Skip to Main Content


Museum Websites

Most museums have websites that are geared towards sharing their collections and encouraging people to visit. Many have a mission to educate about they arts and they create videos, learning resources, and scholarly research material. For objects that they own, they often create exceptional informational pages about those objects. Because much of the educational resources are written by curators, they are often excellent resources for academic research.

Of course, many also have online shops where they try to sell items to raise funds. Most are in the .org domain.


The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded on April 13, 1870 in New York the City for the purpose of encouraging and developing the study of the fine arts and advancing the general knowledge of the arts. The Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History is an incredible resource for students.

The Tate is mission is to increase the public’s enjoyment and understanding of British art, international modern, and contemporary art.

The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, with 19 museums and the National Zoo. It includes the Archives of American Art dedicated to collecting and preserving the papers and primary records of the visual arts in America, including oral histories.

The Walker Art Center focuses on the visual, performing, and media arts of our time.

The Internet Archive

The Internet Archive is a San Francisco–based nonprofit digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge." It provides free public access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, software applications/games, music, movies/videos, moving images, and nearly three million public-domain books. As of October 2016, its collection topped 15 petabytes. In addition to its archiving function, the Archive is an activist organization, advocating for a free and open Internet. - From Wikipedia

Some of items included are vintage commercials, old newsreels, NASA images, and the Wayback Machine is a digital archive of the World Wide Web. You can look up the Otis College website from as far back as 1998.

News Websites

A News Website is one whose primary purpose is to provide current information with as little bias as possible. Some news organizations cover specific subjects. The URL address of the page usually ends in .com (commercial).

  • Including the names of writers and editors is one indication of the site's commitment to the good journalism.
  • Opinion pieces and ads should be clearly labeled as such.


Some news organizations strive for unbiased and in-depth reporting. Others do not.

Click on the chart below created by Vanessa Otero, to see her opinion of where newspapers are on the spectrum.

Now more than ever it is important to beware of Fake News. Check out Wikipedia's list of fake news sites. One example is which mimics the URL, design and logo of ABC News.

We now have a subscription to the New York Times. Set up your account and then you can search directly or through Google (by putting in "New York Times" and your subject).

Op-Ed in Newpapers

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, an op-ed is "An essay in a newspaper or magazine that gives the opinion of the writer and that is written by someone who is not employed by the newspaper or magazine" and stands for opposite editorial. Op-Eds are sometimes referred to as Opinions and/or Commentary.

Example: The New York Times Opinion Pages - On this page you will find Op-Ed's, Editorials, Letters, and more.

Advocacy Websites

An Advocacy Website is one sponsored by an organization attempting to influence public opinion (that is, one trying to sell ideas). The URL address of the page frequently ends in .org (organization). Not all .org sites are extremely biased, but be sure to evaluate the point of view and potential bias of them.


Think Tanks

A think tank, policy institute, or research institute is an organization that performs research and advocacy concerning topics such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military, technology, and culture. Most policy institutes are non-profit organizations, which some countries such as the United States and Canada provide with tax exempt status. Other think tanks are funded by governments, advocacy groups, or businesses, or derive revenue from consulting or research work related to their projects. - From Wikipedia
The may be conservative or liberal, biased or strive for objectivity. When evaluating information from these sites, it is very important to understand their overall mission. Wikipedia strives for "neutral point of view" and has articles about most think tanks.

The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan American "fact tank" that not does not take explicit policy positions. It provides information on social issues, public opinion, and demographic trends shaping the United States and the world. It also conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis, and other empirical social science research. Their work on social trends and media can be quite useful to students.

The Heritage Foundation, promotes very conservative principles.

The Center for American Progress, is a progressive public policy research and advocacy organization.

The Tellus Institute, strives to advance the transition to a sustainable, equitable, and humane global civilization.

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) is a foreign-policy think tank with centers in Washington D.C., Moscow, Beirut, Beijing, Brussels, and New Delhi.

Business & Marketing Websites

A Business/Marketing Web Page is one sponsored by a commercial enterprise (usually it is a page trying to promote or sell products). The URL address of the page frequently ends in .com (commercial).


Government Websites

Use of the domain .gov is restricted to government entities..Government documents are official publications of a government agency, whether it is international, federal, state, county or city. These include laws, codes, rules and regulations, census publications, etc. For many government documents, there is a mandate to provide public services to citizens and other persons in a country or region. Many government documents are available on the Internet Archive. Not everything is free. For some publications, there is a charge.

Examples of Documents:

  • Earth as Art. by Lawrence Friedl & Karen Yuen. NASA. 2012. GPO Stock# 033-000-01358-2.
    75 photos taken from NASA’s Landsat 7 Earth Observation satellite.
  • Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic. by Maggie Silver. U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. 2011. (12p.) SuDoc# HE 20.7002:P 91/2.
  • Bumble Bumble Bees of the United States from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service. SuDoc# A 13.2:B 39/9

Examples of Sites:

  • The Census Bureau includes extensive data about the nation's people and economy.
  • includes data, tools, and resources to conduct research, develop web and mobile applications, design data visualizations, etc. for all data collected by U.S. government entities.

Informational or Reference Websites

Informational websites are those with a purpose is to present factual information. The URL Address sometimes ends in .edu or .gov, as many of these pages are sponsored by educational institutions or government agencies.


Personal Websites

A Personal Website is one published by an individual who may or may not be affiliated with a larger institution. Although the URL address of the page may have a variety of endings (e.g. .com, .edu, etc.), a tilde (~) is frequently embedded somewhere in the URL.


There are hundreds of millions of blogs and they serve a huge number of purposes-- from news, to advocacy, to personal opinion. They may be written by individuals or by a staff of people. They may have editors, or not. Because there are so many issues to consider with blogs, please consult the blog guide.

Otis College of Art and Design | 9045 Lincoln Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90045 | MyOtis

Millard Sheets Library | MyOtis | 310-665-6930 | Ask a Librarian