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Responsible Web Searching
The ease and convenience of web searching makes the Internet the likely first place to look.
This page give pointers toward credible web resources to search first for quality information.
But the Web is not the only place to go to: peer-reviewed articles, books, and professionals are key resources, too.
The Health on the Net Foundation Code of Conduct (HONcode) certification helps you identify reliable and credible Web sources of health and medical information.
While HON doesn't guarantee the accuracy of a site's medical information, HONcode certification indicates that the website's developers have agreed to basic ethical standards in presenting information. These include
- Financial Disclosure
- Advertising Policy
About 7,300 sites are HONcode members. Most are US sites but the percent of non-US sites is growing. Examples include (check for the HONcode symbol located at the bottom of the home page):
To speed up your search experience, consider
Top Ten Websites to Try First
The Medical Library Association recommends these as the most useful sites for health consumers:
From the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
A major US federal agency that works to help people and communities "protect their health – through health promotion, prevention of disease, injury and disability, and preparedness for new health threats"
"operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), a national medical organization representing more than 100,300 family physicians, family practice residents and medical students. All of the information on this site has been written and reviewed by physicians and patient education professionals at the AAFP"
"resources on a wide range of health topics selected from over 1,600 government and non-profit organizations"
"Comprehensive, up-to-date information on HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention, and policy from the University of California San Francisco"
Part of The Nemours Foundation's Center for Children's Health Media, which in turn is part of the Nemours Foundation, "a nonprofit organization created by philanthropist Alfred I. duPont in 1936 and devoted to improving the health of children."
Calls itself "a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life."
"the National Institutes of Health's Web site for patients and their families and friends. Produced by the National Library of Medicine, it brings you information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues in language you can understand. MedlinePlus offers reliable, up-to-date health information, anytime, anywhere, for free."
"features basic health and wellness information for older adults from the National Institutes of Health"