This web site was copied prior to January 20, 2005. It is now a Federal record managed by the National Archives and Records Administration. External links, forms, and search boxes may not function within this collection. Learn more.   [hide]
Skip navigation
MedlinePlus Trusted Health Information for You U.S. National Library of MedicineNational Institutes of Health
Contact Us FAQs Site Map About MedlinePlus
español Home Health Topics Drug Information Medical Encyclopedia Dictionary News Directories Other Resources

MedlinePlus Guide to Healthy Web Surfing

What should you look for when evaluating the quality of health information on Web sites? Here are some suggestions based on our experience.

Consider the source--Use recognized authorities

Know who is responsible for the content.

Focus on quality--All Web sites are not created equal

Does the site have an editorial board? Is the information reviewed before it is posted?

Be a cyberskeptic--Quackery abounds on the Web

Does the site make health claims that seem too good to be true? Does the information use deliberately obscure, "scientific" sounding language? Does it promise quick, dramatic, miraculous results? Is this the only site making these claims?

Look for the evidence--Rely on medical research, not opinion

Does the site identify the author? Does it rely on testimonials?

Check for currency--Look for the latest information

Is the information current?

Beware of bias--What is the purpose? Who is providing the funding?

Who pays for the site?

Protect your privacy--Health information should be confidential

Does the site have a privacy policy and tell you what information they collect?

Consult with your health professional--Patient/provider partnerships lead to the best medical decisions.

For further information

Visit the MedlinePlus page on Evaluating Health Information.