Our Editorial Principles
Our goal is to provide you with the most trusted resource on brain supplements on the internet. On our About Us page, we explain why we built Brain Reference in frustration at the lack of trustworthy review sites. We wanted to make a resource that is unquestionably safe. One that fills our audience with confidence in the quality of information at their disposal. With this goal, our greatest asset is our integrity. If the community’s trust in us is compromised, we lose the core of what makes Brain Reference different.
The route to this goal then is obvious: protect the integrity of our reviews and information at all costs. In order to do this, we constructed a set of uncompromising editorial principles. These are the keys to the kingdom and the guardians of the company. We’ll go into details here about each one, and why it means you’re in the best place on the internet for brain supplement information.
Let’s go into more detail. Our job is to provide tools that allow you, our audience, to make sound judgments when considering purchasing brain supplements. To do this we give you facts both fully and honestly. We must never give you truths or facts that are only partially true. If there is doubt about a reference, this will be represented by us in our choice of language. For example, we will never present a fact with certainty when we have reason to believe there is doubt. This is always done to the best of our knowledge. To build on this, we take it as our responsibility to make sure that our knowledge is of the best quality possible. To do this we undertake extensive research using a rigorous process. More on this process later.
All conclusions drawn from supplements we review are our own. We make it a practice to draw conclusions based on the proper weight of the evidence available. These conclusions will be as objective and transparent as possible. As much as is appropriate, we will explain our reasoning behind conclusions, referring to specific evidence whenever possible.
One of the reasons we built Brain Reference was the way many review websites on supplements are funded. Sometimes they display banner adverts for revenue. The problem with this is the quality of what is being promoted is then outside the website’s control. We could end up in a situation where we are inadvertently promoting a product we do not recommend.
Then there’s the widely used product affiliate revenue model. We feel this is unsuitable for us because it incentivizes us to promote specific affiliate brands. Even if we try to stay impartial, the system would always reward bias. So we chose to fund the company with a different type of affiliation. With our current model, any link to any supplement purchased through Amazon is equal. All the products have the same value when purchased through our affiliate links, so there is no incentive in favoring any one over another. This allows us to stay in business with no conflict of interest. There is no room for us to use our influence for profit as the system does not reward bias. Of course, it goes without saying that we refuse any offer from companies with an incentive for favoring their product or brand.
Let’s look at how we conduct our research and what we specifically look for. For each part of the process, we look for reputable sources. When done consistently, this maintains a baseline level of quality in our content. A source is any reference we use to gather information. It may be a website, a book, clinical study or paper, or an individual. But how do we measure reputable sources? By a combination of two metrics: quality and quantity. This works on the assumption that the more sources that validate a piece of information, the more likely it is to be true. Underpinning this, the higher the quality of each source, the more likely it is to be true.
But how do we measure the quality of a source? For this we follow a procedure of investigation. We look at the reputation of the source. Are there public events that call them into question? Have there been scandals where their integrity has been compromised? Have they earned the trust of a discerning community? We look at their reliability. Have they been consistently accurate in the past? We look at their level of expertise. Is the source an individual specifically qualified in the field? As you can tell, a measure of quality is not taken lightly. It cannot be summarised by one defining feature. It must be scrutinised from multiple angles to be given weight in our reviews.
The combination of both quality and quantity is how we weigh sources. For our purposes, we’ll call this ‘believability’. If a piece of information has a large number of low-quality sources that verify it, it does not necessarily make it believable. For example, there is a large number of photographs of UFOs that are difficult to verify in terms of quality. Therefore we cannot consider it a verified fact. To get the best quality of information possible, we look to verify all the claims a manufacturer makes about their product. We do this with detailed research both online and offline, from interviewing industry professionals to testing products, to in-depth company analysis.
We use this believability to assess the brain supplements we review from multiple angles. Here are some of the criteria we use to rate products.
- Place of manufacture
- Method of manufacture
- Side Effects
- Track Record
- Speed Of Results
- Success Rate
Some of these criteria are easier to verify than others. For example, checking the cost or shipping is a matter of cross referencing websites for details and consumer reviews. However, certain stages like verifying effectiveness of ingredients is more complex and sometimes elusive. This is where the expertise and integrity of the team comes into its own.
We make sure to keep up with the standards of the community. For example, there is a shift towards topics like clean label ingredients. We make sure to investigate the ingredients lists of products and match it to increasingly popular standards like these. If there are high quantities of processed or red flag ingredients, we make sure to bring it to the attention of our audience in the review. There are several trends emerging in the supplement industry like the use of fillers in place of active ingredients, and modern processing methods like micronization (the process of making an ingredient or particle smaller for greater efficacy). It’s our job to stay ahead of the industry and bring the truth to our readers on new topics of high concern like these.
This brings us to the other essential ingredient: our audience. One of the most important factors that makes Brain Reference stand out from the other online resources is our active community. Together, your feedback and individual experience on products adds up to a sophisticated database of experience rich information. Combined with our rigorous editorial principles, this makes Brain Reference an extraordinary resource for helping you make sound decisions when considering brain supplements. So thank you for being the final important part in our mission for bringing a new standard of integrity to the brain supplement industry. We are proud of what we’ve been able achieve so far, and we’re excited for what we will continue to build with your support.
Please write to us with any questions or concerns on our Contact Us page here.