When searched thoroughly, the Internet can be a good resource. It contains millions of websites and government documents dedicated to nursing and health-related topics. Use the Internet:
- to find current news and information
- to find information from all levels of government
- to find both expert and popular opinions
However assessing the accuracy or credibility of the content can be challenging. Here are some basic tips on evaluating a website:
♦ What does the domain name tell you?
- .gov indicates it's a government website (www.irs.gov)
- .edu is for educational or college/university websites (www.broward.edu)
- .org is for non-profits (www.redcross.org). In general, these are fairly reliable websites. However, some may contain biased or one-sided content, so be selective in your research.
- Websites that have a country code at the end .uk and .au for example, are not strictly regulated and should be evaluated further.
♦ How current is the information? Are you able to locate a date? When was the information last updated? Currency is very important, particularly when looking for statistical information or recent studies on a topic.
♦ Who authored the website/page? If there isn't an author, is there a company/organization listed? Is there contact information? If no one listed that takes responsibility for the page, you may want take that into consideration.