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Consumer Health Resources

Evaluating Health Resources

Evaluating online health information 

SIFT Strategy

 Sometimes you need to evaluate information that you read online. The SIFT Strategy is a process that can guide you when evaluating a source.

  1. Stop.  This is to remind yourself to check whether you know & trust the website. If not, use the other moves to get a sense of what you are looking at. 
  2. Investigate the Source. Try to find out who created the information before you even begin to read the article. 
  3. Find Trusted Coverage. Can you find coverage on the topic from a source you do trust? 
  4. Trace Claims, Quotes, and Media Back to the Original Context. Often a quote or image is stripped of any context or sources. In this case try to find where it originally came from.

This is a very watered down version of the SIFT strategy taken from: Four Moves and a Habit by Mike Caulfield; Liz Delf; Rob Drummond; and Kristy Kelly. You should really read the original source for more context.

Free and Reliable Online Health Resources


Drug, Herb, & Supplement Information

Consumer Drug Information - US Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

Includes several useful tools that provide more information about prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, current drug trials, and recalls. The FDA website includes a wealth of non-drug information too.

Daily Med

Daily Med is a database of drug label/package insert information brought to you by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) using the most recent information submitted by manufacturers to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It includes a pill identifier tool.

Drug Information Portal

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Drug Information Portal gives users a gateway to selected drug information from U.S. Government agencies.

Drugs, Herbs, & Supplements from MedlinePlus

A guide to prescription and over-the-counter medication information including herbs and supplements from the National Library of Medicine (NLM).

Herbs at a Glance - National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) "Herbs at a Glance is a series of brief fact sheets that provides basic information about specific herbs or botanicals—common names, what the science says, potential side effects and cautions, and resources for more information." The NCCIH is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS)

The ODS includes a dictionary, fact sheets, videos, and more, all related to dietary supplements. The ODS is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Talking with your doctor (worksheets)