Editorial Policy

Editorial Policy

Our mission is to bring you the most objective, trustworthy, and accurate health information on the web. Our daily goal is to ensure that WebMD FIT is your practical and relevant content source for health and wellness information.

We are committed to providing information on a wide variety of health topics, and rather than filtering certain types of information that may or may not be applicable to any one individual's personal health, we rely on you, our reader, to choose the information that is most appropriate for you. Be aware, however, that information on WebMD FIT or any other web site should not be used as a substitute for professional health care. You should always consult your health professional before acting on any information seen on WebMD FIT or any other web site.

The following sections detail our content policies and procedures.

Editorial Selection Criteria for Original Content Created by WebMD FIT

WebMD FIT creates original content based upon the following criteria:

Relevance — Issues that could affect how you manage your own health and that of your family's. Topics include coverage of breaking health news; drug and product launches, recalls, and alerts; health advisories; and expert commentary on managing diseases and conditions and staying healthy. Our 2001 coverage of anthrax and bioterrorism is a stellar example of our commitment to addressing relevant issues to our users; we were the only web site to be awarded four stars by the Wall Street Journal for anthrax data and information.

Clinical Significance — The latest medical findings published in peer-reviewed medical journals, such as The Journal of the American Medical Association, The New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, Pediatrics, Diabetes Care, Circulation, and many others.

Trends — Seasonal interests, such as "Fourth of July Safety," "Allergy Seasons," and "Back to School Health"; public health awareness, such as "Breast Cancer Awareness Month," "Diabetes Awareness Month," and "Healthy Heart Month"; and emerging health trends, such as the latest in nutrition, fitness, aging, healthy living, alternative approaches, and much more.

Editorial Integrity — WebMD FIT journalistic responsibility is to make a clear distinction between news and other information so that individuals can readily distinguish independent editorial information from paid, promotional information and other non-news content.

Editorial Independence — In its reporting, WebMD FIT maintains exemplary principles of fairness, accuracy, objectivity, and responsible, independent reporting.

Journalistic Excellence — WebMD FIT upholds traditional journalistic principles of excellence in reporting original news for the Internet and in reviewing and corroborating information from other sources.


Editorial Policy for WebMD FIT Editorial Staff

WebMD FIT is an independent media service designed to provide news, information, and educational material to consumers and physicians. Content created by WebMD FIT is free from influence by sponsors, partners, or other sources.

Anyone who serves on the WebMD FIT staff must fully disclose any financial or other interests that he or she may have in any drug, biotech, medical device, or other company perceived to have influence in the health care industry. Such disclosure must be made to the individual's immediate supervisor at the time of hiring or at the time that the financial or other interest develops. The supervisor will determine whether the interest presents a conflict and, if so, what must be done to eliminate it.

WebMD FIT keeps its Editorial staff separate and distinct from staff dedicated to sponsors or partners. No person will serve on both staffs, and no News employee will be asked to perform duties on behalf of a sponsor or provide favored treatment to a sponsor or partner.

The WebMD FIT staff is charged with the responsibility of providing objective, accurate, and balanced accounts of events and issues. WebMD FIT reporters must diligently seek out subjects of stories or qualified experts to provide commentary. They must also seek objective commentary or comment from a qualified spokesperson to provide balance. Material generated by WebMD FIT staff must disclose information about financial relationships or other interests that might influence outcome of a study or the commentary from an individual.

WebMD FIT writers strive to provide thorough and honest coverage and share a dedication to ethical behavior and the highest professional standards.

Original Article Process

The WebMD FIT Editorial staff gets its stories from an array of sources: peer-reviewed medical journals, medical conferences, federal or state government actions, and enterprise material derived from interviews with medical experts. The majority of stories originate from studies published in peer-reviewed medical journals.

Each completed story to be published is reviewed by a medical editor for accuracy, appropriateness of medical language, and proper characterization of the findings. The story is next reviewed by an Assistant Managing Editor who edits it for style, flow, punctuation, and readability. Finally, the story moves from editing to publishing, where it is converted to HTML and published to the site.

Licensed Content

When WebMD FIT licenses health and wellness content from third parties for publication on our site, the WebMD FIT senior medical editors and physician editors review the third party's editorial policies and procedures for consistency with the WebMD FIT Editorial Policies, including without limitation the conflicts of interest policy. While the WebMD FIT Editorial Staff may not review each page of the third-party licensed content, the Editorial Staff does review a representative sample of the content to ensure that the third party implements the editorial policy and procedures reviewed by WebMD FIT and that the content is accurate, timely, and relevant.

Last Updated: February 28, 2011
© 2011 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved