Skip to Main Content

Health Care Assistant

This guide will help students with Health Care Assistant research in the OC Library collection and on the Internet.

Understanding how false news can spread

Tavlin, N.. (August 27, 2015). How false news can spread - Noah Tavlin. TED-Ed.

Evaluating Sources & Critical Thinking

The Internet contains millions of web pages and more information than a single person could ever process. People are very reliant on digital content for their news and entertainment. When people get their information from online news outlets, social media, and online publications, it can be difficult to identify biased or inaccurate sources. You may need to review multiple sources to confirm information or seek out original sources to verify information. 

Questions to consider when evaluating your sources

  • Is it relevant to your topic?
  • Are there clues that tell you the author is an expert on the content?
  • Does the information advocate for a particular stance or from a specific angle?
  • Who created this information?
  • Is there evidence for any claims made or facts presented?
  • Are there links to original sources or references?
  • Why was this information created?
  • Whose voice does this information represent and amplify?
  • Is the information timely, or does it need to be? Is it historical information?
  • Who is the audience the content was written for? Is it overly simplified or overly complicated?
  • Can you find other reliable sources that corroborate the information?
  • Are there better sources that exist on this topic?

Evaluating Health information from MEDLINE Plus and from the National Library of Medicine


Spotting misleading information

Leek, J. & McGowan, L. (May 21, 2019). Can you spot the problem with these headlines? TED-Ed.

Scholarly Versus Academic Sources

The Internet and the Library make it is easy to find information, but it is more difficult to identify sources you can rely on. Evaluate your sources carefully to ensure you've selected material that is trustworthy and appropriate for your assignment.

Scholarly Academic Publications

  • Written by an expert in the field of study (an academic or trained specialist)
  • Date of publication is provided
  • Publisher may be Colleges/Universities, professional associations, scholarly publishers + research institutes
  • Purpose of the article or publication is to report on experiments, theories, case studies + other research
  • Editing is conducted through the peer review process, by experts in the field
  • Sources are used in the author's research are cited in a reference list or footnotes

Popular Publications

  • Written by those without expertise in the field (a member of the public or journalist) or no author is stated
  • Popular publications, especially WWW publications, often do not give a date of publication
  • Published by commercial for-profit publishers or members of the public
  • Purpose of the publication is to sell advertised products, inform, promote a point of view or entertain
  • Review of content is by a generalist (a magazine editor) or no review
  • Sources are rarely cited or are inaccurate Other Accurate spelling + grammar, few advertisements, logical + well written Spelling + grammar errors may occur, many advertisements, poor or variable writing quality
The type of source you need will depend on:
  • Information need: How you intend to use a source will help you determine the kind of authority and/or credibility you give a source.
  • Information source context: Where it came from, its audience, format, and how it is used--help determine its authority and appropriateness.

Information need timeline diagram

Image indicating not to believe everything online

Strategies to Evaluate Information

What do they all have in common?

  • What do they say about audience? Author? Perspective/bias? Credibility? Date? Publication Details? Relevance?

Inform your thinking about resources

OkStateLibrary. (June 10, 2016). Inform your thinking: Episode 2- Who do you trust and Why?

This site is maintained by the librarians of Okanagan College Library.
If you wish to comment on an individual page, please contact that page's author.
If you have a question or comment about Okanagan College Library's LibGuides site as a whole, please contact the site administrator.