EBSCO Publishing's Editorial Policy
EBSCO Publishing 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 health care provider before arriving at a diagnosis or embarking on a course of treatment.
Nature Of EBSCO Publishing Content
EBSCO Publishing provides two main sources of content: proprietary and licensed.
To the extent possible, EBSCO Publishing's 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
All of EBSCO Publishing's proprietary content is written by either an in-house writer/editor or contract writer. All in-house staff writers have advanced degrees in public health, health communication, or related fields and are under the supervision of a medical director, who is a licensed physician. Contract writers are either health care professionals with experience writing for a consumer audience, or they are writers holding advanced degrees in health journalism, public health, or related fields.
Proprietary content is reviewed by two members of the EBSCO Publishing Medical Review Board (MRB). All content is reviewed by at least on Health Content Reviewer with Expertise and one Health Content Reviewer. A Health Content Reviewer is a professional with an advanced health degree (MS, RD, RN) with knowledge in the area being reviewed. A Health Content Reviewer with Expertise is a medical professional (MD, DO, DSS) with knowledge in the area being reviewed. Information regarding the EBSCO Publishing MRB is available at EBSCO Publishing's Medical Review Board .
The EBSCO Publishing Medical Review Board is comprised of physicians or medical professionals (RD, RN, etc.) with expertise in a wide range of areas, including oncology, psychiatry, neurology, pediatrics, internal medicine, orthopedics, geriatrics, cardiology, family practice, genetics, infectious disease and health policy. They are experts in their respective fields, and have affiliations with some of the finest medical and research institutions in the world. EBSCO Publishing will not ask MRB members to review content that is outside their area of expertise. Information regarding the EBSCO Publishing MRB is available online or upon request.
All Medical Review Board members are required to submit evidence of professional credentialing and licensure to EBSCO Publishing. No member is placed in the position of providing clinical services.
EBSCO Publishing will not, under any circumstances, edit an expert's work in a manner that causally changes its original meaning, nor will we ask experts to provide advice or information that is outside their area of expertise.
Proprietary content is medically reviewed and/or revised on a scheduled basis, depending on the nature of the content and how rapidly it is likely to change. In addition, procedures are in place to ensure that "emergency" updates, such as a drug being removed from the marketplace, occur within 1 weeks of the original announcement.
To provide the highest quality in our content, EBSCO implements a dual review process. Each proprietary record in the EBSCO collection will go through these processes:
Triage Review – Medically Reviewed, Update Pending.
When a record is triage reviewed, a member of our Medical Review Board will review an existing record to determine if updates or changes are needed as a result of new, scientific findings in the area. Records that have no new information will be identified and updated with the Medical Reviewer’s name. Records that need updates will be sent through an update process. In many cases, the same reviewer who did the triage review will also perform the update on the record.
Update Review – Medically Reviewed, Full Update Implemented
When a record is update reviewed, a member of our Medical Review Board will review a new or existing record and implement updates or changes as needed, based on new, scientific findings in the area. These records will then be updated in our collection with the Medical Reviewer’s name.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine Content
EBSCO Publishing provides extensive information in the area of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Encyclopedic CAM content (Natural & Alternative Treatments (NAT) and Evidence-Based Complementary Medicine (EBCM)) is written and reviewed by at least two physician experts in the field of CAM, cited extensively, and updated regularly. No claims of therapeutic benefit are made without adequate citations from the medical literature.
EBSCO Publishing may acquire content sources through acquisition. Due diligence is performed prior to any acquisition to be certain that the content in question meets or exceeds the same editorial standards that apply to EBSCO Publishing’s proprietary and licensed content. Subsequent review of acquired content follows the same procedures as proprietary EBSCO Publishing content.
Content in the Health Library falls into three categories. Following is the update schedule for each category of content:
- Top Tier Content – this content includes Condition Fact Sheets, Procedure Facts Sheets and articles in the Centers of Excellence. This content is scheduled for full review within a 12 month period. Articles are rewritten if they have become outdated. These articles may be updated more frequently as a result of new studies that impact the patient information contained within the Fact Sheet format. Health Library leverages the systematic surveillance of literature process of other EBSCO Publishing Point-of-Care products.
- Middle Tier Content – this content includes Wellness and Therapeutic articles. This content is scheduled for full review within a 24 month period. Outdated articles are rewritten or removed from the collection.
- Historic/Timeless Content – this content includes Current Research in Top Journals, interviews, recipes, and more. This small collection of articles is reviewed by medical professionals as part of the creation process. This content is not updated, or updated very infrequently, as it reflects a historic/timeless content type (interviews, summaries of research, etc) and therefore does not require a regular review/update.
EBSCO Publishing licenses certain content sources from third party vendors. Due diligence is performed before an agreement for distribution rights is negotiated with the content supplier.
