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Gerstein Science Information Centre

Consumer Health

This guide will help you locate and navigate resources related to consumer health and general health information. This page is intended especially for members of the public who are not affiliated with the University of Toronto.

How To Evaluate Online Health Information

When you are searching for health information online you need to consider if it is GOOD information. The below can help you evaluate the information you find.

Currency. 

  • Consider: when the information was posted? has it been updated? are the links functional?
  • Reposted old information does not make it new again!

Relevance. 

  • Consider: does the information match your topic & answer your question? who is the information intended for? is it written at the appropriate level? have you compared this source to others?

Authority.

  • Consider: Who is the author/publisher? are they real & credible? are they qualified to write on the topic? Could they have any potential bias? Are they trying to sell you something?

Accuracy.

  • Consider: where does the information come from? is there any supporting evidence (references)? is it free from spelling, & other errors?
  • Look at the supporting sources/references/evidence.
    • What type of study is the information based on?
    • If research-based: was the research done on humans?
    • How many people were involved in the study?
    • If intervention/exposure based was there a control group? Was the study randomized?
    • Does the information source match what the study assessed?

Purpose.

  • Consider: what is the purpose of the information? Are they trying to sell you anything? Is the information bias?

Consumer Health News Resources

How to spot fake news

Infographic about how to spot fake health news

Infographic by: International Federation of Library Association & Institutions (27 January 2017) How to spot fake news. CC4.0