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Consumer Health


There is a lot of health information freely available on the Internet. Some websites contain reliable, up-to-date information while others contain outdated or incorrect information. When looking for health information on the Internet, it’s important to evaluate the quality of each website offering information on your topic. The EVMS librarians recommend that you always ask yourself:

Is the website…


  • How often is information updated?
  • Has it been updated recently?
  • Is outdated information purged?


  • Does the website sell or persuade / educate or inform?
  • Are there advertisements and testimonials?
  • Is it easy to find specific information?


  • How are privacy issues handled?‌‌
  • Is there a help button?
  • Is there a tutorial available?
  • Who sponsors the site? The most common are:
    • .gov = government
    • .edu = educational institution
    • .org = nonprofit organization
    • .com = commercial company
    • .net = network


  • Is the data that underlies the conclusions presented?
  • Were established research standards used?
  • Is there an appropriate disclaimer?

Share with your Doctor?

  • What does my doctor think of the information?


*The EVMS C.A.R.E.S. tool was developed by Ruth M. Smith, MLIS

See the General Resources > Guides/Tutorials section of this guide for more helpful resources on evaluating health information found on the Internet.