Genetics and Public Health Information to Trust, 2

As promised, here are the answers to the last 5 questions of The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine's 10 Things To Know about Evaluating Medical Resources on the Web. Our thanks to Hsein Hsein Wei of Genetics and Health (http://wwwgeneticsandhealth) for adding this site to the list of trusted sources of information. Answers are my person al answers, on behalf of the Genetizen blog.

6. How is the information selected?

I choose things that interest me and sometimes things that are popular in the news.

7. How current is the information?

Some of the information comes to me from tomorrow--the other side of the International dateline. Generally, however, I blog on information I have seen within the past day or two. Each blog entry is dated.

8. How does the site choose links to other sites?

I personally am somewhat html challenged. So, I put the link I copy from the address at the top of my screen. I generally choose newspapers pbulished online or peer-reviewed articles. I figure that my audience is composed of everyday people, more likely to read the online news than a peer-reviewed journal. When I find something that I think might cause problems because of being inaccurate or inflammatory--I'm tracking something down at the moment--I contact the author and ask what the sources of information are. Then, I decide whether or not to link to the site depending on how believable the information is and the quality of the source. Currently, the geneforum site does not link directly to other sites. We also do not accept advertising.

9. What information does the site collect, and why?

We are generally running a question for people to respond to anonymously--comments are usually attributed to "guest". We do not collect information on those who check out the site, but we do review results from sites that collect information on number of hits, time spent, depth of interest, etc. That has started only recently. We do not have people register to use the site. The log in and passwords are used for previously approved people--such as bloggers--to access their particular functions.

10. How does the site manage interactions with visitors?

We have a comment capability that allows people to post a comment. Selected people who are part of geneforum have rights to publish these comments. We can respond to comments and can provide a "personal" address if we wish. The webmaster is easily accessible for questions and passes on any that need to be on to other members of the group. We hope to get the interactive surveys and quizzes operating again soon--and maybe some fun games with DNA?

That's it, folks. I've asked other members of geneforum to comment on my answers. If  they have changes or corrections, I will let you know.

Marie Godfrey, PhD


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