Applying Semantic Web technologies to improve the retrieval, credibility and use of health-related web resources

Health Informatics J. 2011 Jun;17(2):95-115. doi: 10.1177/1460458211405004.


The number of health-related websites is increasing day-by-day; however, their quality is variable and difficult to assess. Various "trust marks" and filtering portals have been created in order to assist consumers in retrieving quality medical information. Consumers are using search engines as the main tool to get health information; however, the major problem is that the meaning of the web content is not machine-readable in the sense that computers cannot understand words and sentences as humans can. In addition, trust marks are invisible to search engines, thus limiting their usefulness in practice. During the last five years there have been different attempts to use Semantic Web tools to label health-related web resources to help internet users identify trustworthy resources. This paper discusses how Semantic Web technologies can be applied in practice to generate machine-readable labels and display their content, as well as to empower end-users by providing them with the infrastructure for expressing and sharing their opinions on the quality of health-related web resources.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abstracting and Indexing / methods*
  • Databases, Factual / standards
  • Databases, Factual / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination / methods
  • Internet*
  • Power, Psychological
  • Semantics*
  • Social Support
  • United States