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How do I properly cite images in a presentation or publication?


If using images you did not personally create, you must first be sure you have the right to reuse the image. One way to do this is to search for images created under a Creative Commons license or created by the United States Government, as these images can be reused with a simple attribution. The steps below will help you find images you can reuse and show you how to properly attribute them.

Step by Step: 
  1. First you must find an image you can reuse without having to directly contact the author for permission. Good sources include:
    1. – After searching for a term in the general search box, you can refine the results to include only images:

      These guidelines will help you determine if you can reuse the particular image you find.
    2. Google Image Search  - Enter your search term from the main search page. On the results page, click on Search Tools, and limit your results to images with reuse rights by choosing thethe usage rights you need:

      The search results will now allow you to filter based on reuse permissions:

    3. Wikimedia Commons
    4. Additional image sources can be found here.
  2. Once you have found images to use, you must be sure to give attribution to the creator of the image. Attribution differs from a full citation. When attributing a work, you will simply give credit to the copyright holder, whereas a full citation enables another individual to find the original text cited.
    1. Most U.S. Government images are within the public domain, and can be used without attribution.
    2. Many works available for sharing will have a Creative Commons license. Learn more about citing such works (with examples) here.
    3. For additional information and examples, visit the open.michigan resource “Cite and Attribute Your Sources.”

For more information, request a consultation with a librarian, or email