Before licensing any content from third party providers, EBSCO Publishing determines that, at a minimum, 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-determined schedule, and (3) free of racial, gender, or other biases. EBSCO Publishing assesses whether or not its licensed content sources continue to meet these standards on an ongoing basis.
EBSCO Publishing’s licensed content is provided by the following vendors:
Lexi-Pals and Pedi-Pals Drug collection, providing coverage to 1,136 adult and 524 pediatric drugs, with synonyms for US, Canadian and Mexican brand names. In partnership with Lexi-Comp.
Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary
Provides definitions of more than 55,000 medical terms.
Provides access to one of the world’s largest biomedical databases, MEDLINE and CANCERLIT®, with over 10 million references to journal articles in all fields of medicine and related disciplines, including dentistry and nursing. Coverage spans from 1966 to present. Infotrieve also provides document delivery services for MEDLINE and CANCERLIT®.
One of the world's largest biomedical databases, including over 10 million references to journal articles in all fields of medicine and related disciplines, including dentistry and nursing.
Personal Health Manager and Heath Risk Assessor
Suite of health management tools designed to assess risk including a personal and family health record. Provided through a partnership with HealthStatus.
Consumer Health Newswire
A selected medical news service that provides consumer health information updates on a daily basis. Currently provided through a partnership with HealthDay.
Drug Interaction Database
In partnership with Lexi-Comp, this tool allows users to check medications for possible interactions between medications.
Customer who license the Health Library contract agrees to the terms and conditions contained within the license. To carry the Health Content seal, customers must agree to the terms. Of particular importance are the terms regarding editing, modifying and/or deleting content. The following terms are included in the Health Library license and are followed by all customers who display the Health Content seal:
- the customer shall not remove, modify or edit the substance of any information within the Licensed content
- the customer shall not delete or modify any portion of any Article
- the customer shall not combine or intermingle any other Content or material within any Article
EBSCO Publishing 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 Publishing 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 Authoring
EBSCO Publishing maintains different guidelines pertaining to different types of proprietary content.
Healthy Living Centers/Wellness Centers, Journal Notes/Current Research in the News, and Material Based on Clinical Experience or Scholarly Research
Bylines are provided for the Healthy Living Centers/Wellness Lifestyle Centers (e.g., Women's Health, Food & Nutrition, and Aging & Health), Journal Notes, and any material based on clinical experience or scholarly 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 of references 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; or presentations at major medical meetings. The Medical Director has the final discretion over whether or not a reference meets the standard for substantiating claims based on clinical experience or scholarly research.
Rather than list citations, articles provide “resources,” which refer readers to appropriate related web sites. This format is based on the print model of health magazines. In addition, writers are asked to provide source material for their articles, which are fact-checked as deemed necessary.
"Sources" are listed on all Journal Notes articles. They are listed in many Healthy Living Center/Wellness Center articles, as well.
Where contractually feasible, database-type content (e.g., 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)
We do not require that citations from associations and agencies list specific articles, since in some cases they do not provide specific articles (CDC, for example, provides statistics and charts).
Advertising and Sponsorship
To ensure that EBSCO Publishing content remains scientifically balanced and commercially unbiased, EBSCO Publishing accepts neither advertising nor sponsorship of its content and does not offer user promotions of any type. This would also apply to any co-branded content. EBSCO Publishing will not require or encourage an author to promote a product, device, or service.
Conflict of Interest
EBSCO Publishing's 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.
Links to external Web sites are selected based on an individual author’s assessment of: (1) source, (2) accuracy, (3) relevance, and (4) balance. In-house editors review the selected external Web sites. The Medical Director has final discretion as to whether an embedded link meets these criteria. All content links undergo editorial review for content and functionality on the same schedule as the content in which they are embedded.
Claims of Therapeutic Benefit
Claims of therapeutic benefit must be substantiated by a majority of references that are no more than five years old and that appeared originally in peer-reviewed journals, medical texts, or papers presented at major medical meetings. The Medical Director has the final discretion over whether or not a reference meets the standard for substantiating therapeutic benefit.
EBSCO Publishing’s interactive calculators are designed to provide general results based on input provided by the user that is calculated against measurements or assessments considered standard by various government agencies, including USDA, CDC, and FDA. The inputted information will consist only of single values (e.g.: anthropometric values, age, smoking status, and activity levels) not detailed clinical information, 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 Publishing’s risk assessors will offer general, non-numeric results about a user’s potential degree of risk of various chronic conditions. They will be based on questionnaires that either have been adopted by major government agencies or institutions, or have been validated by studies in the published medical literature. The results, which are generated from users’ single value or yes/no responses to a list of specific questions, will constitute no more than the advice to clinically follow-up with a physician for further evaluation. Treatment recommendations will never be made, and identifiable health information will neither be requested nor recorded.
There must be a statement on the Web site associated with all self-assessment tools indicating its source, scientific basis and the date of the last review or update.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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