How to Find Reliable Sources and Subject Matter Experts for Health Content Writing
Updated: Sep 16
Hello passionate nurses and budding health content writers! 🩺✍️
Navigating the world of health content writing is an exciting endeavor, especially for those of us in the nursing profession. We're on the frontlines of patient care and see firsthand the power of accurate, reliable information. As such, it’s essential to ensure that the content we produce is backed by credible sources and, where needed, endorsed by subject matter experts. But how do you find these trusted sources and experts?
Start with Scholarly Databases
As medical professionals, we already know the value of evidence-based practice. When writing content, consider these resources:
PubMed: A free database providing access to the MEDLINE database of references and abstracts on life sciences and biomedical topics. Here, you can find numerous peer-reviewed articles.
Google Scholar: This database covers articles, theses, books, conference papers, patents, and court opinions from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities, and other web sites.
CINAHL is a comprehensive research database specifically for nursing and allied health professionals. It's a valuable resource for RNs, RN students, and professionals working in allied health disciplines.
Government and Recognized Health Organizations
Information from government health departments and leading health organizations is often vetted and trustworthy. Here are some examples:
CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention): Excellent for disease-specific information, prevention guidelines, and recent health threats.
WHO (World Health Organization): Provides international health perspectives, guidelines, and global health data.
NLM (National Library of Medicine): Offers a plethora of health information, from clinical trials to general health topics.
University Websites and Academic Institutions
Leading universities often publish their research online. Look for:
University Research Departments: These often post recent studies and findings on their dedicated web pages.
University Press Releases: Sometimes, before a study gets published in a journal, universities will share findings via press releases.
Seek Out Industry Leaders and Professionals
When you need an expert opinion or a deeper dive into a topic, consider these options:
Professional Associations: Organizations such as the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology regularly publish research, guidelines, and have experts at the ready to be interviewed.
Teaching Hospitals: Large teaching and research facilities, such as Cedars Sinai and Cleveland Clinic have media relations teams you can reach out to and request interviews with a subject matter expert on a wide range of topics.
LinkedIn: This is a treasure trove of professionals from every field. Reach out, ask questions, and network. Many professionals are open to sharing their expertise or directing you to someone who can help.
Attend Conferences, Workshops, and Webinars
Not only can these events help improve your craft and knowledge, but they can also be goldmines for sourcing subject matter experts. By networking and engaging in discussions, you can build valuable connections in the industry.
Critically Evaluate All Information
Lastly, remember to always approach sources with a critical mindset:
Check the Publication Date: In the medical field, information evolves. What was accurate five years ago might not be now.
Verify with Multiple Sources: If one article claims something revolutionary, see if other reputable sources report the same.
Look at Funding and Potential Conflicts of Interest: Research funded by a company that stands to profit from positive results can be biased.
As registered nurses transitioning into health content writing, our commitment to accurate and reliable information is non-negotiable. Our audiences rely on us. By harnessing the above strategies, you'll ensure that your work is both credible and of high quality. Here's to making a difference, one article at a time! 🌟📝🩺