EBSCO Information Services' Editorial Policy
IntroductionEBSCO Information Services is a leader in publishing health and medical information on the Internet. While we make every effort to ensure that our content is based on scientific evidence and reflects current standards of care, the information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for the clinical services provided by physicians and other health professionals. The purpose of our content is only to provide users with health information and access to related resources. Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider before arriving at a diagnosis or embarking on a course of treatment.
Nature of EBSCO Information Services ContentEBSCO Information Services provides two main sources of content: proprietary and licensed.
Proprietary ContentTo the extent possible, EBSCO Information Services' proprietary health information: 1) is evidence-based, 2) reflects national clinical practice guidelines, 3) is free of racial, gender, or other bias, and 4) undergoes a rigorous, multilayered review before it reaches customers. Proprietary content is developed using a number of medical sources:
- Newswire reports
- Professional journals
- Government health agencies
- Academic departments
- National healthcare associations
- Top Tier Content—This content includes condition fact sheets, procedure facts sheets, andarticles in the Centers of Excellence. This content is scheduled for full review within a 12-month period. Articles are updated if they have become outdated. These articles may beupdated more frequently as a result of new studies that impact the patient informationcontained within the fact sheet format. Health Library leverages the systematic surveillanceof literature process of other EBSCO Information Services point-of-care products to update the content.
- Middle Tier Content—This content includes wellness and therapeutic articles. This contentis scheduled for full review within a 12- or 24-month period. Outdated articles are updated, rewritten, orremoved from the collection.
- Historic/Timeless Content—This content includes current research in top journals,interviews, recipes, and more. This collection of articles is reviewed by medicalprofessionals as part of the creation process. This content is not updated nor is it updated veryfrequently, as it reflects a historic/timeless content type (interviews, summaries of research,etc.), and therefore does not require a regular review/update.
Licensed ContentEBSCO Information Services licenses certain content sources from third-party vendors. Due diligence is performedbefore an agreement for distribution rights is negotiated with the content supplier.Before licensing any content from third-party providers, EBSCO Information Services determines that, at aminimum, the content source is: (1) evidence-based and consistent with national practice guidelines(where applicable), (2) reviewed and updated by the licensee according to a regular, pre-determinedschedule, and (3) free of racial, gender, or other biases. EBSCO Information Services assesses whether itslicensed content sources continue to meet these standards on an ongoing basis.EBSCO Information Services’ licensed content is provided by the following vendors:Drug InformationAHFS Consumer Medication Information, published by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists contains drug information monographs written in lay language for consumers. AHFS is available in Spanish and is updated monthly.Merriam-Webster's Medical DictionaryProvides definitions of more than 55,000 medical terms.Consumer Health NewsA selected medical news service that provides consumer health information updates on a daily basis.Currently provided through a partnership with HealthDay News.
Prohibited ActionsCustomers who license the Health Library content agree to the terms and conditions contained within the license. Of particular importance are the terms regarding editing, modifying, and/or deleting content. Customers who wish to edit the content must abide by the existing ‘Terms and Conditions for Editing Health Library Content’ included in the Health Library license agreement.
Co-Branded ContentEBSCO Information Services may make co-branded content available on its website. Due diligence and detailed content review must be performed before any agreement is negotiated with a co-branding partner. Before agreeing to host co-branded content, EBSCO Information Services determines that, at a minimum, the content source is: (1) evidence-based and consistent with national practice guidelines (where applicable), (2) reviewed and updated on a regular, pre-determined schedule, (3) includes no advertisements in any way related to the nature of the content, and (4) free of racial, gender, or other biases.
Citation and AuthoringEBSCO Information Services maintains different guidelines pertaining to different types of proprietary content.
Healthy Living Centers/Wellness Centers, Journal Notes/Current Research from Top Journals, andMaterial Based on Clinical Experience or Scholarly ResearchBylines are provided for the Healthy Living Centers/Wellness Lifestyle Centers (eg, Women's Health,Food & Nutrition, and Aging & Health), Journal Notes, and any material based on clinical experience orscholarly research. Where contractually feasible, all authors’ names link to his or her biography.Health content based on clinical experience or scholarly research is substantiated by a majority ofreferences that are no more than five years old and that appeared originally in peer-reviewed journals,medical texts or papers, findings from government agencies and/or medical associations, orpresentations at major medical meetings. The Medical Director has the final discretion over whether a reference meets the standard for substantiating claims based on clinical experience or scholarlyresearch.Rather than list citations, articles provide “resources,” which refer readers to appropriate related websites. This format is based on the print model of health magazines. In addition, writers are asked toprovide source material for their articles, which are fact-checked as deemed necessary.References are listed on all Journal Notes articles. They are listed in many Healthy Living Center/WellnessCenter articles as well.
Database-Type ContentWhere contractually feasible, database-type content (eg, Conditions InDepth; Conditions InBrief) will be authored, and the author's name will link to his or her biography. Database-type content is heavily cited. Allowable citations for this type of content include:
- Journal articles (must include journal name, article title, volume, date, and page)
- Medical books (must include book name, edition, publication date, and publisher)
- Affiliated associations or agencies (must include association name and URL)
Advertising and SponsorshipEBSCO is funded by institutional subscriptions to its databases. To ensure that EBSCO Information Services content remains scientifically balanced and commercially unbiased, we accept no advertising or sponsorship which ensures all content is unbiased. This also applies to any co-branded content. EBSCO Information Services will not require or encourage an author to promote a product, device, or service.
Conflict of InterestEBSCO Information Services' authors and reviewers may not engage, as an owner, director, employee, consultant, or otherwise, in any business or other activity that could reasonably be expected to bias or otherwise adversely affect or impact their ability to perform in an accurate, unbiased, impartial, and complete manner and in accordance with generally accepted professional standards.
Claims of Therapeutic BenefitClaims of therapeutic benefit must be substantiated by a majority of references that are no more than fiveyears old and that appeared originally in peer-reviewed journals, medical texts, or papers presented atmajor medical meetings. The Medical Director has the final discretion over whether or not a referencemeets the standard for substantiating therapeutic benefit.
Self-Assessment ToolsEBSCO Information Services’ interactive calculators are designed to provide general results based on inputprovided by the user that is calculated against measurements or assessments considered standard byvarious government agencies, including the USDA, CDC, and FDA. The inputted information will consist onlyof single values (eg, anthropometric values, age, smoking status, and activity levels) not detailed clinicalinformation, and the results will not indicate or suggest a specific course of action unique to the user,other than suggesting clinical follow-up with his or her physician.EBSCO Information Services' risk assessors will offer general, non-numeric results about a user’s potential degreeof risk of various chronic conditions. They will be based on questionnaires that have been either adoptedby major government agencies or institutions or have been validated by studies in the published medicalliterature. The results, which are generated from users’ single value or yes/no responses to a list ofspecific questions, will constitute no more than the advice to clinically follow-up with a physician for furtherevaluation. Treatment recommendations will never be made, and identifiable health information willneither be requested nor recorded.There must be a statement on the website associated with all self-assessment tools indicating its source,scientific basis, and the date of the last review or update.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Information Services Consumer Health Editorial Staff
- Review Date: 01/2014
- Update Date: 01/29/2014
Meet Our Health Experts