The in Credible Web

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The “In” Credible Web: Evaluating the Credibility of MedlinePlus
Cecelia
Chamberlain College of Nursing
Course Number: NR 500
September 2012

The “In” Credible Web: Evaluating the Credibility of MedlinePlus
Accessing health information via the Web has become the “In” thing. According to a 2010 survey conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 74% of all U.S. adults are using the Internet, and of those accessing the Web 80% are looking for health information (Fox, 2011). This paper will evaluate the credibility of MedlinePlus at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/. This website was located using the search engine Google and was chosen for its .gov domain. According to Brenner (2005), Web addresses ending in .gov, .edu or .org offer greater authority and are more reliable sources. MedlinePlus is a health information website produced by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). This site provides a wide variety of health and wellness topics as well as interactive tools designed to educate, inform, and guide consumers and medical professionals on health related issues (NLM, 2012). The following criteria; authority, information, and objectivity, ease of navigation, and privacy and security policies will be used to evaluate and identify MedlinePlus as a credible health information resource. Furthermore, implications to nursing practice will be discussed.
Authority
Authority is consistently identified in the literature as being of the upmost importance. Identifying ownership or sponsors of a site can provide valuable insight as to the credibility of a site and its content (Golterman & Banasiak, 2011). MedlinePlus is a site developed as a public service by the NLM, and is partnered with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other reputable healthcare entities. This site is transparent providing an ‘About Us’ link providing is purpose…...

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