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Public Health

Guide to selected resources in Public Health.

Finding Op-Eds

What is an Op-Ed?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, an op-ed is "An essay in a newspaper or magazine that gives the opinion of the writer and that is written by someone who is not employed by the newspaper or magazine" and stands for opposite editorial.  Op-Eds are sometimes referred to as Opinions and/or Commentary.  

Historically, op-eds were written and published by newspapers, but over time other print and online media outlets such as magazines, journals, blogs, wikis, etc. began including these types of editorials.

Not all opinion pieces are called "op-eds" and are often labeled "Opinion", "Current Opinion", "Opinion Essay", "Guest Editorials", "Commentary", etc. Editorials and Letters to the Editor are not true opinion editorial pieces, as the former is usually written by an editorial board and the latter is a response to an item and doesn't follow op-ed guidelines.

For more information about op-eds or opinion pieces see

Search Tips

  • When searching newspaper sites and databases, check for an option to limit your search to the Opinion/Editorial section.
  • If there is no limiting option, add the words "editorial" or "commentary" or "op-ed" to your search terms (ex: abortion and editorial).
  • Remember to evaluate the credibility of all websites you use in your research.

Databases to begin with:

Blogs/Web Articles

Add to your Google search to find organizations that take controversial stands on issues (ex: abortion

Google Web Search

Major National Newspapers

Reading the opinion pages and submission requirements of leading newspapers can provide a great background for understanding how to write powerful and successful opinion editorials (op-eds). If you’re ready to try submitting to one of these papers, submission information is provided below.

Browse or search recent issues of The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Financial Times. If you are affiliated with UMD, you can get free access by logging in with your UMD directory ID and password.

More Current Newspapers through UMD Libraries

Check a list of current newspapers in the Database Finder.

Major News Aggregators

Use the search form in Nexis Uni to screen for editorials and opinions.  Follow these steps:

  1. Select All Nexis Uni. The drop-down arrow will open a form.
  2. Select News.
  3. Under Article Type choose Editorials & Opinions.

Image of Nexis Uni displaying how to find Op-Eds

In Factiva, follow these steps:

  1. Enter keywords or other subject terms.
  2. Expand Source to specify the publication.
  3. Select Subject.
  4. Expand Content Type.
  5. Select Editorials.

Watch the steps on how to find op-eds in Proquest databases.

  1. Go to
  2. Click on the Databases tab.
  3. Type in Proquest Public Health and click Search.
  4. Click on Public Health (ProQuest)
  5. Click on Change databases and check the box next to Select all. Then click Use selected databases.
  6. Enter keywords in search boxes.
  7. Scroll down and check the boxes next to:
    • Source Type section - Newspapers
    • Document type section - Commentary and Editorial
  8. Click Search and explore the results for op-eds

Writing and Submitting Op-Eds

Regional or local newspapers are great choices for submitting op-eds. The Op-Ed Project provides information for over 100 top online and print publications in the country.

Columbia University’s Earth Institute has a section, Writing and Submitting an Opinion Piece with guidance, tips, and tricks on how to write and submit an opinion piece.

Evaluating News Sources