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WHSL Evaluating Web Sites for Health Information: Coverage

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


The following criteria can be used to evaluate web sites:

  • Authority
  • Accuracy
  • Objectivity
  • Currency
  • Coverage

Web Site Coverage

Work through these examples to assess the coverage of each site:


Consider if the information on the web site relates directly to the topic under consideration. Is the information covered in-depth, or is it covered superficially? You should also take into account for whom the information is intended, for example, is it written from the perspective of the consumer or the patient, or is it intended for the healthcare professional?

By assessing the authority and accuracy of the site, you will also be able to answer questions relating to the web site coverage.

The Quackwatch site will alert you to dubious information on the web. Quackwatch is now an international network of people who are concerned about health-related frauds, myths, fads, fallacies, and misconduct. Its primary focus is on quackery-related information that is difficult or impossible to get elsewhere. Founded by Dr. Stephen Barrett in 1969 as the Lehigh Valley Committee Against Health Fraud (Allentown, Pennsylvania), it was incorporated in 1970. In 1997, it assumed its current name and began developing a worldwide network of volunteers and expert advisors.