Finding Health Information on the Internet
Select the Appropriate Search Tool
- For information found in the professional medical journal
literature, use a database such as PubMed (www.pubmed.gov) to retrieve
article citations and abstracts.
- For full text health information of a more general nature use a
quality megasite for health information such as MedlinePlus.
- For a general Internet search try a search engine such as Google
(www.google.com) or Teoma (www.teoma.com), a directory such as Yahoo
(www.yahoo.com), or a metasearch engine such as Metacrawler
For specific formats, such as video, images, or music, use a
specialized search tool or try the Advanced Search option in a search
Formulate your search
Identify keywords and phrases to express your topic.
Use the most unique terms possible to describe your subject.
- Use noun phrases whenever possible.
- Avoid common everyday terms.
- Enter the most important concept as the first word/phrase.
Evaluate Your Results
Things to Keep in Mind
Anyone can say anything on the Internet
- Any single search engine indexes only a small portion of the World
- Wide Web; there is surprisingly little overlap in results between
different search engines.
- Search engines produce results that are probably several weeks
old; for very current information try special news search tools.
- Some web sites are included in search results because they pay to
be included or to be highly ranked.