Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety

Content (Important criteria)

Quality of information

  • Authority of sources: Clear statement of source for all information, including author's name, credentials, affiliations, and any relevant financial disclosure or potential conflict of interest bias. Description of any "seal of approval" or award the website has been granted.
  • Attribution: All information supported by citations to source resources with hypertext links if available. The site should indicate whether information is based on scientific studies, expert consensus, professional opinion, or personal experience or opinion.
  • Accuracy: The information presented should be based on objective, scientific research. The site should identify the evidence that supports a position including references to published studies and reference works. There should be a way for readers to contact the site owner and/or author with questions or corrections.
  • Currency: The date that content was first developed and the date of last update or modification should be clearly indicated on each piece. The date the whole site was updated or the copyright date is not adequate. Site should not contain out-dated information.
  • Review process: Statement of procedure used for selection of site content, including a guarantee of the independence of the editorial process, the names and credentials of the Editorial Board, and any review process.
  • Standards of writing/editing: Writing on the site should be professional, with proper grammar, spelling, and composition.

Quantity of information

  • Completeness: Includes the comprehensiveness of a resource, including the breadth and depth of coverage, the retrospective coverage (archived items), and the balance of the information presented, such as admitting when an issue is controversial and including all reasonable sides in a fair way.
  • Uniqueness: Although not essential, a site usually offers something unique either in terms of coverage or format compared to a similar print resource. If a print equivalent exists, how does the electronic version compare in terms of cost and ease of use?
  • Provision of links to other resources: Offering hypertext links to other resources can greatly enhance the value of a site, assuming the links are carefully selected and their content is accurate, current, and credible.