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Updated: 14 Jan 2004

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Who Can You Trust?

With so much health information available today-- in books, articles, the news, tv, ads, infomercials, and, of course, the web-- it's invaluable to take a moment and educate yourself on how to make all this availability work for you. Taking a moment at the sites below can save you time and frustration later as you do your research.
10 Things To Know About Evaluating Medical Resources
From the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), a quick guide to help you know what to look for in medical information anywhere.

Evaluating Health Information on the Internet - from The Michigan E-Library.
At the Michigan librarians' statewide internet guide, they've compiled some great sites to educate the layperson on how to do quality health research.

Stephen Barrett M.D. is a nationally renowned author and editor on health and medical consumer advocacy. This is his well recognized, comprehensive site on quackery related questions and issues --especially on the web. You can even email further questions to staff and Dr. Barrett. For specific sections on a topic, try scrolling down the topic index on the homepage. Otherwise, try the search features.

Health Care Reality Check
Web site of the Georgia Council Against Health Fraud, Inc., a "volunteer network of healthcare professionals working to provide the public with convenient and reliable information about alternative medicine claims, products and services." A dictionary, encyclopedia of journal articles, news releases, and book reviews concerning the "victims of medical quackery".

MedlinePlus: About Your Medicines
From the National Library of Medicine. Answers to all your key medicine related questions--including the FDA's excellent Tips and Warnings for Buying Online --for guidance on using online pharmacies.

MLA Diagnosing Health Websites
The Medical Library Association's basic criteria. Included is their top ten list of health and medicine sites.

HONcode--The Health On the Net Foundation
An example of an internet watchdog organization. Websites that meet the HONcode criteria can register and have the HONcode symbol displayed on their page. You can even search their site on a web site's name to see what it's HONcode status is (if the site has gone through the honcode process). But there is no foolproof system for immediate, uniform detection of trustworthy web sites. Quackwatch has a section on HONcode's shortcomings.

T is for Thinking
From Ithaca College --an excellent guide on how to evaluate web resources in general.

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