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The web can be a source of very current information as it can be updated instantly; however, locating reliable statistics can be challenging! Many organizations and agencies include health statistics that they collect or have access to. The following are some strategies for locating health-related data on the web:
Search for a known organization using quotes, such as "American Heart Association"
Consider searching by topic, remembering search results are usually ranked by popularity. They are often not ranked by relevance
Use synonyms for a disease or condition in search phrases to ensure a broader set of results (ex: lung OR pulmonary AND heart OR cardiac)
Use synonyms for statistics connected by OR in the search phrase (ex: statistics OR rate OR incidence OR data)
Explore Google Tips and Tricks to practice setting up a search strategy with your topic!
Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research.
USAFacts is a new data-driven portrait of the American population, our government’s finances, and government’s impact on society. We are a non-partisan, not-for-profit civic initiative and have no political agenda or commercial motive. We provide this information as a free public service and are committed to maintaining and expanding it in the future.
Use the advanced search mode in Google to target your results. Notice how the results are impacted by each search strategy, below:
Placing quotation marks around a phrase directs the search engine to retrieve web pages in which these words appear near one another, making the results likely more relevant. Add search terms sparingly to get more focused results. This simple strategy eliminated over 2 million results!
Date limiters are useful if you want the most current information. Domain searching allows you to better focus your attention on the quality of the web pages. In the example below, all the results will be pages connected to or produced by educational institutions.