Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, ISSN - 0973 - 709X

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Dr Archana Dambal

"Journal of clinical and diagnostic research is a welcome change in publishing practices. It aims to reach out to the grass-root level researchers who do not lack in experience, clinical material and ideas, but lack in their knowledge in English language and statistics. The journal achieves it's aim by supporting in these exact domains.
It also gives due credit to all research designs like descriptive and qualitative studies while many journals ignore these important study designs. The rigorous review process does not allow any compromise in quality
It is indexed in many indexing agencies and the articles are available under creative commons licence free of cost
The frequency of publication supports many aspiring authors from India and other countries.
It's wide scope welcomes articles across various specialities in medicine. In an era when there is an unscientific insistence on speciality specific research by regulatory bodies in medical education, JCDR supports collaborative research across specialities. I wish the publisher all the best in his future endeavors."



Dr. Archana Dambal
Department of General Medicine,
Belgaum Institute of Medical Sciences,Belgaum, Karnataka,INDIA,
On 30 Nov 2018




Dr Bhanu K Bhakhri

"The Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR) has been in operation since almost a decade. It has contributed a huge number of peer reviewed articles, across a spectrum of medical disciplines, to the medical literature.
Its wide based indexing and open access publications attracts many authors as well as readers
For authors, the manuscripts can be uploaded online through an easily navigable portal, on other hand, reviewers appreciate the systematic handling of all manuscripts. The way JCDR has emerged as an effective medium for publishing wide array of observations in Indian context, I wish the editorial team success in their endeavour"



Dr Bhanu K Bhakhri
Faculty, Pediatric Medicine
Super Speciality Paediatric Hospital and Post Graduate Teaching Institute, Noida
On Sep 2018




Dr Mohan Z Mani

"Thank you very much for having published my article in record time.I would like to compliment you and your entire staff for your promptness, courtesy, and willingness to be customer friendly, which is quite unusual.I was given your reference by a colleague in pathology,and was able to directly phone your editorial office for clarifications.I would particularly like to thank the publication managers and the Assistant Editor who were following up my article. I would also like to thank you for adjusting the money I paid initially into payment for my modified article,and refunding the balance.
I wish all success to your journal and look forward to sending you any suitable similar article in future"



Dr Mohan Z Mani,
Professor & Head,
Department of Dematolgy,
Believers Church Medical College,
Thiruvalla, Kerala
On Sep 2018




Prof. Somashekhar Nimbalkar

"Over the last few years, we have published our research regularly in Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research. Having published in more than 20 high impact journals over the last five years including several high impact ones and reviewing articles for even more journals across my fields of interest, we value our published work in JCDR for their high standards in publishing scientific articles. The ease of submission, the rapid reviews in under a month, the high quality of their reviewers and keen attention to the final process of proofs and publication, ensure that there are no mistakes in the final article. We have been asked clarifications on several occasions and have been happy to provide them and it exemplifies the commitment to quality of the team at JCDR."



Prof. Somashekhar Nimbalkar
Head, Department of Pediatrics, Pramukhswami Medical College, Karamsad
Chairman, Research Group, Charutar Arogya Mandal, Karamsad
National Joint Coordinator - Advanced IAP NNF NRP Program
Ex-Member, Governing Body, National Neonatology Forum, New Delhi
Ex-President - National Neonatology Forum Gujarat State Chapter
Department of Pediatrics, Pramukhswami Medical College, Karamsad, Anand, Gujarat.
On Sep 2018




Dr. Kalyani R

"Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research is at present a well-known Indian originated scientific journal which started with a humble beginning. I have been associated with this journal since many years. I appreciate the Editor, Dr. Hemant Jain, for his constant effort in bringing up this journal to the present status right from the scratch. The journal is multidisciplinary. It encourages in publishing the scientific articles from postgraduates and also the beginners who start their career. At the same time the journal also caters for the high quality articles from specialty and super-specialty researchers. Hence it provides a platform for the scientist and researchers to publish. The other aspect of it is, the readers get the information regarding the most recent developments in science which can be used for teaching, research, treating patients and to some extent take preventive measures against certain diseases. The journal is contributing immensely to the society at national and international level."



Dr Kalyani R
Professor and Head
Department of Pathology
Sri Devaraj Urs Medical College
Sri Devaraj Urs Academy of Higher Education and Research , Kolar, Karnataka
On Sep 2018




Dr. Saumya Navit

"As a peer-reviewed journal, the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research provides an opportunity to researchers, scientists and budding professionals to explore the developments in the field of medicine and dentistry and their varied specialities, thus extending our view on biological diversities of living species in relation to medicine.
‘Knowledge is treasure of a wise man.’ The free access of this journal provides an immense scope of learning for the both the old and the young in field of medicine and dentistry as well. The multidisciplinary nature of the journal makes it a better platform to absorb all that is being researched and developed. The publication process is systematic and professional. Online submission, publication and peer reviewing makes it a user-friendly journal.
As an experienced dentist and an academician, I proudly recommend this journal to the dental fraternity as a good quality open access platform for rapid communication of their cutting-edge research progress and discovery.
I wish JCDR a great success and I hope that journal will soar higher with the passing time."



Dr Saumya Navit
Professor and Head
Department of Pediatric Dentistry
Saraswati Dental College
Lucknow
On Sep 2018




Dr. Arunava Biswas

"My sincere attachment with JCDR as an author as well as reviewer is a learning experience . Their systematic approach in publication of article in various categories is really praiseworthy.
Their prompt and timely response to review's query and the manner in which they have set the reviewing process helps in extracting the best possible scientific writings for publication.
It's a honour and pride to be a part of the JCDR team. My very best wishes to JCDR and hope it will sparkle up above the sky as a high indexed journal in near future."



Dr. Arunava Biswas
MD, DM (Clinical Pharmacology)
Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmacology
Calcutta National Medical College & Hospital , Kolkata




Dr. C.S. Ramesh Babu
" Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR) is a multi-specialty medical and dental journal publishing high quality research articles in almost all branches of medicine. The quality of printing of figures and tables is excellent and comparable to any International journal. An added advantage is nominal publication charges and monthly issue of the journal and more chances of an article being accepted for publication. Moreover being a multi-specialty journal an article concerning a particular specialty has a wider reach of readers of other related specialties also. As an author and reviewer for several years I find this Journal most suitable and highly recommend this Journal."
Best regards,
C.S. Ramesh Babu,
Associate Professor of Anatomy,
Muzaffarnagar Medical College,
Muzaffarnagar.
On Aug 2018




Dr. Arundhathi. S
"Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR) is a reputed peer reviewed journal and is constantly involved in publishing high quality research articles related to medicine. Its been a great pleasure to be associated with this esteemed journal as a reviewer and as an author for a couple of years. The editorial board consists of many dedicated and reputed experts as its members and they are doing an appreciable work in guiding budding researchers. JCDR is doing a commendable job in scientific research by promoting excellent quality research & review articles and case reports & series. The reviewers provide appropriate suggestions that improve the quality of articles. I strongly recommend my fraternity to encourage JCDR by contributing their valuable research work in this widely accepted, user friendly journal. I hope my collaboration with JCDR will continue for a long time".



Dr. Arundhathi. S
MBBS, MD (Pathology),
Sanjay Gandhi institute of trauma and orthopedics,
Bengaluru.
On Aug 2018




Dr. Mamta Gupta,
"It gives me great pleasure to be associated with JCDR, since last 2-3 years. Since then I have authored, co-authored and reviewed about 25 articles in JCDR. I thank JCDR for giving me an opportunity to improve my own skills as an author and a reviewer.
It 's a multispecialty journal, publishing high quality articles. It gives a platform to the authors to publish their research work which can be available for everyone across the globe to read. The best thing about JCDR is that the full articles of all medical specialties are available as pdf/html for reading free of cost or without institutional subscription, which is not there for other journals. For those who have problem in writing manuscript or do statistical work, JCDR comes for their rescue.
The journal has a monthly publication and the articles are published quite fast. In time compared to other journals. The on-line first publication is also a great advantage and facility to review one's own articles before going to print. The response to any query and permission if required, is quite fast; this is quite commendable. I have a very good experience about seeking quick permission for quoting a photograph (Fig.) from a JCDR article for my chapter authored in an E book. I never thought it would be so easy. No hassles.
Reviewing articles is no less a pain staking process and requires in depth perception, knowledge about the topic for review. It requires time and concentration, yet I enjoy doing it. The JCDR website especially for the reviewers is quite user friendly. My suggestions for improving the journal is, more strict review process, so that only high quality articles are published. I find a a good number of articles in Obst. Gynae, hence, a new journal for this specialty titled JCDR-OG can be started. May be a bimonthly or quarterly publication to begin with. Only selected articles should find a place in it.
An yearly reward for the best article authored can also incentivize the authors. Though the process of finding the best article will be not be very easy. I do not know how reviewing process can be improved. If an article is being reviewed by two reviewers, then opinion of one can be communicated to the other or the final opinion of the editor can be communicated to the reviewer if requested for. This will help one’s reviewing skills.
My best wishes to Dr. Hemant Jain and all the editorial staff of JCDR for their untiring efforts to bring out this journal. I strongly recommend medical fraternity to publish their valuable research work in this esteemed journal, JCDR".



