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October 21, 1998

Applicability and Quality of Information for Answering Clinical Questions on the Web

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;280(15):1307-1308. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-280-15-jbk1021

To the Editor.—What is the applicability and quality of information on the World Wide Web for answering questions generated by clinicians during practice? This new medium has lowered the bar for publishing, allowing anyone with access to a Web server to distribute words, images, and other media to a worldwide audience. While this may be a positive trend for a democratic society, whether it is beneficial for professional fields such as medicine in which peer review and the deliberate editing process in general serve as filters (albeit imperfect) is unclear. Information used to make the most personal decisions, ie, those concerning an individual's health, should be of the highest quality.

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