Finding & Evaluating Information Online

There is so much information available online that it can be overwhelming, and tricky to understand if what you are accessing is trusted information.  This content provides you with tips and guidance to get you started, along with links to trusted information sources.

Essential Checks

If you’re visiting a health website for the first time, these questions can support you in deciding if this is a helpful resource.

READ IT! a 30 second read

  Who runs the Web site, and are they a trusted source?  
            Look out for trusted logos and official sites to help you navigate.

  What information is the site giving and does it makes claims which seem too good to be true?  
            If you're unsure, always check first.

  When was the information posted/reviewed? Is it up-to-date?

  Where did the information come from? Is it based on trusted evidence or research?  
             See the coloured box below, 'your library', for more help you with this

  Why does the site exist? Is it providing guidance or support, or is it's purpose to sell you something?

WATCH IT! a short (under 2 mins) video 
Open University

Your library

Your organisation's library (or city library), can show you how to undertake literature searches, find evidence & critically evaluate information. Get in touch directly to make use of this fabulous resource

NHS Evidence for healthcare information

Freely accessibly on the web, this resource searches for available material online which has been quality assessed by our “NICE” colleagues.

Using Wikipedia

Whilst Wikipedia can be useful, anyone can edit it so the information is not 100% trustworthy. Wikipedia states, “We do not expect you to trust us.” It adds that it is “not a primary source” and that “because some articles may contain errors,” you should “not use Wikipedia to make critical decisions.”

Turning your research question into a search strategy

Whatever your reason for reviewing literature and evidence, you will need a search strategy.  Below is a short (under 2 mins) video from the University of Leeds, giving basic guidelines for a search strategy.

Your city or organisation library can also offer assistance should you need further support.