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Finding Reliable Health Information: Health Resources on the Internet

A brief how-to guide from the librarians at The University of South Dakota and Wegner Center's Health Sciences Libraries. This guide is designed for the general public.

Smart Web Surfing

  1. Consider the source -- Use recognized authorities.
  2. Focus on quality -- All Web sites are not created equal.
  3. Be a cyberskeptic -- Quackery abounds on the Web.
  4. Look for the evidence -- Rely on medical research, not opinion.
  5. Check for currency -- Look for the latest information.
  6. Beware of bias -- What is the purpose? Who is providing the funding?
  7. Protect your privacy -- Health information should be confidential.
  8. Consult with your health professional -- Patient/provider partnerships lead to the best medical decisions

Adapted from MedlinePlus Guide to Healthy Web Surfing

For more information, see

Selected Consumer Health Links

Clinical Trials
A registry of federally and privately supported clinical trials conducted in the United States and around the world. gives you information about a trial's purpose, who may participate, locations, and phone numbers for more details. This information should be used in conjunction with advice from health care professionals.

Genetics Home Reference
Consumer-friendly information about the effects of genetic variations on human health.

Household Products Database
What's under your kitchen sink, in your garage, in your bathroom, and on the shelves in your laundry room?  Learn more about what's in these products, about potential health effects, and about safety and handling.

Consumer Health Information in Many Languages
A government Web site where you will find information and tools to help you and those you care about stay healthy.  It contains a wide range of health topics selected from over 1,600 government and non-profit organizations to bring you the best, most reliable health information on the Intern


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