Finding Health Information You Can Trust

November’s CivicJess Challenge focuses on how to find reliable health information online.

CivicJess offers information and activities on issues facing the Jessamine County community and beyond. Inform yourself and earn badges along the way. Plus, participating allows you to earn entries in our monthly drawings for a $50 Amazon gift card. Register and get started on Beanstack.

Evaluating Online Health Information

When you search for health information in print books at JCPL, you can be sure that a librarian has carefully evaluated the source. But anyone can create a health website. So, how can you tell if the information is reliable?

MedlinePlus, a website from the U.S. National Library of Medicine, suggests you consider the following:

Provider. Who is in charge of the website? Why are they providing the site? Can you contact them?

Funding. Where does the money to support the site come from? Does the site have advertisements? Are they labeled?

Quality. Where does the information on the site come from? How is the content selected? Do experts review the information that goes on the site? Does the site avoid unbelievable or emotional claims? Is it up-to-date?

Privacy. Does the site ask for your personal information? Do they tell you how it will be used? Are you comfortable with how it will be used?

Download the complete checklist from MedlinePlus.

Where to Find Reliable Health Information

The following resources are great places to start when you’re searching for general health information you can trust. Always consult your doctor about any information you find.

Find the links below the infographic.

Click on the image to make it bigger.

Consumer Health Complete

This full-text library database offers easy-to-understand health information, covering topics such as aging, cancer, diabetes, drugs and alcohol, fitness, nutrition, children’s health, men’s and women’s health, etc. Access it from the databases page of our website. View a tutorial.

Health on the Net

Health on the Net is a nonprofit that certifies health information websites and apps using eight different criteria. You can search for HONcode certified sources directly on their website, or you can add the HONcode toolbar to your Chrome or Firefox browser to help you identify certified sites.


This online database from the U.S. National Library of Medicine provides health and drug information on a variety of topics. Many resources are provided in both English and Spanish.