Evaluating Health Information

Visit the Health Information section of this Public Libraries Guide for selected quality health information resources. 

Tools to Evaluate Health Information

An enormous amount of health information is available online including the news, social media, and websites. It can be stressful and overwhelming trying to figure out what are good sources of information. Several tools to evaluate health information are available to help you and your patrons.

Evaluating Health Information
MedlinePlus provides a list of vetted resources all in one webpage.

Trust It or Trash It,
This tool provides 3 simple questions help to critically evaluate health information. The Genetic Alliance video tells you more. Though the date on the website is older, the information remains useful.

Find Good Health Information
The Medical Library Association includes information for patients and the public to help guide them in finding quality health information resources.

Health Misinformation Checklist
This handy checklist is part of the U.S. Surgeon General's Community Toolkit for Addressing Health Misinformation which is listed further down this webpage.

Online Health Information: Is It Reliable?
This NIH National Institute on Aging information webpage addresses websites, social media, apps, and more and is helpful for all ages.

How To Evaluate Health Information on the Internet: Questions and Answers
More than just a checklist, this NIH Office of Dietary Supplements fact sheet uses a Q&A format to address health information evaluation.

Finding and Evaluating Online Resources
The NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health offers guidance starting off with what is most important to know and then provides more in-depth information as you scroll down the webpage. 

Health Misinformation Toolkit

The Surgeon General’s Community Toolkit for Addressing Health Misinformation provides specific guidance and resources for health care providers, educators, librarians, faith leaders, and trusted community members to understand, identify, and stop the spread of health misinformation in their communities. It includes:

  • Lessons
  • Activities
  • Infographics
  • Checklist to evaluate information
  • Tips to talk to friends, family, and your community

Additional Information Evaluation Tools 

Note, some of these tools may focus more on students or researchers. However, they are still helpful to use for evaluating health information. 

SIFT (The Four Moves): 

CRAAP Test: 

RADAR Framework: 

Evaluating News Stories:

  • International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) infographic, How To Spot Fake News
  • In November 2020 the American Library Association made available the toolkit, Media Literacy in the Library: A Guide for Library Practitioners, to aid and support libraries in addressing news questions and to help increase the media literacy of their communities.
  • American Library Association’s Evaluation Resources is a collection of resources for librarians to use to equip students and the public to identify reliable sources of news and other information. 
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