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ART 81 - Introduction to Fiber Arts: Finding Websites

Resource Guide for ART 81, Introduction to Fiber Arts.

Mona Lisa's eyes

Recommended Websites

The are many online art resources. Museum collections are a good place to start. Below are a few well known examples.

Is this a good website to use?

To begin your evaluation of a website, look for the following items:

  • Go to the home page, "About Us" section (or something similar) of the web site where the document lives and search for the author's name using any available site search or directory (works best for academic web sites). This may help establish affiliation. You can also backspace the URL of the page you are on to get to the home page. i.e. would backspace to to get to Butte College's main page.
  • Try searching the author's name, enclosed in quotation marks, in Google. This may lead to other information on or pages by the same author.
  • Click any links on the page. Are the links broken? Do they direct you to another verifiable web page? Is there a bibliography with clickable links?
  • Check for any grammar or spelling errors. If you find errors be aware of the lack of editorial process that went into creating this page.
  • The document includes the date(s) at which the information was gathered (e.g., US Census data).
  • The document refers to clearly dated information (e.g., "Based on 1990 US Census data.").
  • The document includes a publication date or a "last updated" date.
  • The document includes a date of copyright.


Is the content credible?

You've decided that the website itself is credible enough to use, but what about the content? Can you trust the information you read? Here are some tips:

Point of View or Bias
  • First, note the URL of the document. Using the technique of backspacing to the home page you previously learned, you have determined either the author or publisher of the information. Does this document reside on the web page of an organization that has a clear stake in the issue at hand?
    • If you are looking at a corporate web page, assume that the information on the corporation will present it in the most positive light.
    • If you are looking at products produced and sold by that corporation, remember: you are looking at an advertisement.
    • If you are reading about a political figure at the web page of another political party, you are reading the opposition.
  • Does this document reside on the web page of an organization that has a political or philosophical agenda?
    • If you are looking for scientific information on human genetics, would you trust a political organization to provide it?
    • Never assume that extremist points of view are always easy to detect. Some sites promoting these views may look educational.
Cross Check
  • When you read something on a website, see if you can find that information in other sources (another website, book, magazine, or journal). If you can verify the information you find is part of a larger consensus, you can trust that information
  • Does the website you found include a list of references? If so, that is a good indicator that the information is well researched. You can even use the references they cite to find more sources.

Evaluating Websites Video

Add your favorite evaluating websites video.

Evaluating Online Information

There is an abundance of information on the internet. How do you know what to trust? In this guide you will find guidelines for evaluating online information.

Look for recognized authorities.

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  • In general you can trust public institutions and learned societies, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or the American Medical Association (AMA).
  • Websites ending in .gov or .edu are more reliable and trustworthy than .org or .com. You can use .org or .com sites, just take extra time to fully evaluate the website.
  • Look at the “About Us” page. This page should tell you more about the creator of the content. Are they a government organization, non-profit, professional association, commercial organization, or an individual? An individual should list their qualifications and credentials. Try to determine a commercial website’s motivation.
  • Check outside sources. What do they say about the resource you are looking at? Is there a Wikipedia page that can give you more information?
  • Look for contact information. There should be a way to contact the organization or people who run the site.


Look for quality.

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  • What process does the content go through before it is shared? Is there an editorial process? Is the information reviewed? The editorial process might be on the “About Us” page or another page that is easy to locate. The page might say something like “review policy” or “selection policy.”
  • Are the owners/writers of the site information experts in their field? Look for proper qualifications such as M.D. Ph.D. or specialized degree. You might find this information in a section called;About our board/advisors/writers/contributors.; Information should be transparent and easy to locate.


Be skeptical.

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  • Beware of dramatic breakthroughs and sensational claims. If something seems to good too be true it probably is.
  • If you think what you are looking at might be valid, verify the information with other, reliable sources.

Look for evidence.

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  • Don’t trust sources that only offer opinions or testimonials.
  • Look for citations, such as links to studies or a reference section. You should be able to tell the source of any original data or information.


  • How current is the information? Though science builds on past discoveries, you will want to find the most current up to date information.
  • Look for dates on web pages such as when the information was published or last updated.
  • Are there lots of broken links? If this is the case then the website may not be maintained or up to date.

Determine the purpose of the information.

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  • Is the site trying to sell you something or make a profit? 
  • Who is funding the site? Is the funding public, private, supplied by donations, or through advertising?
  • Advertising should be clearly labeled with a possible statement about ads and funding.
  • Be aware of who is providing the information. If a company is supplying the information about their product, confirm the information from a source not associated with the company.

Other tips.

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  • Don’t provide personal information unless you fully understand what will be done with your information. Privacy policies should be clearly stated.
  • Consult with a professional if you are seeking advice or treatment.
  • Avoid getting information from social media unless the information is from a verified account of a trusted resource.