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Phase 1 (Years 1 & 2) Library Resources

Transitions 1 Resources

SPATing Websites

SPAT is a research tested mnemonic tool for evaluating the reliability of a website's content.

The mnemonic stands for Site, Publisher, Audience, Timeliness.

The SPAT criteria help judge reliability of electronic resources not specifically recommended by the course director or the RLML.

Site: What kind of site is it?

  • Educational (.edu)
  • Governmental (.gov)
  • Commercial (.com)
  • Organizational (.org)

Publisher: Who wrote this content and do they provide contact information? Look for an “About Us” section.

  • Governmental Agency
  • Association
  • Company
  • Individual
  • If health professionals are involved in the creation of the content, that's good too.

Audience: Who is the site written for?

  • Patients (good for background questions)
  • Health Professionals

Timeliness: When was the last time it was updated? Is this information current?

Citing Sources

IUSM recommends using AMA or Vancouver style for citing your sources. They are very similar styles, so the key is to be consistent when citing sources if you choose to use one over the other.  

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