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The Trustworthy Information Sources


MedlinePlus


MedlinePlus

Type : A service of the National Library of Medicine, and the National Institutes of Health

Internet address : http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/

Languages : English & Spanish

Source(s) of funding for development : U.S. Government

Objective: MedlinePlus is designed to help you find appropriate, authoritative health information. To do this, they provide access to information produced by the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, such as searches of MEDLINE, the database that indexes medical literature, and ClinicalTrials.gov, the database of research studies from the National Institutes of Health. It is Health Topic pages on over 650 diseases and conditions from Alzheimer's Disease to West Nile Virus. They also provide you with a database of full-text drug information, an illustrated medical encyclopaedia, a medical dictionary, interactive health tutorials, and the latest health news.

Selection Guidelines: Main Criteria: quality, authority and accuracy of content; the primary purpose of the web page is educational and not to sell a product or service. Most content is available at no charge; availability and maintenance of the web page.

The focus is on organizing the full-text publications produced by the NIH Institutes and other federal government organizations. There is also link to other web sites.

Detailed selection guidelines used in evaluating links to web pages:

Quality, authority and accuracy of content

  • The source of the content is established, respected and dependable. A list of advisory board members or consultants is published on the site.
  • The information provided is appropriate to the audience level, well-organized and easy to use.
  • Information is from primary resources (i.e., textual material, abstracts, web pages).
  • Lists of links are evaluated/reviewed/quality-filtered.

Availability and maintenance of the web page

  • The web site is consistently available.
  • Links from the site are maintained.
  • The source for the contents of the web page(s) and the entity responsible for maintaining the web site (webmaster, organization, creator of the content) is clear.
  • Information is current or an update date is included.
  • Registration is not required to view the information on the site.

Special features

  • The site provides unique information to the topic with a minimum of redundancy and overlap between resources.
  • The site contains special features such as graphics/diagrams, glossary, or other unique information.
  • The content of the site is accessible to persons with disabilities.

HONcode

HONcode

Type: A free Certification System developed by Health On the Net (HON), a Non-Governmental and Non-profit Organization

Internet address: http://www.hon.ch/HONcode/Patients/Conduct.html

Languages: It has been translated and is in use in 34 different language versions

Sources of funding for development: Direction générale de la santé, Département de l'Action Sociale et de Santé (DASS - République et canton de Genève, Switzerland), Geneva University Hospital, and the European Commission.

The Health On the Net Foundation HONcode is a code of ethical conduct for web site operators which aims to protect citizens from false or misleading health or medical information. Consultations brought together webmasters, citizens and experts, who reached consensus on an 8-point code now in use by over 6,800 web sites.

The qualifying web sites would form a ‘confidence-space’, where citizens could safely explore their information options. A neutral, intelligent third party was needed to provide this context from which the notions of trustworthiness and confidence could be derived.

Selection Guidelines: The certification is based on the HONcode 8 principles which address: the authority of the information provided, data confidentiality and privacy, proper attribution of sources, transparency of financial sponsorship and the importance of clearly separating advertising from editorial content.

The request for certification is voluntary (Requests are handled through the HON Web site). Site administrators must take the initiative to apply for HONcode certification. Then each request for certification is examined by a member of the HONcode review team. HON makes a thorough visit of the site and verifies that all eight of the HONcode ethical principles are respected. The site is certified by HON when the site not only complies with the HONcode principles but also demonstrates how each principle is implemented. As the result of the HONcode certification the site which is found to respect the eight HONcode principles is given a unique ’active seal’ to place on their pages.

CISMeF

CISMeF

Type: Educative, developed by the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Rouen

Internet address: http://www.cismef.org/

Language: French

Source(s) of funding for development: Ministère français de la Recherche, l'Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie

Selection Guidelines: CISMeF uses the main criteria (e.g. source, description, disclosure, last update) of the Net Scoring to assess the quality of health information on the Internet. There are 49 criteria, which fall into eight categories: credibility, content, hyperlinks, design, interactivity, quantitative aspects, ethics and accessibility. All the criteria were chosen by an expert consensus.

The objective of CISMeF (French acronym for Catalog and Index of French-language health resources) is to describe and index the main French-language health resources to assist health professionals and consumers in their search for electronic information available on the Internet.

CISMeF uses two standard tools for organizing information: the Medline bibliographic database MeSH thesaurus and several metadata element sets, including the Dublin Core. Resources included in CISMeF are described by the following: title, author or creator, subject and keywords, description, publisher, date, resource type, format, identifier, and language. To index resources, CISMeF uses four different concepts: "meta-term", keyword, subheading, and resource type. CISMeF contains a thematic index, including medical specialities and an alphabetic index.

The main health areas of the indexed resources in CISMeF are:

  • Evidence Based Medicine (n>700);
  • Teaching (n>1,500);
  • Information for the patients and the general public (n>700).


ClinicalTrial

 

ClinicalTrials.gov

Type: A free service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), through its National Library of Medicine (NLM), developed in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as a result of the FDA Modernization Act, which was passed into law in November 1997.

Internet address: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/

Language: English

Source(s) of funding for development: U.S. Government

Objective: ClinicalTrials.gov offers up-to-date information for locating federally and privately supported clinical trials for a wide range of diseases and conditions. A clinical trial (also clinical research) is a research study in human volunteers to answer specific health questions. Interventional trials determine whether experimental treatments or new ways of using known therapies are safe and effective under controlled environments. Observational trials address health issues in large groups of people or populations in natural settings.

Selection Guidelines: ClinicalTrials.gov allows the registration of trials that:

  • are approved by a human subject review board (or equivalent) and
  • conform to the regulations of the appropriate national health authorities.
ClinicalTrials.gov facilitates registration of trials in accordance with the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) initiative requiring prior entry of clinical trials in a public registry as a condition for publication.


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PubMed.gov

Type: A free online bibliographic citation database service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

Internet address: http://www.pubmed.gov/

Language: English

Source(s) of funding for development
: U.S. Government

Objective: PubMed was designed to provide access to citations from biomedical literature. It includes over 16 million citations from MEDLINE and other life science journals for biomedical articles back to the 1950s. PubMed includes links to full text articles and other related resources available via the NCBI Entrez retrieval system, was developed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the National Library of Medicine (NLM), located at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  Entrez is the text-based search and retrieval system used at NCBI for services including PubMed, Nucleotide and Protein Sequences, Protein Structures, Complete Genomes, Taxonomy, OMIM, and many others. 


Selection Guidelines
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Scope and coverage: The journals brought to the Committee for review will contain articles predominantly on core biomedical subjects.

Quality of content: The validity, importance, originality, and contribution to the coverage of the field of the overall contents of each title are the key factors considered in recommending a title for indexing, whatever the intended purpose and audience.

Quality of editorial work: The journal should demonstrate features that contribute to the objectivity, credibility, and quality of its contents.

Production quality: Quality of the layout, printing, graphics, and illustrations are all considered in assessing a journal.

Audience: MEDLINE is intended primarily for those in the health professions: researchers, practitioners, educators, administrators, and students.

Types of content: Journals whose contents consist of one or more of the following types of information will be considered for indexing:
  • Reports of original research
  • Original clinical observations accompanied by analysis and discussion
  • Analysis of philosophical, ethical, or social aspects of the health professions or biomedical sciences
  • Critical reviews
  • Statistical compilations
  • Descriptions of evaluation of methods or procedures
  • Case reports with discussions

Foreign language journals: Criteria for selection are the same as for those written in English.

Geographic coverage: The highest quality and most useful journals are selected without regard for place of publication.

 

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MedHunt : Medical/health search engine

MedHunt

Type: MedHunt is a free medical full-text search engine developed by Health On the Net (HON), a Non-Governmental and Non-profit Organization. MedHunt is powered by its robot MARVIN.

