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Evaluating Online Health Resources
Understanding & Using Google
What to Consider When Evaluating Websites
- Why was this website created?
- Is there an "About this Site" link? What does this tell you about the website and its creator?
- Who is the intended audience? Consumers, general public, professionals, researchers?
- Is there any obvious bias?
- When was this website last updated?
- How is the information on this website documented? For example: footnotes, citations, etc.
- What are the author's credentials?
- Who developed this website/resource? Why?
- Do they have an agenda?
- How does this site pay for its existance? Note: Advertising can lead to bias.
- If the website contains advertising, are the ads separated from the content?
- Ask yourself if the sponsors of the ads could have sponsored the research reported on the website (could show bias).
Tips for Limiting a Search to Credible Websites
Add one of the following to your search terms
Example: diabetes site:.gov
This limits your search results to government websites
Health on the Net Foundation (HONcode)
Add the term HONcode when searching for health or medical websites. This will limit your search to websites that meet the standards of HONcode.
Example: diabetes HONcode
Put Your Website Evaluation Skills to the Test
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