The Internet has become a major source of health information, and numerous sites offer information on a variety of topics. Some sites offer a wealth of valuable information, while others are misleading or contain incorrect information. A person unfamiliar with a topic must be careful in selecting what information she or he chooses to guide their decision making.


General indicators associated with reliable information on the Internet:

(1) The information is unbiased, without commercial or ideological slanting of information.

(2) The site is sponsored by an organization that is recognized as having expertise for the field, such as a government agency, professional medical society, university, or health organization

(3) Funding, sponsorship and commercial interests are clearly stated

(4) The information is timely and maintained for currency. The dates of posting, updating or revision are clearly stated, as well as the responsible person.

(5) Information about the site and sources is clear and easy to find.

(6) Authors or contributors are clearly identified, and ideally a mechanism for feedback is available.

(7) References and sources for information are clearly listed.

(8) Experts have reviewed the content for accuracy and completeness (validated).


Limitations - Caveat emptor.

• A commercial link or sources of secondary gain may not be stated.

• Being an expert is no guarantee that the information is correct, nor does being a nonexpert preclude a person from giving valuable insights.

• A good site for a professional may not be a good site for a person unfamiliar with the terminology or lacking the background to grasp key concepts.

• Pseudoscience can be made to sound credible.

• The truth of several statements does not guarantee the truth of all statements.

• Something that sounds too good to be true may not be true.


For the implementation I used a simple quality score that is untested.


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