This post was originally published on the Scientific American Blog, Information Culture, on September 29, 2014.
While there has been some high quality news reporting about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, it is also easy to find vague, misleading or erroneous information about the disease and the outbreak. News related to the outbreak may also prompt more folks to explore the scholarly scientific literature on the subject. The list below contains some reliable information sources on the topic.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine’s Disaster Information Management Research Center released an excellent guide to Ebola information resources. Many of the links in this post are also available from the NLM guide.
General information about the disease
- WebMD (watch out for some confusing ad placement)
- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
News stories and collections
- Scientific American’s Ebola: What you need to know
- News about Ebola from the British Medical Journal
- News and Commentary from Nature News
The National Library of Medicine has initiated an Emergency Access Initiative (EAI) for scholarly papers related to Ebola. The EAI is a partnership between the National Library of Medicine (the folks behind the PubMed biomedical research database) and the companies and organizations that publish scholarly articles. The EAI allows healthcare professionals, policy makes, librarians, and others involved in a health disaster event to temporarily access scholarly articles on the topic that would generally only be available to subscribers. Affected folks hoping to access the information need to login at the EAI site, then continue on to PubMed. Once you get to PubMed, you can limit your search to articles available for free through the program. The current EAI allows access until October 17, 2014.
Many publishers have put together collections of ebola related articles available for free on their websites, including:
- Science special collection
- Reports, perspectives and editorials from the New England Journal of Medicine
- Articles from Oxford University Press journals
- The PLOS Ebola Collection
Of particular interest is an interactive map and timeline of the outbreak, discussed in detail by Larry Greenemeier on the Scientific American website.
- World Health Organization Ebola Portal
- WHO Global Alert and Response: Ebola in West Africa
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Ebola information
- U.S. CDC Travelers information
- United Kingdom Topic: Ebola
- South African Department of Health Ebola information
This list is only a small portion of the high quality information sources available. Feel free to share your go-to high-quality information resources in the comments.