Internet address: http://www.hon.ch/HONsearch/Patients/medhunt.html

Language: MedHunt proposes a simultaneous translation of the queries in eight languages (English, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish) with a pre-formatted search associated with the translations

Source(s) of funding for development
: MARVIN was supported by HON and the Swiss National Fund for Scientific Research under grant # 21-43501.95. The exploitation is supported by the Direction générale de la santé, Département de l’Economie et de Santé (DES - République et canton de Genève, Switzerland), Geneva University Hospital, and the European Commission.

ObjectiveMedHunt is a HON service that actively promotes effective Internet use and seeks to demonstrate best-in-class implementation and application. MedHunt consists of an intelligent and specialised search engine designed to locate Internet information related to a given medical and health domain.

Selection Guidelines
:  The global database includes currently two types of documents:

  • the annotated Web sites which are updated daily and created manually by the HON team.
    Each site has been visited and a short description is given. It includes:
    • Web sites certified against the HONcode by HON
    • Web sites elected by trustworthy certified organisation
    • Web sites selected by HON
  • the auto-indexed Web sites which have been automatically retrieved from the Web by the robot MARVIN.

MARVIN searches the Web and selects only documents that are relevant to the health and medical fields. Document relevance is computed according to a formula that takes into consideration the number of words from the medical dictionary that are found in the document, as well as their associated weights. MARVIN uses a purpose-built medical dictionary of 20,000 words plus the 33,000 Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) from the National Library of Medicine, U.S.A. to retrieve automatically the unreviewed sites. Each word has been given a weight describing its relevance and specificity in documents for health and medicine. The weightings have been obtained by performing a statistical evaluation of all words contained in a preselected set of 1,000 medical documents.

 

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PubMed Central Logo.

PubMed Central

Type: PubMed Central (PMC) is the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature.

Internet address: http://www.pubmedcentral.gov/

Language: English

Source(s) of funding for development
:  U.S. Government

ObjectivePubMed Central is a digital archive of life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), developed and managed by NIH's National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in the National Library of Medicine (NLM). With PubMed Central, NLM is taking the lead in preserving and maintaining unrestricted access to the electronic literature, just as it has done for decades with the printed biomedical literature. PubMed Central aims to fill the role of a world-class library in the digital age. It is not a journal publisher.

Selection Guidelines
: Participation in PubMed Central is open to any English-language life sciences journal that meets NLM's standards for the archive. A journal must qualify on two levels: on the scientific and editorial quality of its content, and on the technical quality of its digital files http://www.pubmedcentral.gov/about/pubinfo.html .

 

 

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HONNews

Type: HONNews is a free service for daily Medical News from HON and HealthDay. HealthDay Web site is HONcode certified.

Internet address: http://debussy.hon.ch/cgi-bin/search_news.pl

Language: English

Source(s) of funding for development
: HealthDay is a division of ScoutNews, LLC, a Norwalk, Conn.-based news and information company. ScoutNews was formed in May 2001.

Selection Guidelines

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Policy: HealthDay does not accept advertising or derive revenue from any source other than clients who subscribe to the news service. All HealthDay editorial staff members and freelancers are required to disclose any financial investments in or involvement with any health-related company that may be the subject of a HealthDay story

Corrections and Updating Policy:
All inquiries regarding the veracity of specific elements of HealthDay and Physician's Briefing stories are answered by an editor, and an investigation into the complaint or question is launched.
Clients are required to carry a HealthDay dateline with each story. No HealthDay or article remains in any client's active files for more than 12 months.

HealthDay's Sources:
because the core of HealthDay's coverage involves medical and health developments that have happened within the past few hours, it's important to be tied into those sources that regularly provide the information. Those sources include:

Peer-reviewed medical journals -- HealthDay and Physician's Briefing editors receive advance copies of major medical publications such as the New England Journal of Medicine and Journal of the American Medical Association each week. Editors also regularly review articles in Stroke, Paediatrics, Cancer, The British Medical Journal, Lancet, Science, and the Annals of Internal Medicine, just to name a few. After reviewing these articles, HealthDay and Physician's Briefing editors determine what material is most important for the public to know, and then make story assignments.
The Assigning Process: assignments are selected from a list of reporters. HealthDay has about 20 freelance writers -- all veterans in consumer health and medical reporting. Physician's Briefing has a list of about 15 freelance writers, all specialists in professional health information.

