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Evaluating Health Websites
Consider the following when searching online:
- Who is providing the content?
- Why are they providing this information?
- Where does the information come from?
- Is it up-to-date?
- How is the site funded?
- Is there advertising on the site, and, if so, is it clearly labeled?
The language in scientific articles has a neutral tone. Credible medical information will never have inflammatory or sensationalized language. If a claim touts a "miracle cure" or "is guaranteed to work," look elsewhere.
Additional Sources for Evaluation
Health News Review
Tips for analyzing studies, medical evidence and health care claims
Know the Science
Information and resources from the NIH to help you better understand and evaluate health information in the news and online.
Finding and Evaluating Online Resources
Includes health information found through social media and mobile apps. Evaluation techniques targeted at general as well as complementary (alternative) health information.
Evaluating Health Information Online
Resources on evaluation through various modes: interactive tutorials, video, statistics, journal articles, and patient handouts.
Both of these ebooks suggest related articles in PubMed.
Know Your Chances
Better understand health information by learning about the numbers behind the messages.
Smart Health Choices
Make sense of health information found through the media, from friends, and from health practitioners.
A Quality Source
- is run by experts
- has a clearly stated purpose
- labels advertising
- reviews information before posting it
- explains the sources of data and research
- is up-to-date
- will not share personal information
Health on the Internet (HONcode)
Look for the HONcode, Health on the Internet, when searching for information online. When the HONcode is displayed, it demonstrates that the website shows a consistent commitment to providing quality health information.