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Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons

SMS 351: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

Getting Started

Elicit Information - How might I use keywords/concepts to construct a search?  What type of resources do I need and how many?

Background Information on Health and Wellness Topics
There are a number of web pages available which are excellent sources of background information for health and wellness topics. These include the Merck Manuals and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and MedlinePlus web sites.
The CDC and MedlinePlus web sites are government web sites offering high quality information on a variety of health topics. Besides being a clearinghouse of reputable consumer health information, MedlinePlus also contains a medical dictionary, drug directory and a many other useful tools. The CDC web page has an A-Z index of health topics and contains public health statistics for the United Stated. Last, the Merck Manuals are standard directories on a wide variety of health topics.
Critical Evaluation of Web Pages
The information on the CDC, MedlinePlus, and Merck web sites tends to be of high quality. However, if you're doing a Google search, you might need to be a bit more careful on the quality of the information presented. 
When using Google for broad searches, CRAAP it out.  
  • When was the information published or last updated?
  • Have more recent articles been published on your topic?
  • Does your topic change rapidly (Popular culture, technology)?
  • Does the source add something new to your knowledge of the topic?
  • Is the information too technical or simplified for you to use? 
  • Does the information meet the requirements of the assignment?
  • What are the Author's credentials?

  • Is the author affiliated with an educational institution or prominent organization?

  • Is the relationship between the author and the institution clear?

  • Can you find information about the author from the source?

  • Are there statements you know to be false? 
  • Is it free from errors - spelling, punctuation, or grammar?
  • Are there links to other reliable sources?
  • Is there an obvious bias or prejudice?  

  • Are alternate points of view presented? 

  • Is the author's purpose to sell, persuade, entertain or sell?


Domain Names

Domain Sample Address
.edu = educational institution
.gov = US government site
.org = organization or association
.com = commercial site
.museum = museum
.net = personal or other site




Health and Wellness Websites