Improving HealthDay and Physician's Briefing Content:
an editorial review board meets weekly to examine HealthDay's article output and determine whether the most important stories are being reported in a timely and journalistically correct way. The review board consists of the editor-in-chief, managing editors, special projects editor, and senior editor.

 



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Bookshelf banner


Bookshelf

Type: Bookshelf is a search engine for a growing collection of free biomedical books from PubMed (NLM).

Internet address: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=Books

Language: English

Source(s) of funding for development
:  U.S. Government

The Objective is to provide free access to bio-medical reference books for the entire health professionals and student communities.

Selection Guidelines
: In collaboration with authors and publishers, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) is adapting biomedical books for the Web.

 



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U.S. Food and Drug Administration


FDA

Type: The U S. Food and Drug Administration is a scientific, regulatory, and public health agency.

Internet address: http://www.fda.gov/

Language: English

Source(s) of funding for development
:  U.S. Government

Objective: The FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation. The FDA is also responsible for advancing the public health by helping to speed innovations that make medicines and foods more effective, safer, and more affordable; and helping the public get the accurate, science-based information they need to use medicines and foods to improve their health.

Selection GuidelinesFDA is dedicated to:

  • ensuring that all information it publishes reflects a level of quality corresponding to the nature and timeliness of the information
  • disseminating all its data as broadly and promptly as possible so that the public can benefit from FDA's mission to promote and protect the public health.

In keeping with this commitment and in accordance with Public Law 106-554 and Office of Management and Budget requirements, HHS and FDA have developed information quality guidelines establishing quality assurance policies, standards, and processes. The HHS guidelines are available at http://www.hhs.gov/infoquality/. The FDA guidelines are at http://www.hhs.gov/infoquality/fda.html.

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O.E.S.O.

Type: A search engine for medical scientific articles about Oesophagus diseases developed by close cooperation between the OESO Foundation, LERTIM, THALES IS and the HON Foundation in the context of the European project WRAPIN (Worldwide Reliable online Advice to Patients and Individuals).

Internet address: http://www.oeso-foundation.org/

Language: English

Source(s) of funding for development
:  OESO Foundation and European Commission via the WRAPIN Project

Objective: OESO is a scientific Organization founded in 1978 to set up polydisciplinary multicenter studies on esophageal disease. An international assembly of world known specialists from 18 disciplines, OESO devotes itself to one, single organ: the esophagus. In over 20 years, OESO has gained a particular and highly specific place as a body for clinical and fundamental research, as well as the status of a world reference in the domain of esophagology. The unique goal of OESO has been to bring together the best specialists from all disciplines involved in esophagology.

Selection Guidelines
:  The OESO Conferences, organized every 3 years, are each time devoted to one, single subject of esophagology. These congresses are based on a unique, original format: the program is composed of several hundred pithy questions whose sequence attempts to cover in all the disciplines, by a sort of dissection of the selected topic, the persisting areas of controversy or doubt.

To answer each question, "the" expert from any part of the world is then contacted, who, through a concise summary of his or her personal experience, seems best able to provide a comprehensive answer in no more than 5 minutes.

The OESO Encyclopedia: Following each Congress, a book is regularly published, assembling the detailed responses to the questions posed on this occasion. Each volume is made up of 1,000 to 1,500 pages, and a kind of an evolutionary encyclopedia is thus progressively composed, which every three years covers a comprehensive chapter in an area of esophagology.

 

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Urofrance

Urofrance

Type: free database of scientific articles from the French Urology Association « L'Association Française d'Urologie (A.F.U.) ».

Internet address: http://www.urofrance.org/

Language: French

Source(s) of funding for development
:  Members of the French Urology Association

Objective: The society aims to promote the research, teaching and good practice in the affections of the urinary tract in the two sexes.

Selection GuidelinesThe articles are peer-reviewed by an editorial community of experts in urology and published in their annual conference proceeding.

 

   
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