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Evaluating Quality & Integrity of Online Information

Mere tools for searching the terabytes of data on the Internet, search engines cannot guarantee the quality of the information they unearth. That's up to you. Evaluate statements you encounter online with care, especially when it concerns health. Although online information may be more current than books and magazines, it is rarely well documented. It's up to you to determine its timeliness, objectivity, accuracy, and authenticity. Look for sites that are associated with an organization you recognize as reputable. Look for facts that are well substantiated and referenced; that point to supporting documentation and cite trusted sources with verifiable credentials. You should be able to identify the author, title and publisher as well as the date the information was published. Question author affiliations and site ownership. Look for a hidden agenda, bias, self-serving motives, or undue influence by advertisers. Here are some resources that can help.