Credible websites

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare is a credible website with useful publications to use in your assessments.  Search and set up alerts for current publications on health topics in your discipline, and find health statistics for your work.

What makes this a credible site?  The url contains .gov.au (Australian Government Department); the last updated date and responsibility are listed at the bottom of the page; the authors clearly identified, and reports are authoritatively published.

 

 

Check if the Author is qualified to write about the topic, and the Publisher and place of publication are identifiable.

Check if the Domain is likely to contain credible information:

  • .gov or .edu from government or educational institutions are valid
  • .asn or .org are used for non-commercial organisations e.g. incorporated associations, political parties professional associations.  Assess information carefully, e.g. Australian Nursing Federation anmfvic.asn.au also compare wikipedia.org with cancer.org.au

Check the Date of publication is provided, if the information is recent, or if not, still valid.  Check the Coverage in terms of time period, or level of detail in relation to the topic.  Check the Content information is not biased, and is correct in relation to information from other credible sources

Other considerations:

  • Authors not stated or qualified to write about the topic.  There may be a commercial interest, e.g. drug companies.
  • Domain name   .com, be wary of these sites as information may be presented to support commercial interests. 
  • Assess Content information which is opinion, but pretends to be fact.  Compare information from other credible sources (journal articles).  Could the information be biased by the interests of the organisation rather than information presented from research or evidence?

Search tips:

Set your preferences to retrieve La Trobe resources:  scholar.google.com

Select Settings > Library Link > add La Trobe University Library > Save

  • Use the asterisk * for example child* will find child, children, childhood, childless
  • Use quotes to search by phrase, for example "type 2 diabetes" or "social media"
  • Search sites for a credible domain, for example site:.gov or site:.edu

Try this search in Google Scholar  "patient information" "back pain" site:.gov

Search tips:

  • Use the asterisk * child* will find child, children, childhood, childless
  • Use quotes to search by phrase, for example "type 2 diabetes" or "quality of life"
  • Search sites for a credible domain, for example site:.gov or site:.edu

Try this search in Google "patient information" "back pain" site:.gov

Is Wikipedia a reliable source?