About The Merck Manuals
First published in 1899 as a small reference book for physicians and pharmacists, The Manual grew in size and scope to become one of the most widely used comprehensive medical resources for professionals and consumers. As the Manual evolved, it continually expanded the reach and depth of its offerings to reflect the mission of providing the best medical information of the day to a wide cross-section of users, including medical professionals and students, veterinarians and veterinary students, and consumers.
Many criteria have been put forth for what makes a website a credible reference source, and this issue has been much discussed in print and online1,2,3,4. Thus, the Manual has drawn on existing consensus criteria to create an easy-to-remember reminder that people looking for online health information should see where the website STANDS.
Source: Does the resource cite recognized authorities and provide their credentials?
Transparency: Is it open and obvious whether the site’s mission is educational or commercial?
Accessibility: Is the site available without registration and is there a way for users to contact someone with questions or concerns?
Neutrality: Is the information available purely as a resource, or does the site benefit financially from what its users do (such as buying products or visiting advertised websites)?
Documentation: Is the site updated when needed by recognized medical experts?
Security: Can users access content without forfeiting personal information?
The Manual will do its best to STAND by these criteria. Our over 300 authors are all recognized experts in their field. Their name and credentials are listed on each of their topics and on a contributor page, and they all endeavor to update their topics on a regular basis. Our absence of registration fees, ads, or product sales or promotion of any sort, as well as our editorial process that uses external authors and reviewers make it clear that The Manuals’ Mission Statement is truthful and that our mission is solely to be an educational resource. The Manual does not require user registration and thus does not gather users’ personal data; we do not contact you, but there is a “contact us” link in the footer of every page.