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About Web Resource Ratings

There is a lot of health information or "Web Resources" freely available on the internet. A Web Resource is any item you find online that you can watch, read, listen to, or interact with, such as videos, fact sheets and online quizzes. Many resources are consumer-friendly, but it's often difficult to know which ones have credible information, based on scientific research. Web Resource Ratings do the homework for you, assessing the quality of health information available online and presenting our assessment using a 5-star rating scale.

There are three stages of Web Resource Rating:

  1. Assessing inclusion of websites
    Websites we include must be:
    • Not directly funded by a company trying to sell you a product or service
    • Relevant to optimal aging
    • Intended for citizens, or include content intended for citizens
    • Free access
  2. Assessing inclusion of Web Resources from included websites
    Web Resources we review must be:
    • Not directly funded by a company trying to sell you a product or service
    • Relevant to optimal aging
    • Intended for citizens
    • Less than 5 years of age

  3. Assessing quality of included Web Resources
    Web Resources are rated for quality with three criteria:
    • Evidence-based: Is this information reliable, based on scientific research?
    • Transparency: Is it clear who developed the resource and how?
    • Usability: Is the information easy to understand and easy to use?

Each Web Resource Rating also provides a summary of the content, including any information that you can act on related to optimal aging.

If you cannot find a website or Web Resource Rating that you are looking for, check out our list of excluded websites. If you still can’t find it, let us know; we may be rating it now!

Recent Web Resource Ratings

  • Participating in Activities You Enjoy - More Than Just Fun and Games

    National Institute on Aging
    Learn about the benefits of maintaining an active lifestyle while engaging with your community in the best way you can. Getting involved in your community can be as simple as volunteering for organizations or planning trips with other seniors.
  • AgePage: Healthy Eating After 50

    National Institute on Aging
    With age, eating can become difficult for some and getting enough nutrients from food can become problematic. Use this resource to learn about what nutrients and vitamins you should be getting from your food and tips on how to achieve these nutritional goals.
  • AgePage: Getting Your Affairs in Order

    National Institute on Aging
    Use this resource to plan for the future by preparing legal documents, planning your finances and writing a will. Planning ahead can alleviate concerns from family members and loved ones in the future.
  • AgePage: Exercise and Physical Activity: Getting Fit for Life

    National Institute on Aging
    If you are a senior who is looking for new ways to stay active during your retirement, use this resource for safety tips and suggestions for activities you can try at home to stay fit.
  • End of life: Helping with comfort and care

    National Institute on Aging
    If you are a caregiver for a senior who is nearing the end of their life, consider using this resource to be a better caregiver for them and to learn about ways to cope with your grief after their death.
  • Age Page: Dietary Supplements

    National Institute on Aging
    If you are a senior or you suspect that a senior is not getting enough nutrients in their diet, use this resource to learn about dietary supplements, vitamins, antioxidants and herbal supplements.

Understanding our star rating system

Each Web Resource is rated using a star system on a scale from 0-5. The more stars, the higher the quality with 5 being the maximum. These ratings are weighted to favour content that is informed by scientific research evidence, followed by transparency in its creation and ease of use. When you search for Web Resource Ratings on a particular topic, the ones with the highest ratings are presented first.

Our raters

Staff working on the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal conduct the assessments of the resources. Two staff members independently rate each resource and come to an agreement on its rating. Any disagreements in ratings are discussed until consensus is reached.

DISCLAIMER: Web Resource Ratings are provided for informational purposes only and to facilitate discussions with your healthcare providers, family members, or informal care givers. They are not a substitute for advice from your own health care professionals. The Portal is not responsible for the content of external websites, nor is it an endorsement of that website or the site’s owners (or their products/services). The Web Resource Ratings may be reproduced for not-for-profit educational purposes only. Any other uses must be approved by the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal (Send email to Portal).

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