster terminology.

The Vocabulary has been developed by CRID in collaboration with the Latin America and the Caribbean Health Sciences Information Center (BIREME). Terms were selected from diverse bibliographic sources and from contributions of disaster experts. The first version was presented for validation during the a meeting specially conveyed for that purpose, in the framework of the Regional Disaster Information System Meeting, held in San José, Costa Rica on August, 1999. Participants from information units of Central America, the Caribbean and Venezuela, along with some experts validated the version presented here.

Participants to this meeting approved various mechanisms for updating and expanding the Vocabulary: validation of the first version (deadline for modifications set for 27 August 1999), rules for the inclusion of new terms (placement under the corresponding hierarchic category, inclusion of a scope note, bibliographic references where the term was found, synonyms and related terms), submission of new terms using a special form.

The Vocabulary is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French (the latter is in progress). It was proposed that BIREME translates terms into Portuguese, and there was a request to the University of West Indies for translation into English. CRID is responsible for updating the terms in Spanish and for maintaining the database.

Some suggestions were discussed on follow-up and cooperation: use of the CDV as a content analysis tool by the Regional Disaster Information System (REDIS), definition of most adequate platforms to maintain it according to the needs of each collaborating center, periodic update of the CDV in BIREME's LILACS compact disk, distribution by CRID of the latest CDV version to participants in REDIS each time terms are submitted to BIREME for their inclusion in DeCS (Descriptors on Health Sciences).

The full version of the Vocabulary may be requested to CRID, through The version published here lists the terms in Spanish (PDF) and itis organized in three sections:

CRID welcomes the submission of terms for this Vocabulary. The proposed terms must fulfill the following conditions:
  • Appear in at least three documents, whose bibliographic references must be mentioned.
  • Include the scope note (definition) of the term, along with the bibliographic quotation of the source.
  • Include synonyms and related terms.
  • Indicate placement in the corresponding thematic category (please refer to the hierarchical structure).
  • If the term is in English or Spanish, a translation into either English or Spanish should be included.
  • If the term is in Portuguese or French, its English translation should be included.

New terms form

Regional Disaster Information Center
Tel: (506) 296.3952 | Fax: (506) 2231.5973
Pavas, San José, Costa Rica,
P.O. Box 1122-1200 San José, Costa Rica – 101092
To request information, please write to:
For comments and suggestions please write to: