HNFE 3224 Research Resources: Evaluating Information

Basic Evaluation Criteria

As you decide which resources to include in your research, here are some things to think about:

Authority:  Who wrote it?  What sort of expertise do they have in this area?

Coverage:  Is it relevant to your topic?  

Objectivity:  Is there any bias?  If so, how much?

Accuracy:  Is the information correct?  Is it in alignment with other research findings or articles?  

Currency:  When was your resource produced?  Does this matter for your topic?  

Evaluating Health Communications

While you are probably familiar with the basic evaluation criteria in the box to the left, you may want to look for different things when creating, and evaluating, health communications in social media (Facebook posts, blogs, Twitter, etc.). 

The CDC Clear Communication Index (Index) is a new research-based tool to plan and assess public communication materials. The 4 questions and 20 items in the Index are drawn from the scientific literature in communication and related disciplines. The items represent the most important characteristics to enhance clarity and aid people’s understanding of information.

The Index provides a numerical score on a scale of 100 so that developers of communication products can objectively assess and improve materials based on the best available science.

The Index assesses materials in seven areas.

  • main message and call to action
  • language
  • information design
  • state of the science
  • behavioral recommendations
  • numbers
  • risk