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by Jim Gearhart

Top Ten Blogs and Sites for Research News

Where do you go for news or comments about health care and clinical research? Developments can seem obscure to anyone who is not immersed in the field, which often gets little general coverage until something major suddenly calls attention to it. But even when mainstream coverage moves on, plenty that can affect health and research continues to happen. Finding good sources for what’s new or important can help us stay informed.

With that in mind, I thought I would share my ten favorite blogs and news sites about clinical research, research ethics, and health care. I’ve listed them below, in no particular order, but divided between blogs and news sites. I’ve distinguished between the two by categorizing blogs as coming from writers who tend to comment on one topic at a time and add their own perspectives, and news sites as pages that compile and curate numerous stories but provide less commentary.  Sometimes the difference between the two can be a matter of degree, but all of these sites help feed an appetite for news.



  • The NIH Director’s Blog
    National Institutes of Health Director ,Dr. Francis Collins, draws on a seeming bottomless reservoir of NIH discoveries to share a steady stream of insights.
  • Pharmalot
    Journalist Ed Silverman maintains a lively and informed blog about happenings in the pharmaceutical industry. In November, Pharmalot moved its virtual residence from the Wall Street Journal to STAT (see below).
  • The Incidental Economist
    A group of incisive analysts dissect trends in health care. In addition to challenging conventional wisdom, this blogger team also shares cartoons, visits county fairs, and assesses the state of video games.
  • LillyPad
    Worthwhile distractions a-plenty here. Eli Lilly has a cadre of bloggers exploring clinical trials, innovations, patient advocacy, and more.
  • PRIM&R
    Researchers and ethics committee members alike recognize PRIM&R as a primary resource for research ethics. PRIM&R’s blog Ampersand tracks trends in the ethics of animal and human subject research (In full disclosure, I probably should note I had the chance to guest blog for Ampersand during PRIM&R’s 2014 Advancing Ethics in Research conference. It was a great experience.)


  • CenterWatch
    CenterWatch keeps close eyes on events in clinical research. Its weekly newsletter, monthly newsletter, and news summaries by email provide timely updates and analysis.
  • STAT
    A new favorite. Boston Globe Media established this source of health news in late 2015 and already STAT is providing thorough, interesting articles on a variety of topics from a scary-talented group of writers.
  • Kaiser Health News
    This site provides extensive coverage of health care and research developments. My favorite feature of its Morning Briefing is a compilation of editorials from around the country, which gathers multiple perspectives on the news in one place.
  • NPR Shots
    National Public Radio picks up some of the most intriguing developments in health care and research.
  • Politico
    This news site for political junkies also tracks health care policies. Its daily emails provide useful updates and entertaining commentary from the intersection of politics and health.

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