It can be difficult to find websites that have reliable information. Your instructors may restrict the types of websites used for a project because it can be difficult to find the author, if the site has been reviewed, or even when it was published. Anyone can add anything to the internet, so it is best to proceed with caution, especially when researching health-related topics. Here is a list of sites that contain authoritative information:
This site has information about diseases, conditions, and other public health matters.
This site has general information about health conditions, clinical trials, and updates on the latest medical research.
Medline Plus is a website created by the NIH that contains consumer-level health information about diseases/conditions, drugs, and other health-related concerns. The site also has interactive tutorials and videos.
Below you will also find a useful guide (in PDF format) to finding quality health information on the internet. The guide discusses search strategies, the best types of websites to utlize, and includes a list of recommended websites.
You can find many sources on the internet, but sometimes it can be difficult to decide if a site has quality information, or junk information. One way to critically review a website is to use the following criteria:
C: Currency: How recently was the website updated or published? Does the site even list any dates?
R: Reliability: Is the content factually-based or based on opinion? Does the site list references and quote sources?
A: Authority: Is an author listed for the site? Is the author credentialed (e.g. RN, MD, etc.)? Are there advertisements on the page? If so, are the ads related to the content of the information on the site (e.g. a critical review of over the counter pain medication with ads for Advil next to it might be suspicious).
P: Purpose or Point of View: Does the site appear to be biased? Is the site trying to sell you something?
If you are unable to answer these questions for a web site, then you should reconsider using it as a source for course assignments and research papers.