Some of the content on MedlinePlus is in the public domain (not copyrighted), and other content is copyrighted and licensed specifically for use on MedlinePlus. There are different rules for linking to and using content that is in the public domain and content that is copyrighted. These rules are described below.
Content that is not copyrighted
Works produced by the federal government are not copyrighted under U.S. law. You may reproduce, redistribute, and link freely to non-copyrighted content, including on social media.
MedlinePlus information that is in the public domain includes the following areas, in both English and Spanish:
- MedlinePlus homepage
- Summaries on health topic pages
- Medical test information
- Summaries on Genetics pages, including health condition, gene, and chromosome pages and the Help Me Understand Genetics handbook.
- Illustrations with the "U.S. National Library of Medicine" watermark and credit.
- Healthy recipes
- MedlinePlus videos
- Tutorials: Understanding Medical Words and Evaluating Health Information
Please acknowledge MedlinePlus as the source of the information by including the phrase "Courtesy of MedlinePlus from the National Library of Medicine" or "Source: MedlinePlus, National Library of Medicine." You can also use the following text to describe MedlinePlus:
MedlinePlus brings together authoritative health information from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies and health-related organizations.
MedlinePlus provides downloadable XML data via its web service and XML files. These services, which are designed for use by web developers, allow you to easily display, customize, and repurpose MedlinePlus data.
If you want to link patients or healthcare providers from electronic health record (EHR) systems to relevant MedlinePlus information, use MedlinePlus Connect. You are welcome to link to and display the data provided by these services.
Additional information from NLM about copyright is available here.
Other content on MedlinePlus is copyrighted, and NLM licenses this material specifically for use on MedlinePlus. Copyrighted materials are labeled, generally near the bottom of the page, with the copyright holder and date of copyright.
The following materials on MedlinePlus, in both English and Spanish, are protected by U.S. copyright laws:
- Any content from the A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia, including but not limited to articles and videos
- Drug monographs from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
- Herb and supplement monographs from Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database
- Images, illustrations, and photos, except those noted above, may be copyright protected
Users of MedlinePlus are directly and solely responsible for complying with copyright restrictions and are expected to adhere to the terms and conditions defined by the copyright holder. Transmission, reproduction, or reuse of protected material, beyond that allowed by the fair use principles of the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners. U.S. fair use guidelines are available from the Copyright Office at the Library of Congress.
You may not ingest and/or brand the copyrighted content found on MedlinePlus in an EHR, patient portal, or other health IT system. To do so, you must license the content directly from the information vendor. (See below for vendor contact information.)
It is allowable to make single direct links to the materials listed above. For example, you may share a link on social media using the share buttons or e-mail a link for personal use.
Contact information for copyright holders of licensed content on MedlinePlus
- A.D.A.M., Inc.: https://www.adam.com/contact.html
Drug and Supplement Information
- American Society of Health-System Pharmacists: https://www.ashp.org/Contact-Us/
- Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer: https://info.therapeuticresearch.com/contact-customer-support
Images, illustrations, logos, and photos
- Images on Health Topic pages attributed to A.D.A.M.: https://www.adamimages.com/ContactUs
- Images on Health Topic and Genetics pages attributed to government agencies, other organizations, or individuals may be copyright protected: Consult the specified source of the original image.
- Images on Health Topic and Genetics pages with no attribution: These are stock images licensed expressly for MedlinePlus; you may not reproduce or redistribute these images.
- NLM Logos Policy
You may not frame or manipulate web addresses (URLs) so that MedlinePlus pages appear on a URL other than www.nlm.nih.gov or medlineplus.gov. You may not give the impression or create the illusion that MedlinePlus pages are under another domain name or location.
The MedlinePlus RSS feeds are for personal use only. They may contain licensed content and, therefore, NLM cannot grant you permission to use the MedlinePlus RSS feeds on your web site or information services.