In previous blog posts, we’ve discussed the importance of using references when it comes to building credibility as a writer and given you tips on how to develop content for your health blogs.
In this post, we’re going to share with you some important reference material that will help you write your health content, and build your credibility.
Why use references?
Referencing is vital when it comes to health writing — or any factual type of writing. There are millions of health-related websites and blogs out there, with many of them offering conflicting advice and information. What’s worse, is that the majority of health information (from what I have seen), is not referenced appropriately.
Citing references is important for several reasons:
- It ensures the information you provide is accurate and up-to-date
- It reassures the reader that you are providing them with accurate information
- It helps build your credibility as a writer
- It helps gain trust from your target audience
- It enables your reader to go to the source of the information for further detail.
How to reference
We will talk in more detail on how to reference information in a future blog post. However, when you do reference material, it’s important to quote the original source of the information, rather than make a general statement.
For example, writing, “According to the Heart Foundation, more than 46,600 Australians died from cardiovascular disease in 2013” is preferable to: “Over 46,600 Australians died from cardiovascular disease in 2013”.
When it comes to referencing research studies, simply saying “a study found x,y and z” is not enough. You need to quote the actual study and provide a link to the original study. For example, “a 2010 study by Harvard University, published in Some Journal, found x, y and z” (Reference, detailing the authors, title of study and where it was published should be provided in text or as a footnote, along with a link to the study).
What to reference
There are some definite DOs and DON’Ts when it comes to referencing. Two of the biggest are:
DO use credible reference sources, such as official organisations, peak bodies and accredited government agencies.
(NOTE: Wikipedia is NOT a credible source of information)
DON’T quote information from other articles, particularly if they have not used references.
So where should you go for credible information?
Well, you’re in luck, because here is my list of top places where I source my health information.
FREE list of resources
- World Health Organisation www.who.int
- UNICEF www.unicef.org
- United Nations Food and Agriculture Office www.fao.org
- International Osteoporosis Foundation www.iofbonehealth.org
- International Agency for Research on Cancer www.iarc.fr/
- World Action on Salt and Health www.worldactiononsalt.com/index.html
- International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness www.iapb.org/home
- Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research www.cepar.edu.au/
- The International Food Information Council Foundation www.foodinsight.org/
- World Dental Federation www.fdiworldental.org/home.aspx
- Euromonitor International www.euromonitor.com
- Better Health Channel www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au
- Sydney Children’s Hospital Network Factsheets www.schn.health.nsw.gov.au/parents-and-carers/fact-sheets
- Beyond Blue www.beyondblue.org.au
- Virtual Medical Centre myvmc.com
- Cancer Council Australia www.cancer.org.au/Home.htm
- Diabetes Australia www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/
- Heart Foundation www.heartfoundation.org.au/
- Kidney Health Australia www.kidney.org.au/
- National Stroke Foundation www.strokefoundation.com.au/
- Headache Australia http://headacheaustralia.org.au/
- Dietitians Association of Australia www.daa.asn.au
- Australian Dental Association www.ada.org.au
- Asthma Australia www.asthmaaustralia.org.au
- Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy www.allergy.org.au
- Food Standards Australia New Zealand www.foodstandards.gov.au
- NPS: MedicineWise www.nps.org.au
- Osteoporosis Australia www.osteoporosis.org.au
- Quit Now www.quitnow.gov.au
Australian Government Websites
Remember, referencing is critical if you are writing for the health and wellness sector, so always make sure you use credible and reputable institutions and organisations when doing your research.
If you would like help writing your blog or health and wellness content, simply contact me to have a chat about your needs.
I’d love to hear from you.