A Quick Guide to Finding Credible Sources for a Medical Blog

December 02, 2021

A successful medical blog requires original content, tactful SEO for doctors, and a user-friendly layout, but none of that matters if you are not using credible sources. Any source you cite in your content must meet the same standards you hold for your own blog, if not higher. Patients and readers rely on the sources you list for valuable information. If you include sources that are not credible, you may lose the trust of your patients.

Evaluating credible sources

Finding credible sources online is not always easy, but it is vital for content marketing for doctors. The internet is overloaded with information, and it is your job to shift through the pile to find proper sources that do not undermine your own content. First, you need to know how to determine if a site is credible. Use these guidelines to gauge a source’s reliability and trustworthiness.

Look for educational content, not products

If a website is trying to sell you something, then it is probably not the most credible source. Any time a site is trying to push a product onto its readers, there is a good chance the information it provides is skewed in favor of that product. Look for sources that exist purely for educational purposes.  

Check sources

There is a good chance that you discover sites that cite other sources in turn. This is not a bad thing, but it is important to also check those sources. Just as your visitors judge the content on your website based on the sources you include, you can judge another site based on its sources. If a website does not cite sources for any facts in its posts, it is a good idea to exclude it.

Search for recent publications

Online content can become outdated quickly. Check the publication dates of all your sources. Avoid using sources that are more than two years old, as that information may have been updated or replaced by new studies or research.

Investigate website managers

Sometimes there is a behind-the-scenes manager on information-only websites. You may have to do a fair amount of research to find this detail, but it is worth your time if you discover a big company is backing a smaller educational website. There is usually another motive behind such content, like selling products, so avoid such sites altogether.

Finding credible sources

You do not have to shift through loads of sources every time you want to publish a blog post. Here are reliable sites to turn to if you need a credible source in short notice:

  • Government websites: U.S. Census Bureau, The World Factbook, or anything that ends in .gov
  • Scholarly databases: JSTOR, Nexis, and EBSCO
  • Scholarly journals: Oxford Academic, Cornell University Library, and Google Scholar

Using these databases and websites can cut through the unreliable sources and get your blog post into the world faster.

Create engaging blog content

Doctor Genius is here to help you achieve your healthcare blogging goals. We offer online medical marketing advice to help doctors make the most of their website. Contact us to discover how to optimize your marketing strategy through blogging.

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