There are six broad criteria for evaluation of health information you find on the web. They are: Credibility, Content, Disclosure, Links, Design and Interactivity. Each of the criteria is described in more depth in the boxes below. These criteria were originally defined in Policy Paper: Assessing the quality of health information on the internet published in 1998. Variations on the criteria have been used widely ever since.
Another good practice is to look for the HONCode Certificate symbol. The Health on the Net Foundation grants this certificate to health sites who comply with ethical and trustworthy practices
And as a general rule of thumb when looking for health information, stick to reputable sites from educational instututions, government sources, and health related associations and societies.
Credibility involves consideration of information source, currency, relevancy and editorial review process.
Content should be accurate and complete, with an appropriate disclaimer provided.
Disclosure requires that a site inform users about any collection of data about them while at the site, and how that data will be used.
Especially critical to the quality of a site are its external links that will lead readers to other authoritative sources.
Design does not affect the quality of the content however it can have significant effects on the delivery and use of the information.
Interactivity does not affect the quality of the content however it is important to provide contact information and feedback options on the site