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Resource Guide > Journalism > Tools: Health Reporting

Tools: Health Reporting

Last Updated July 28, 2022

On this page, you'll find practical tools, databases, publications, and reporting guides that can help you report health and medicine stories.

Cochrane Review Library

Link: Cochrane Review Library

Summary: If you are looking to understand the context of a new scientific study or the true quality and weight of evidence behind a certain medical or health claim, the Cochrane Library is a great resource. Cochrane reviews research on major health topics and summarizes the type and quality of the evidence behind many claims.

About: “Cochrane is for anyone interested in using high-quality information to make health decisions…. Our volunteers and contributors are researchers, health professionals, patients, carers, and people passionate about improving health outcomes for everyone, everywhere. Our global independent network gathers and summarizes the best evidence from research to help you make informed choices about treatment and we have been doing this for 25 years.”

Retraction Watch

Link: Retraction Watch

Creators: Adam Marcus, Ivan Oransky, the Center for Scientific Integrity

Summary: Retraction Watch (RW) keeps track of retracted scientific research, as well as expressions of concern and corrections in scientific journals. RW includes a searchable database of retractions, and has a whole, newer section on retracted COVID-19 research.

About: “The mission of the Center for Scientific Integrity, the parent organization of Retraction Watch, is to promote transparency and integrity in science and scientific publishing, and to disseminate best practices and increase efficiency in science.” Medicare Provider Data

Link: Medicare Provider Data

Creator: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (U.S. government)

Summary: A searchable database of Medicare provider data. You can also download Medicare data and datasets from this website to look at things like Medicare spending, unplanned hospital visits, and more.

A Global Investigative Journalism Network Guide: Investigating Health & Medicine

Link: Global Investigative Journalism Network

Authors: Catherine Riva and Serena Tinari

About: “Investigating health care is complex and challenging. Reporting in this eld means reading lengthy documents and getting well-acquainted with medical jargon. Numbers and statistics are also part of the game. Although the learning curve can be steep, in this specialized area of investigative journalism you’ll never run out of stories. Truly global, it’s compelling and engaging. Still, suddenly becoming a medical investigative reporter, as many have had to do during the COVID-19 crisis, can be frustrating and full of pitfalls. This guide will provide reporters with the basic knowledge they need to dig deeper into many aspects of COVID-19, a complex area of reporting, as well as other public health issues which can be equally challenging. We start with a few brief tips and tools for better reporting on COVID-19.”

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