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PBH 622: Health Policy Analysis

Evaluating Websites and Online Resources

There is a lot of public health information available on the internet. As with any online resource, there can be quite a bit of unreliable information mixed in with accurate and useful materials. Remember to consider the source of your information and whether it can be considered a quality and reliable source. When reviewing websites for reliability, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Who sponsors the website? What gives this sponsor the authority to say what they are saying? Should you believe it? What are their credentials? Are they qualified to write on this topic?
  2. What is the purpose of the website and the sponsoring organization? Are they trying to sell, promote, educate, inform, entertain, or persuade? Be aware of bias.
  3. Is the website current and is it being maintained? Are there copyright dates or other dates indicating the age of the information? Are there broken links?


Federal Legislation

State Legislation

U.S. Data, Tools, Statistics

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

World Health Organization (WHO)

Grey Literature

"Grey literature" is made up of materials and research produced by organizations outside of traditional scholarly publishing. Examples may include:

  • Conference Proceedings
  • Technical Reports
  • Theses/Dissertations
  • Statistical Reports
  • Government Documents
  • White Papers

Although grey literature usually contains high quality, up-to-date information, it does not undergo the same peer-review process that occurs in academic or commercial publishing. Make sure to evaluate this information carefully.

Non-governmental Organizations and Other Foundations