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Physical Therapy: Find and Assess Web Sites

Use this guide as a starting point for your research in the area of physical therapy as well as topics in general health, physiology and kinesiology.

Evaluate every A.S.P.E.C.T. of your sources of information

Use the criteria below to help you evaluate the credibility of an source of information
(especially websites!)

 

Criteria / Questions to ask about your source:

AUTHORITY

  • Is there an author’s name?
  • Can you locate the author’s credentials?
  • Does the author have expertise in the subject?
  • Has the author written similar works?
  • Who is the publisher or sponsors of the source? Is it well-known or respected?

SOURCES

  • Is the information presented as fact?
  • Does the author provide citations for those facts?
    (References, Bibliography etc.)
  • If citations are included, as they from credible sources?

PURPOSE

  • Was this source written to inform, educate, entertain, persuade or sell?
  • Does the source argue a perspective or specific opinion?
  • Is the content aimed at a general audience, or is it written for readers with expertise in the subject?
  • Is the source too basic, too technical, or too advanced for your needs?

EVENNESS

  • Does the author recognize other points of view?
  • Is the information presented objective?
  • If the source is biased, does the author acknowledge the bias?

COVERAGE

  • Is the source comprehensive or inclusive enough for your needs?
  • Does this source provide information that is relevant to your needs? Is it practical?  Is it research-based?
  • Does the source support what you have found in other sources?

TIMELINESS

  • When was the source published? Is it updated?
  • Is the date appropriate for your topic?

YouTube on Evaluating Websites

PubMed Central

PubMed Central is the government portal to freely available health information for professionals.View the tutorial below to learn how to effectively search the database. 

Search the Web

Search GOOGLE

Google Scholar Advanced for government produced info: keyword + site:.gov

for information from an education resource: keyword + site:.edu

Google Web Search

Refine your Google searches using the SITE limiter

Advanced Google Searching

Use Google Advanced Search for power searching on the general web

Note your ability to limit to one particular domain (.gov, .edu, .org):

(Click on image to enlarge)

Image of Google Advanced Search page

Assess & Compare these Web Sites

Use the worksheet linked below to assess the four websites above. 

Save your worksheet to the student drive, so you can submit it to your instructor. 

Websites

Free Web Databases
Internet Gateways for Physical Therapy
Health and Disability Statistics
Organizations

Professional Memberships

Join the American Physical Therapy Association once you are licensed and get continued access to reliable medical databases.