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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

What is content syndication?

Content syndication is a free and easy way for you to include FDA’s credible, accurate public health and regulatory content on your website. Syndication technology ensures that our content is automatically pushed out to other sites as we update it. Once you place the syndication code on your site, you do not need to update the content from FDA–it will automatically be updated and available.

Content Syndication Flow

How does it work?

It is as easy as copying and pasting a small section of code from our site to yours. The technology that makes it work is an application programming interface (API), which enables you to display content from the syndicating site on your website.

Why is FDA doing this?

FDA provides this content to expand the dissemination of information to our stakeholders, including the general public. The technology is free and open to everyone.

Why should you syndicate our content?

The benefit to using our syndicated content is that you can quickly publish our content on your site. This allows you to:

  • present up-to-date content on your site without having to monitor the FDA site for new information,
  • display content from FDA, enabling you to allocate time to developing and maintaining other content on your site,
  • keep visitors on your site, rather than driving your web traffic away by linking to another site,
  • create localized or specialized pages by integrating FDA content with your content.

How should I determine what content to syndicate?

Because content syndication sounds technical, many people assume the decision to use syndicated content is a technical one. Actually, this is a communication decision that requires technology to implement. We have found that involving both communications and technology staff in the process helps support communication goals while ensuring the code is placed correctly on your site.

What is the process stakeholders use to syndicate content?

For the most part, users place full web pages of FDA-generated content on their sites. Occasionally, stakeholders use our content to complement or localize existing content by syndicating partial web pages or feeds. For example, a county health department might place FDA graphic health warning content with their state tobacco law content.

Five Stages of Content Syndication

We discovered that users adopt syndicated content in five stages:

  1. Discover the syndicated content at http://tools.fda.gov.
  2. Determine what content to syndicate.
  3. Register at http://tools.fda.gov to obtain code to syndicate content.
  4. Insert the code into the website.
  5. Maintain the syndicated content.

Every time content is updated by FDA it will automatically be updated on your site. While there is not much maintenance required, it is a good idea to review the content regularly to ensure it still meets your communication objectives and is updating correctly.

Where can I get the syndication code to add to my site?

The syndication code can be copied from our site using these steps:

  1. Register for the service at http://tools.fda.gov and you will receive a unique Registration ID.
  2. Browse the site to find pages you are interested in syndicating and add those pages to Syndicate Content. You can add as many pages as you want.
  3. When you are finished adding syndicated pages to Syndicate Content, select Your List in the top right navigation and then click the Get Syndication Code button.
  4. If you have not signed in yet, selecting the Get Syndication Code button will force you to sign in. If you do not have an account, then select Register and create one.
  5. When you reach the Get Syndication Code page, copy or download the code for the selected syndicated pages, follow the online instructions on that page, and add the syndicated code to your site.

How do I find a page to syndicate?

There are several ways you can locate syndicated pages on CTP’s site:

  • If you know the specific URL for a CTP Web page, copy and paste the CTP URL into the By URL box and click Search.
  • If you are interested in a particular topic (e.g. Protecting Youth from Tobacco), select the topic from the Find Content box on the content syndication main page.
  • If you do not see the topic you are interested in on the main page, select the A-Z Topic List or Advanced Search links.
  • If you are looking for additional search options, select the Find more content with Advanced Search link under “Can’t find what you’re looking for?” on the Content Syndication home page.
  • If you are interested in browsing all topics, select the A-Z Topic List Link and scroll through all the topics listed on the site.

What are FDA’s usage guidelines?

FDA has two very important requirements for syndicating content on your website:

  1. You Must Include the Source Attribution: Our feeds include the source of the content and you cannot remove it. Keeping the source attribute helps to boost the credibility of the content on your site.
  2. You Cannot Alter or Distort the Content’s Meaning: Significantly changing the format and layout can risk changing how your audience understands the content and may pose problems when we make updates to the content on our site. Please make sure content and layout adjustments you make do not change the content’s meaning.

What if I do not see the page I want to syndicate?

This is a pilot project and only a select number of tobacco-related pages are currently available for syndication. If you would like to see other pages syndicated, please request a page to be syndicated. Currently, we are only able to syndicate tobacco content at FDA, but in the near future we will be able to syndicate much more content, so please let us know what content you are interested in syndicating.