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WHSL Evaluating Web Sites for Health Information: Accuracy

A brief guide showing how to evaluate web sites used to provide health information

Criteria

The following criteria can be used to evaluate web sites:

  • Authority
  • Accuracy
  • Objectivity
  • Currency
  • Coverage

How Accurate is the Content?

Work through these examples to determine whether the content of these sites is accurate:

Accuracy

How factual or accurate is the content of the site?

How can you assess the accuracy of factual content? Often, if the content is mispelled and the grammar is poor, this is an indication that the content might also be suspect. Does the information given correspond with what you have learnt from other sources?

Does the web site refer to or cite other sources of information or statistics? How accurate are these references?

Do the hyperlinks work? Are the links updated regularly, or do these lead to error screens?

Accuracy is often linked to authority - who is/are the author/s of the site and what are their credentials?