URL of this page: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/languages/criteria.html

Quality Guidelines for Health Information in Multiple Languages

The MedlinePlus multilingual collection is not meant to be comprehensive. As with our English and Spanish collections, we are selective in reviewing materials in other languages.

In addition to our general MedlinePlus Quality Guidelines at https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/criteria.html, we also have guidelines that apply to Web pages in languages other than English and Spanish. Examples of specific elements we are looking for are listed below.


  • We review materials produced by the Federal government, professional organizations, voluntary health/medical associations, hospitals, universities, and state and local governments.
  • Generally, the organization must be located in the United States. Exceptions include international NGOs (non-governmental organizations) such as the United Nations.
  • We do not include content created by U.S. organizations but intended for use in other countries.

Authority of writers: we look for

  • Authors who are federal employees (NIH, CDC, FDA, etc.)
  • Authors who are health professionals or medical writers (MDs, DOs, dentists, RNs, genetic counselors, PhDs, etc.)
  • Content that is approved by an authoritative body of health professionals, such as a medical advisory board or Board of Directors.

Translation quality

  • The site must include the English equivalent of the translated material.
  • There must be an indication of the translation processes and credentials of translators (e.g., translation done by professional medical translation service, or by health professionals working with native language speakers).
  • There must be an indication that the translation has been reviewed for language accuracy and cultural appropriateness.


  • The materials must be designed for consumers, immigrants, students, or parents, not for health professionals.

Maintenance and updating

  • The materials must indicate when they were last updated or reviewed.
  • Translation dates can be easily identified, and should be within three years from the date of the original source.
  • The materials should contain no broken links, spelling or grammar errors.

Return to the MedlinePlus Health Information in Multiple Languages page.