URL of this page: https://medlineplus.gov/webeval/infoquality1.html

Evaluating Internet Health Information Tutorial

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Information Quality—Part 1 of 4

You now have some clues about who is publishing each site and why. But how can you tell if the information is high-quality?

Look at where the information comes from or who writes it.

Phrases like "editorial board," "selection policy," or "review process" can point you in the right direction. Let's see if these clues are provided on each Web site.

Let's go back to the "About Us" page of the Physicians Academy for Better Health Web site.

The Board of Directors reviews all medical information before it is posted on the Web site.

We learned earlier that they are trained medical professionals, usually M.D.s.

They only approve information that meets their rules for quality.

This example has their policy on their About Us page along with their Mission Statement and list of Board of Directors. This example's Editorial Policy states 'Delivering cutting-edge, reliable information is our top priority. Our board of directors reviews the material that we disseminate on this site. We are committed to providing accurate, unbiased information. We regularly review the material on our site to ensure that it is current. We will not accept advertising that conflicts with our mission. Any advertising on our site will be labeled so that it is separated from medical content.'
This example demonstrates a clearly stated policy for the quality of their information and priorities.

Let's see what information we can find on our other example website for the Institute for a Healthier Heart.

You know that a "group of individuals and businesses" is running this site. But you don't know who these individuals are, or if they are medical experts.

This example's About This Site page is where this information was found and it states 'The Institute for a Healthier Heart is run by a select group of individuals and businesses concerned with heart health.'
This example demonstrates how unclear a website's sources can be and how unclear the quality of their information can be.
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