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Misinformation and health

A cross-journal collection

New Content ItemThe spread of false or misleading health information, now a major public health concern, has become more pronounced in the last two decades with the help of the social media ecosystem and has been highlighted most recently by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although many consequences of misinformation are immediately apparent, it also carries with it the danger of more insidious effects. With this in mind, and with more and more people turning to the internet in search of health information, misinformation requires greater action from those working in public health research, policy and practice.

This collection calls for papers including but not limited to those which aim to: 

  • Assess health misinformation trends and prevalence
  • Understand the interactive mechanisms and factors that make it possible to spread health misinformation through social media
  • Determine the impact of social media tools in the dissemination of health misinformation and on the development and reproduction of unhealthy or dangerous behaviors
  • Assess which strategies are best in combating and reducing the negative impact of health misinformation
  • Determine how individuals interact with health misinformation online
  • Understand psychological drivers on susceptibility to misinformation
  • Explore the characteristics of vulnerable populations to misinformation
  • Understand how misinformation exacerbates cyberchondria and other mental health problems
  • Understand misinformation in global health crises
  • Investigate the impact of misleading research on policy decisions
  • Understand how health research and policy can be used to minimize harms from misinformation
  • Propose approaches, tools and innovations in knowledge translation to provide reliable and quality information to meet policy and public needs

We encourage authors to visit the websites listed below of each individual journal within this collection, for information on criteria and suitability of their manuscript before deciding where to submit. Please also indicate clearly in the covering letter that the manuscript is to be considered for this collection.

Participating journals

For more information about each participating journal, including article-processing charges, click on its title below. After submitting to a participating journal, each article will undergo that journal's full standard peer review process.

Submission deadline: April 7th 2023

  1. Probiotics have been deemed multipotent and unprecedentedly applied in the health field recently. However, there are challenges in promoting credible and reliable resources while avoiding misinformation regard...

    Authors: Chun-Hui Jiang, Jia-Jia Xu, Chao Xu, Shi-Yue Chen, Jia-Yun Chen, Jing-Song Xia, Zhuan Liao, Wen-Bin Zou and Xue Fang
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2023 23:574
  2. Tackling infodemics with flooding misinformation is key to managing the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet only a few studies have attempted to understand the characteristics of the people who believe in misinformation.

    Authors: Sooyoung Kim, Ariadna Capasso, Shahmir H. Ali, Tyler Headley, Ralph J. DiClemente and Yesim Tozan
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2022 22:2114
  3. People increasingly use the Internet to seek health information. However, the overall quality of online health information remains low. This situation is exacerbated by the unprecedented “infodemic”, which has...

    Authors: Wenjing Pian, Laibao Lin, Baiyang Li, Chunxiu Qin and Huizhong Lin
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2022 22:2001
  4. For decades, corporate undermining of scientific consensus has eroded the scientific process worldwide. Guardrails for protecting science-informed processes, from peer review to regulatory decision making, hav...

    Authors: Genna Reed, Yogi Hendlin, Anita Desikan, Taryn MacKinney, Emily Berman and Gretchen T. Goldman
    Citation: Journal of Public Health Policy 2021 42:318