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Outreach @ the Bird Library: Selection Tips

Consult this guide for a list of outreach services provided by the Bird Health Sciences Library, helpful hints for evaluating health information resources, and some favorite web sites providing free, authoritative health information for consumers.


MedlinePlus Logo

MedlinePlus is designed to help you find appropriate, authoritative consumer health information.

Resources include:


The National Library of Medicine follows these guidelines when selecting materials for MedlinePlus:


Quality, authority, and accuracy of health content

  • The organization's mission must relate to the goals of MedlinePlus.
  • The organization must provide accurate, science-based information that complements or enhances the government information found on MedlinePlus.
  • The source of the content is established, respected, and dependable. The organization publishes a list of advisory board members or consultants on the site.
  • The information provided is appropriate to the audience level, well-organized, and easy to use.
  • MedlinePlus links to original content. MedlinePlus does not link to information reproduced from other web sites.
  • Lists of links are evaluated/reviewed/quality-filtered.


The primary purpose of the web page is educational and not to sell a product or service. Most content is available at no charge.

  • MedlinePlus requires a clear differentiation between content and advertising. There should be an advertising policy on the site. Advertisers or sponsors must not play a role in selecting or editing health information.
  • MedlinePlus will exclude organizations and web resources if presentation or content could lead a reasonable user to infer endorsement of products or services.
  • MedlinePlus provides links to directories to help users find health professionals, services, and facilities. NLM does not endorse or recommend the organizations that produce these directories or the individuals or organizations that are included in the directories.


Availability and maintenance of the web site

  • The web site is consistently available and maintains its links to outside sources.
  • The source for the contents of the web page(s) and the entity responsible for maintaining the web site (webmaster, organization, creator of the content) is clear.
  • Information is current or an update date is included.
  • Registration is not required to view the information on the site.


Special features

  • The site provides unique information on the topic with a minimum of redundancy and overlap between resources.
  • The site contains special features such as graphics/diagrams, glossary, or other unique information.
  • The content of the site is accessible to persons with disabilities.


Source: This information was excerpted from: