Getting the right information

There is a lot of information out there on the internet. So how can you make sure you are getting the right information? It’s mostly about going to the right source.

Here’s a list of tips for helping to decide whether an information source is credible or not:

  • Is the content reputable? Check the source e.g. major organisations, societies, university or government departments
  • Where is the site hosted? Overseas sites may not contain information that is relevant to Australia. This is often the case with healthcare information
  • Is it fact or opinion and is it still valid today? Look at multiple sites to get a full understanding of the issue and seek out any credible research (e.g. from scientific, peer-reviewed journals) or statistics to back up the information
  • Who is the author? An author’s qualification should be related to the topic and strengthened by their affiliations
  • Are the organisation/author’s contact details available to ask further questions or confirm credibility of the author?
  • Are there links to references that support the information?
  • Is the website current?

For more information, try this booklet regarding online health information from the Department of Health, Western Australia.