The Health On the Net Code of Conduct
(HONcode) has been issued in July 1996 in response to concerns expressed
to the Health On the Net Foundation, by members of the Net community,
regarding the varying quality of medical and health information currently
available on the World-Wide Web.
The HONcode sets a universally
recognised standard for responsible self-regulation.
It defines a set of voluntary rules designed to help a Web developer
site practices responsible self-regulation and to make sure a reader
always knows the source and the purpose of the information he or she
is reading. These guidelines encourage
the authority, complementarity, confidentiality, proper attribution,
justifiability and validity of the medical advice and information
provided. Furthermore, sites that subscribe
to the HONcode commit themselves to providing transparent information
on site sponsorship and clearly separating advertising and editorial