Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Editorial policy

Editorial integrity

Our mission is to bring you objective and trustworthy information on the web. Our daily goal is to ensure that we are your practical and relevant content source for health and medicine.

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 the Site or any other web site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult your healthcare professional before acting on any information seen on the Site or any other web site.

The following sections detail our content policies and procedures.

Editorial selection criteria for original content created by BootsWebMD

We create original content based upon the following criteria:

Relevance -- Issues that could affect how you manage your own health and that of your family. Topics include coverage of breaking health news; medication and product launches, recalls, and alerts; health advisories; and expert commentary on managing diseases and conditions and staying healthy.

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

Trends -- Seasonal interests, such as "Allergy Seasons," and "Back to School Health;" public health awareness, such as "Breast Cancer Awareness Month," "Carer's Week", "National Allergy Week", "Diabetes Week," "National No Smoking Day" and "National Heart Month;" and emerging health trends, such as the latest in nutrition, fitness, ageing, healthy living, alternative approaches, and much more.

Our news is different

In a medium often accused of providing outdated and inaccurate information, we aim to stand out as a credible, authoritative source of health news.

Our editors and reporters bring their experience from some of the world's most respected newsrooms: CNN, Associated Press, and Reuters Health, to name a few.

Our news stories are based on our editors' selections of the most important and relevant health events occurring on a given day. Our news articles usually are more than a short summary of a study or an event. They often contain interviews with the medical researchers who authored them, plus interviews with objective experts who can put the research into context and tell the reader what it means in today's world.

Editorial Integrity -- Our 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 our reporting, we maintain exemplary principles of fairness, accuracy, objectivity, and responsible, independent reporting.

Journalistic Excellence -- We uphold traditional journalistic principles of excellence in reporting original news for the Internet and in reviewing and corroborating information from other sources.

Editorial policy for BootsWebMD news staff

Our news team is an independent media service designed to provide news, information, and educational material to consumers and physicians. The news content we create is free from influence by sponsors, partners, or other sources.

Anyone who serves on our news team must fully disclose any financial or other interests that he or she may have in any pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device, or other company perceived to have influence in the healthcare 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.

We keep our news team separate and distinct from the team dedicated to sponsors or partners. No person will serve on both teams, no news employee will be asked to perform duties on behalf of a sponsor or provide favoured treatment to a sponsor or partner.

Our news team is charged with the responsibility of providing objective, accurate, and balanced accounts of events and issues. Our 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 our news team must disclose information about financial relationships or other interests that might influence outcome of a study or the commentary from an individual.

Our journalists strive to provide thorough and honest coverage and share a dedication to ethical behaviour and the highest professional standards.

News & original article process

Each weekday, our team of doctors and medical journalists plans the daily news schedule of all stories planned for the day. It contains the latest information from the most important medical journals, announcements from national and international health agencies, and analysis on the latest health trends. Our experienced health reporters speak daily with prominent medical leaders, providing in-depth analysis, updates, and profiles that give our health news and content a perspective found nowhere else. Every original article is reviewed by our team of General Medical Council registered doctors.

Our Editorial team gets its stories from an array of sources: peer-reviewed medical journals, medical conferences, government announcements and policies, and enterprise material derived from interviews with medical experts. The majority of stories originate from studies published in peer-reviewed medical journals. We also believe that valuable content is available from our sponsors, advertisers, and partners, but that such content must be clearly labeled.

Medical re-review

Our medical reference articles, features, slideshows and quizzes go through a medical re-review process at least every 2 years from the last reviewed date that is displayed on every article. Articles may be updated sooner to reflect any significant changes, such as guidance updates, or after receiving feedback. A year after publication news articles display an archive stamp to indicate these articles may not contain up to date information.

Sponsored content and advertising

In using our site, you will see that some content, buttons, badges and banners are labeled "Sponsored", "From Our Sponsor", "Advert" or "Advertisement". This content has not been reviewed by our Editorial Team and is not subject to this Editorial Policy. Content, buttons, badges or banners labeled "Sponsored" or "From Our Sponsor" are also subject to the policy governing Our sponsors. Content, buttons, badges and banners labeled "Advert" or "Advertisement" are subject to our Advertising and promotions policy.

For information on our Corrections policy, please click here.

©2009 Boots UK Limited and WebMD UK Limited. All rights reserved.