Dr. Mamta Gupta
Consultant
(Ex HOD Obs &Gynae, Hindu Rao Hospital and associated NDMC Medical College, Delhi)
Aug 2018




Dr. Rajendra Kumar Ghritlaharey

"I wish to thank Dr. Hemant Jain, Editor-in-Chief Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR), for asking me to write up few words.
Writing is the representation of language in a textual medium i e; into the words and sentences on paper. Quality medical manuscript writing in particular, demands not only a high-quality research, but also requires accurate and concise communication of findings and conclusions, with adherence to particular journal guidelines. In medical field whether working in teaching, private, or in corporate institution, everyone wants to excel in his / her own field and get recognised by making manuscripts publication.


Authors are the souls of any journal, and deserve much respect. To publish a journal manuscripts are needed from authors. Authors have a great responsibility for producing facts of their work in terms of number and results truthfully and an individual honesty is expected from authors in this regards. Both ways its true "No authors-No manuscripts-No journals" and "No journals–No manuscripts–No authors". Reviewing a manuscript is also a very responsible and important task of any peer-reviewed journal and to be taken seriously. It needs knowledge on the subject, sincerity, honesty and determination. Although the process of reviewing a manuscript is a time consuming task butit is expected to give one's best remarks within the time frame of the journal.
Salient features of the JCDR: It is a biomedical, multidisciplinary (including all medical and dental specialities), e-journal, with wide scope and extensive author support. At the same time, a free text of manuscript is available in HTML and PDF format. There is fast growing authorship and readership with JCDR as this can be judged by the number of articles published in it i e; in Feb 2007 of its first issue, it contained 5 articles only, and now in its recent volume published in April 2011, it contained 67 manuscripts. This e-journal is fulfilling the commitments and objectives sincerely, (as stated by Editor-in-chief in his preface to first edition) i e; to encourage physicians through the internet, especially from the developing countries who witness a spectrum of disease and acquire a wealth of knowledge to publish their experiences to benefit the medical community in patients care. I also feel that many of us have work of substance, newer ideas, adequate clinical materials but poor in medical writing and hesitation to submit the work and need help. JCDR provides authors help in this regards.
Timely publication of journal: Publication of manuscripts and bringing out the issue in time is one of the positive aspects of JCDR and is possible with strong support team in terms of peer reviewers, proof reading, language check, computer operators, etc. This is one of the great reasons for authors to submit their work with JCDR. Another best part of JCDR is "Online first Publications" facilities available for the authors. This facility not only provides the prompt publications of the manuscripts but at the same time also early availability of the manuscripts for the readers.
Indexation and online availability: Indexation transforms the journal in some sense from its local ownership to the worldwide professional community and to the public.JCDR is indexed with Embase & EMbiology, Google Scholar, Index Copernicus, Chemical Abstracts Service, Journal seek Database, Indian Science Abstracts, to name few of them. Manuscriptspublished in JCDR are available on major search engines ie; google, yahoo, msn.
In the era of fast growing newer technologies, and in computer and internet friendly environment the manuscripts preparation, submission, review, revision, etc and all can be done and checked with a click from all corer of the world, at any time. Of course there is always a scope for improvement in every field and none is perfect. To progress, one needs to identify the areas of one's weakness and to strengthen them.
It is well said that "happy beginning is half done" and it fits perfectly with JCDR. It has grown considerably and I feel it has already grown up from its infancy to adolescence, achieving the status of standard online e-journal form Indian continent since its inception in Feb 2007. This had been made possible due to the efforts and the hard work put in it. The way the JCDR is improving with every new volume, with good quality original manuscripts, makes it a quality journal for readers. I must thank and congratulate Dr Hemant Jain, Editor-in-Chief JCDR and his team for their sincere efforts, dedication, and determination for making JCDR a fast growing journal.
Every one of us: authors, reviewers, editors, and publisher are responsible for enhancing the stature of the journal. I wish for a great success for JCDR."



Thanking you
With sincere regards
Dr. Rajendra Kumar Ghritlaharey, M.S., M. Ch., FAIS
Associate Professor,
Department of Paediatric Surgery, Gandhi Medical College & Associated
Kamla Nehru & Hamidia Hospitals Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh 462 001 (India)
E-mail: drrajendrak1@rediffmail.com
On May 11,2011




Dr. Shankar P.R.

"On looking back through my Gmail archives after being requested by the journal to write a short editorial about my experiences of publishing with the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR), I came across an e-mail from Dr. Hemant Jain, Editor, in March 2007, which introduced the new electronic journal. The main features of the journal which were outlined in the e-mail were extensive author support, cash rewards, the peer review process, and other salient features of the journal.
Over a span of over four years, we (I and my colleagues) have published around 25 articles in the journal. In this editorial, I plan to briefly discuss my experiences of publishing with JCDR and the strengths of the journal and to finally address the areas for improvement.
My experiences of publishing with JCDR: Overall, my experiences of publishing withJCDR have been positive. The best point about the journal is that it responds to queries from the author. This may seem to be simple and not too much to ask for, but unfortunately, many journals in the subcontinent and from many developing countries do not respond or they respond with a long delay to the queries from the authors 1. The reasons could be many, including lack of optimal secretarial and other support. Another problem with many journals is the slowness of the review process. Editorial processing and peer review can take anywhere between a year to two years with some journals. Also, some journals do not keep the contributors informed about the progress of the review process. Due to the long review process, the articles can lose their relevance and topicality. A major benefit with JCDR is the timeliness and promptness of its response. In Dr Jain's e-mail which was sent to me in 2007, before the introduction of the Pre-publishing system, he had stated that he had received my submission and that he would get back to me within seven days and he did!
Most of the manuscripts are published within 3 to 4 months of their submission if they are found to be suitable after the review process. JCDR is published bimonthly and the accepted articles were usually published in the next issue. Recently, due to the increased volume of the submissions, the review process has become slower and it ?? Section can take from 4 to 6 months for the articles to be reviewed. The journal has an extensive author support system and it has recently introduced a paid expedited review process. The journal also mentions the average time for processing the manuscript under different submission systems - regular submission and expedited review.
Strengths of the journal: The journal has an online first facility in which the accepted manuscripts may be published on the website before being included in a regular issue of the journal. This cuts down the time between their acceptance and the publication. The journal is indexed in many databases, though not in PubMed. The editorial board should now take steps to index the journal in PubMed. The journal has a system of notifying readers through e-mail when a new issue is released. Also, the articles are available in both the HTML and the PDF formats. I especially like the new and colorful page format of the journal. Also, the access statistics of the articles are available. The prepublication and the manuscript tracking system are also helpful for the authors.
Areas for improvement: In certain cases, I felt that the peer review process of the manuscripts was not up to international standards and that it should be strengthened. Also, the number of manuscripts in an issue is high and it may be difficult for readers to go through all of them. The journal can consider tightening of the peer review process and increasing the quality standards for the acceptance of the manuscripts. I faced occasional problems with the online manuscript submission (Pre-publishing) system, which have to be addressed.
Overall, the publishing process with JCDR has been smooth, quick and relatively hassle free and I can recommend other authors to consider the journal as an outlet for their work."



Dr. P. Ravi Shankar
KIST Medical College, P.O. Box 14142, Kathmandu, Nepal.
E-mail: ravi.dr.shankar@gmail.com
On April 2011

Important Notice

Letter to Editor
Year : 2010 | Month : February | Volume : 4 | Issue : 1 | Page : 2153 - 2157

Assessing And Accessing Health Information On The Internet

SHANKAR PR*, SUBISH P**, DUBEY AK***

* MD, Department of Pharmacology,KIST Medical College,Lalitpur,(Nepal)**MPharm, Department of Social Pharmacy Universiti Sains Malaysia Penang,(Malaysia).***MD, Department of Pharmacology Xavier University School of Medicine,Netherlands Antilles.

Correspondence Address :
Dr. P. Ravi Shankar,KIST Medical College,P. O. Box 14142,Imadol Lalitpur, (Nepal)Phone: 00977-1-5201680 Fax: 00977-1-5201496,E-mail: ravi.dr.shankar@gmail.com

How to cite this article :

SHANKAR PR, SUBISH P, DUBEY AK. ASSESSING AND ACCESSING HEALTH INFORMATION ON THE INTERNET. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research [serial online] 2010 February [cited: 2019 Aug 24 ]; 4:2153-2157. Available from
http://www.jcdr.net/back_issues.asp?issn=0973-709x&year=2010&month=February&volume=4&issue=1&page=2153-2157&id=616

The internet is becoming an important source of health information. The quality of the information however, varies greatly. In this article, the authors enumerate the general principles to be followed for assessing the quality of health information and discuss a selection of health websites for prescribers and consumers.

The internet is increasingly becoming an important source of health information for both healthcare professionals and laypersons. The concerns raised about internet health information are, the sheer amount of information available, information which is misleading, the quality of information and as to which websites are trustworthy (1). Even in developing countries like Nepal, people have increased access to the internet and to internet sources of drug and health information. The internet is widely used to promote herbal remedies, dietary supplements and alternative medicines and therapies. Most countries do not have laws and regulations to regulate content on the internet. In this situation, it is left to the individual user to form his/her opinion regarding the quality of information presented in websites. In this article, the authors enumerate the general principles to be followed while assessing the quality of internet health information and suggest a selection of health websites for prescribers and consumers.

‘Healthinsite’ Criteria
‘HealthInsite’ (www.healthinsite.gov.au) was set up by the Australian Department of Health and Aging as a gateway to high quality health information on the internet. They have come up with five main questions to be asked while checking the quality of health websites.2 The questions are:
1) Why the site was created? Who developed the site and whom is it aimed at? What was the purpose behind creating the site?
2) Who is responsible for the information displayed on the site? Does the site state who is responsible for the information? What are the author’s qualifications? Are the contact details of the author/s available? Who approves the information for the site and what are their qualifications?
3) Is the subject coverage complete and in depth? Does it include links to other reputable sites? Does it provide balanced and unbiased information? Is there help available, either by instructions on the site or by e-mail? For example, the information on treatments should cover their mode of action, their benefits and risks, their effects on the quality of life and the consequences of non-treatment.
4) Is the information up-to-date? How often is the site updated and is the date of the last update clearly visible on the site?
5) How easy is the site to use? Is navigating between sections and finding information within the site easy?

‘Health On the Net’ principles
The ‘Health On the Net foundation’ has evolved the HON Code of conduct (HONcode) for medical and health websites (3). There are eight principles listed in the code. They are authority (advice will generally only be given by medically trained and qualified professionals), complementarity (the information on the site is designed to support, not replace, the existing relationship between a patient and healthcare provider), confidentiality, attribution, justifiability, transparency of authorship, transparency of sponsorship and honesty in advertising and editorial policy.

QUICK Guide
The Health Development Agency, the National Health Service and the Centre for Health Information Quality of the United Kingdom have produced a Quality Information ChecKlist (QUICK) guide for checking information on websites (4). The questions to be asked are:
a) Is it clear who has produced the information?
b) Are the aims of the site clear?
c) Does the site achieve its aims?
d) Is the site relevant to me?
e) Can the information be checked?
f) When was the site produced?
g) Is the information provided suffering from any biases? Does the website mention potential sources of bias?
h) Does the site mention other options which are available? For example, other treatment and diagnostic modalities.

Evaluation criteria of the New Mexico State University:
The five criteria to be evaluated are authority, accuracy, objectivity, currency and coverage (5).
a) Authority: Is any author mentioned? Is the author qualified? Who is the sponsor and what is the reputation of the sponsor? Is information about the author and sponsor mentioned on the website?
b) Accuracy: Is the information reliable and error free? Is there an individual/s who verifies the information uploaded on the website?
c) Objectivity: Is the information biased in any way and designed to sway opinion? Is there any advertising on the webpage?
d) Currency: Is the page dated and is the date of the last update mentioned on the web? Are the links current and are they all accessible?
e) Coverage: What are the topics covered? What is the value of the material and the depth of coverage of the topics?

Iona College Evaluation Form
Iona College in the USA has created a comprehensive evaluation form for websites (http://www.iona.edu/library/help/wwwevaluation/evaluationform.pdf) which mentions the parameters of currency, authority, coverage, objectivity, accuracy, speed, general appearance, ease of navigation and use of graphics/sound/video as the assessment criteria.

To summarize, the features to be looked for while evaluating a website are, authority, transparency of authorship and sponsorship, accuracy, complementarity of information (for patient/consumer websites), currency, coverage, caution statements, provision of means to verify the information presented and ease of navigating the website.

Nepalese Health Sites On The Web
‘Nepalnet’ (www.nepalnet.net) is a guide to Nepalese websites on the net. The site has various features like site of the month and lists the best 51 websites. It is a portal to all Nepalese websites, including health websites. The portal lists the websites with best content, navigation, design, technology and progress. Indexing and archival services of sites are available.

‘HealthNet Nepal’ is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that serves the Nepalese health community by providing affordable internet services, access to health information and information-sharing initiatives (6). ‘HealthNet Nepal’ (www.healthnet.org.np) provides access to a wide range of locally generated medical and public health information resources. Databases, full text journals and health statistics are available. A drawback may be that some of the features are restricted to subscribers of the internet service.

The Kathmandu University Medical Journal (www.kumj.com.np), Journal of the Nepal Medical Association (www.jnma.com.np) and Nepal Journal of Neuroscience (www.neuroscienceforum.org.np) are among the many Nepalese journals which allow full text access.7 ‘XenoMed’ (www.xenomed.com) is another discussion forum for Nepalese doctors. Medical news room, jobs and opportunity, Ask Doctor (to get online help) and Medical admissions are a few sections. There is a section for medical and dental students and information about Nepalese medical colleges is available. The lounge and medical exams are other highlights.

The website of the ‘Mountain Medicine Society of Nepal’ (www.mmsn.org.np) may be of interest to people who are interested in high altitude medicine or the wonderful mountains of Nepal and the health problems of the people who live there. Different medical colleges, hospitals and government agencies in Nepal have their own websites. However, some of the websites are not updated regularly and some of the hyperlinks may not be functional. Visual content may be poor (though it is rapidly improving) and navigation may not be easy.

Indian health sites on the web
‘MedIndia’ is a portal which provides links to Indian medical journals, medical conferences and doctor’s home pages. ‘MedIndia’ (www.medindia.net) has sections for both doctors and patients. This health helpline gives emergency numbers and helps to locate doctors, hospitals, chemists, health NGOs and eye banks. ‘Health News’ and ‘Medical Humour’ are added attractions. The Health encyclopaedia is useful. The site is updated regularly and the organization responsible for the information content is clearly delineated. It is a good one stop shop for health information.

The ‘Health and Medical Section’ of the Government of India directory (http://goidirectory.nic.in/health.htm) provides links to hospitals, medical institutions, research councils/centres and other health institutions. ‘WebHealth Centre’ (www.webhealthcentre.com), which is maintained by the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), is a good site. The telemedicine station, online consultations, the ECG heart line, expert speak, spiritual support and health centres make it a useful site for both doctors and patients. The student centre contains MCQs, online tests and study material for PG entrance exams.

Other Medical Sites On The Web
‘HINARI’ (www.who.int/hinari/en/) provides access to over 6400 leading journals. Full text articles before 1995 may not be available. ‘Web’ (www.webMD.com) advertises itself as, ‘What you need when you need it’. ‘Doctor’s Guide’ (www.docguide.com) provides access to news and webcasts and people have a chance to receive news and updates from his/her area of specialization. ‘E-Medicine’ (www.emedicine.com) provides instant access to the minds of medicine. Spotlight, drug of the month, resource centres, CME and patient education are different sections. ‘Pubmed’ (www.pubmed.com) and the sites of the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and ‘National Cancer Institute’ (www.cancer.gov) are very useful.

Drug Information Sources For Prescribers On The Web (9)
The ‘Australian Prescriber’ website (www.australianprescriber.com) provides access to full text articles. ‘Medsafe’ (www.medsafe.govt.nz) provides detailed product monographs on drugs. ‘Medscape’ (www.medscape.com) and ‘Evidence Based medicine’ online (www.ebm.bmj.com) provide access to reviews on therapeutics. The ‘Turning Research Into Practice (TRIP)’ database (www.tripdatabase.com) and the ‘Cochrane database of systematic reviews’ (www.cochrane.org) are good sources of information on evidence based medicine. ‘No free lunch’ (www.nofreelunch.org) and ‘Healthy skepticism’ (www.healthyskepticism.org) are two sites promoting the disentanglement of prescribers from the pharmaceutical industry.

Medical Sites Primarily For Patients
These sites may be of interest to prescribers also. ‘Medline Plus’ (www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus) is a good information source for laymen. The interactive health tutorials use animated graphics to explain a procedure or condition in simple terms. The website of the Mayo Clinic (www.mayoclinic.com) is a source of quality information on the web. The ‘Merck source’ (www.mercksource.com) is maintained by the pharmaceutical giant, Merck. Virtual body tours and links to the Merck manual and ADAM encyclopedia are useful. ‘You and your doctor’ informs patients about how to obtain maximum benefit from a visit to the doctor. The website of Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, USA, may be of use to patients also. ‘Medicine Net’ (www.medicinenet.com) is a comprehensive site, but it does contain sponsored links. ‘Diseases Explained’ (www.diseases-explained.com) explains common diseases in a step-wise manner, using beautiful colored diagrams and pictures.

‘MedIndia’ (www.medindia.net) provides a section for consumers. ‘Doctor NDTV’, maintained by the news channel, NDTV (www.doctorndtv.com) contains information on diseases, drugs, fitness, first aid, nutrition and travel and health. ‘WebHealth Centre’ also contains sections which may be useful to laymen. ‘HealthNet Nepal’ also contains a consumer forum which may be of interest.

The ‘Australian portal HealthInsite’ (www.healthinsite.gov.au) provides access to quality information on the web. Health topics, international health information, medicines, personal queries and questions to ask your health professional are highlights. The site mainly sources articles from Australia. The ‘Kidshealth website’ (www.kidshealth.org) is useful for parents who struggle with the difficult task of raising children. The American Academy of Family Physicians maintains the website (www.familydoctor.org) which has sections for different age groups. There is a link to the Harvard newsletter. The National Health Service (NHS) website from the United Kingdom (www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk) has features which may be of interest to patients in South Asia (8).

The search engines, Google (www.google.com), Lycos (www.lycos.com), Hotbot (www.hotbot.com) and Mooter (www.mooter.com) provide links to a good selection of health websites. However, the information contained, should be verified against the criteria listed. The websites ‘MSN’ (www.msn.com) and ‘Yahoo’ (www.yahoo.com) also offer a good selection of health related sites.

The sites mentioned above are just a small selection of websites for health professionals and patients. The most frequently mentioned features of a good site are, ease of access and navigation, clear presentation, use of appropriate language, completeness of information and ways to assess the credibility of the information provided (1).

These guidelines will be helpful for healthcare professionals to assess the quality of information presented in health websites. These principles should also be disseminated among patients so that they can access reliable good quality information. In this age of information technology, it is imperative to develop critical appraisal skills (Table/Fig 1) (Table/Fig 2).

References

1.
Hopkins H, Fogg S. Assessing health information on the internet. The Australian Health Consumer 2002; 2: 21-23.
2.
How to assess health information online. http://www.healthinsite.gov.au/topics/How_to_Assess_Health_Information_Online. Accessed on 24/07/09.
3.
HON code of conduct (HONcode) for medical and health websites. http://www.hon.ch/HONcode/Patients/Conduct.html. Accessed on 24/07/09.
4.
The QUICK guide to checking information quality. http://www.avon.k12.ct.us/enrichment/Enrich/quickgr4-0.htm. Accessed on 24/07/09.
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Beck S. why it’s a good idea to evaluate web sources, 1997. http://lib.nmsu.edu/instruction/eval.html. Accessed on 24/07/09.
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Pradhan MR. Health resources and internet with reference to HealthNet Nepal. Kathmandu University Medical Journal 2003; 1: 297-304.
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Magar A, Jaiswal S, Shrestha S. What’s on the net? - Review of Nepalese medical websites. Kathmandu University Medical Journal 2004; 2: 77-79.
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JCDR is now Monthly and more widely Indexed .
  • Emerging Sources Citation Index (Web of Science, thomsonreuters)
  • Index Copernicus ICV 2017: 134.54
  • Academic Search Complete Database
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
  • EBSCOhost
  • Google Scholar
  • HINARI Access to Research in Health Programme
  • Indian Science Abstracts (ISA)
  • Journal seek Database
  • Google
  • Popline (reproductive health literature)
  • www.omnimedicalsearch.com