More than just a mouse click: Research into work practices behind the assignment of medical trust marks on the World Wide Web
Hyperlinked web trust marks have been a popular topic of discussion during the past 10 years. However, the discussion has focused mostly on what these trust marks are not doing in terms of helping patients (or other lay end users) find reliable medical information on the web. In this paper, we discuss how this focus on patients and their actions with respect to trust marks, has overshadowed, if not rendered invisible, what trust marks are doing to educate medical site/information providers. We draw on data from ethnographic research conducted at the Health on the Net Foundation in 2002 and 2003 in order to explore an alternate definition of what it means to be a 'user' of a trust mark and the importance of the review process in educating site providers. We argue that understanding the work involved in the process of assigning a seal is crucial to understanding the role that the seal plays as part of the medical internet.