EBSCO Publishing's Editorial Policy
Nature Of EBSCO Publishing Content
Citation and Authoring
Advertising and Sponsorship
Conflict of Interest
Claims of Therapeutic Benefit
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 healthcare 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 in-house writers/editors or contract writers. All in-house staff writers/editors have 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 healthcare professionals with experience writing for a consumer audience or hold advanced degrees in health journalism, public health, or related fields.
Proprietary content is reviewed on a scheduled basis by in-house physicians, which includes the Medical Director, and by members of the EBSCO Publishing Medical Review Board, an external review board consisting of licensed physicians and allied healthcare professionals.
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. Information regarding the EBSCO Publishing Medical Review Board is
available http://www.ebscohost.com/uploads/thisTopic-dbTopic-472.pdf or upon request.
All Medical Review Board members are required to submit evidence of professional credentials and licensure to EBSCO Publishing. Medical Review Board members are required to notify EBSCO Publishing in a timely manner of any adverse change in licensure or certification status. In response to adverse changes in licensure or certification status, EBSCO Publishing may implement corrective action, including cancellation or non-extension of the employment agreement.
No member is placed in the position of providing clinical services.
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 one week 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 goes through these processes:
A Medical Review Board member will survey existing records 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, credentials, and most recent review date. Records
that need updates will be sent through an update review process.
When a record goes through this review, 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 and credentials, as well as any applicable references used and most recent review date.
Content is also updated continuously as important evidence that is sufficient to change consumer health information is identified through a systematic literature surveillance process.
Content in the Health Library falls into three categories. The 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 updated 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 to update the content.
- Middle Tier Content—This content includes wellness and therapeutic articles. This content
is scheduled for full review within a 12- or 24-month period. Outdated articles are updated, rewritten, or
removed 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 medical
professionals as part of the creation process. This content is not updated nor is it updated very
frequently, as it reflects a historic/timeless content type (interviews, summaries of research,
etc.), and therefore does not require a regular review/update.
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)) is written and reviewed by 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 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 its
licensed content sources continue to meet these standards on an ongoing basis.
EBSCO Publishing’s licensed content is provided by the following vendors:
AHFS 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 Dictionary
Provides definitions of more than 55,000 medical terms.
Consumer Health News
A selected medical news service that provides consumer health information updates on a daily basis.
Currently provided through a partnership with HealthDay News.
Customers 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.
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 TOP
EBSCO Publishing maintains different guidelines pertaining to different types of proprietary content.
Healthy Living Centers/Wellness Centers, Journal Notes/Current Research from Top Journals, and
Material Based on Clinical Experience or Scholarly Research
Bylines 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 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 a reference meets the standard for substantiating claims based on clinical experience or scholarly
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 to
provide 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/Wellness
Center articles as well.
Where 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)
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 TOP
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 also applies to any co-branded content. EBSCO Publishing will not require or encourage an author to promote a product, device, or service.
Conflict of Interest TOP
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.
Content Links TOP
EBSCO Publishing may provide links to an external website; these links are for information purposes
only. When you click on such a link, another window will open, signifying that you are leaving EBSCO
Although EBSCO Publishing endeavors to make sure that the site is a source of accurate, relevant, and
balanced information, EBSCO Publishing neither controls nor makes an endorsement of any kind
regarding the external site.
Links to external websites 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 websites. The
Medical Director has final discretion as to whether an embedded link meets these criteria. All content links
are routinely checked for functionality. This process includes removing or correcting non-functioning links.
Claims of Therapeutic Benefit TOP
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.
Self-Assessment Tools TOP
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 the USDA, CDC, and FDA. The inputted information will consist only
of single values (eg, 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 have been either 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 website associated with all self-assessment tools indicating its source,
scientific basis, and the date of the last review or update.