Guidelines for selecting links for CDC’s health literacy web pages

April 2011

Guidelines for selecting links for CDC’s health literacy web pages

The goal of CDC’s health literacy web pages is to provide reliable information and resources to improve health literacy practices in public health. The information and resources have been selected to be most useful to public health and clinical researchers and practitioners, health communicators, health educators and community organization staff. To achieve this goal, we apply guidelines for the development of original content and the selection of links, documents, tools, references, and resources.

Required Quality Guidelines

Who created this site?

  • The names of the site developers, sponsors, partners, and funding sources are clearly noted.
  • The mission of the sponsoring organization supports the goal of health literacy improvement.
  • The site offers a description of the organization, such as being a 501c3 non-profit association. If an organization does not disclose its status, it is prepared to provide this information if requested by the public.
  • The organization welcomes and responds to public questions and comments using e-mail and/or other method(s).

What is the purpose of the site?

  • The purpose of the site and its intended audiences are clearly stated.
  • CDC’s health literacy pages link to sites and resources designed to advance the research, practice, policymaking and evaluation of health literacy activities and interventions.
  • The site provides easy access to free information that meets the interests and needs of people interested in health literacy improvement.

Does the site accept advertisements?

CDC’s health literacy pages may link to a resource sponsored by an organization that accepts advertisements on its site, as long as the actual resource is ad-free.

The following guidelines are applied to sites that do accept advertisements:

  • “Advertisement” labels clearly identify and separate ads from health literacy information.
  • Agreeable ads support the mission and needs of the sponsoring organization(s) and its intended audiences, such as links to the organization’s publications and products or requests for sponsors and donations.
  • An advertising policy defines acceptable ads and prohibits advertisers and sponsors from collecting any personally identifiable information from CDC’s visitors.
  • The site does not suggest or imply CDC’s endorsement of its products or services. CDC may link to but does not endorse “locator” services that help you find health literacy professionals, facilities, and services.

Is information reliable and current?

  • Health literacy information on the site is developed and/or reviewed by respected advisors or consultants with expertise in appropriate fields.
  • The original source(s) of information are available on the site and reflect accurate and current thinking of the scientific community.
  • The site adheres to industry quality standards, and offers reliable and credible information.
  • “Last updated” and/or “last reviewed” date stamps are posted on homepage, major entry points, and individual documents to show visitors that content is current and has been reviewed within the past 12 months.

How does the site collect and protect personal information?

  • If a site collects personal information using e-mail, forms, or surveys, it offers a privacy policy that explains how information collected from users remains private and confidential.

How is the site maintained?

  • The site is continually available to the public and offers e-mail links to contact website staff responsible for maintaining the site.
  • The site offers fresh and timely information.
  • Hyperlinks to information found both on and off the site are checked on a regular basis.
  • Content advisors, consultants, and/or an expert advisory board are available to review and answer questions about information offered on the site.