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The full web page version "Recommendations for Evaluating Online Resources: Advice for Healthcare Consumers - Part 1 " can be found at:

Evaluation Criteria for Websites
When evaluating websites, the healthcare consumer should keep 5 criteria in mind: Accuracy, Authority, Objectivity, Currency and Coverage.

1. Accuracy
  • Is the information reliable and error-free?
  • What is the purpose of the document and why was it produced?
  • Is there an editor or someone who verifies/checks the information?
  • Are references cited?
  • Can the information be verified in other sources?
  • 2. Authority

  • Who publishes the site?
  • Who is sponsoring the site? Is the publisher separate from the sponsor?
  • What institution publishes the site ?
  • What type of URL is the website? .gov, .edu, .com, .org?
  • Is the author qualified to be writing on their subject(s)?
  • Is there a way of contacting the author?
  • If the page does not include a signature or indicate a sponsor, is there another way to determine its origin?
  • 3. Objectivity

  • Does the information presented show a minimum of bias?
  • Is any potential bias acknowledged?
  • What are the goals/objectives for the site, articles?
  • What opinions (if any) are expressed by the author?
  • Is the page or site promoting a particular viewpoint?
  • Are there advertisements on the site?
  • If site is interactive, is the user informed about how information will be used?
  • 4. Currency

  • Is the information dated?
  • When was the page last revised or updated?
  • How current are existing links? Have some expired or moved?
  • 5. Coverage

  • What topics does the site cover?
  • What does this site offer that cannot be found elsewhere?
  • Is the information presented cited correctly?
  • Are there references for more information?
  • Is the material presented appropriately for the target audience?
  • Do the existing links strengthen the material or just embellish it?
  • Are the pages a balance of text and images, or it is all images?
  • Resource:
    Kapoun, Jim. "Teaching undergrads WEB evaluation: A guide for library instruction." C&RL News 
    (July/August 1998): 522-523. Available at: Leaving Site 
    Beck, Susan. "Evaluation Criteria." The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: or, Why Itís a Good Idea to Evaluate Web Sources. New Mexico State University Library. 1997. Last updated March 5, 2002. Available at: Leaving Site 
    Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences. Evaluating Web Resources: A Bibliography. Last updated Wednesday, August 29, 2001 Available at: Leaving Site 

    This material is © 2002 by Kirsti A. Dyer, MD, MS, Journey of Hearts, All rights reserved.
    A single copy can be made for personal or professional use.
    Contact Dr. Dyer at for permission to use materials from this website for other ventures.