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CMST 230 Small Group Communication: Finding and citing images

This guide will assist students in CMST 230 with their research assignments.

Images and copyright

Images and Fair Use

Images are intellectual property, too, and you need to give credit for them as you would textual information. Here are things to keep in mind when using images downloaded from the internet:
  • Always credit the source of your images.
  • Find out if the owner/creator of an image states how their image can be used, if possible.
  • Whenever possible, ask the copyright holder for permission and keep a record of this correspondence.
Under fair use guidelines, you may... 
  • Use images in course assignments such as a term paper, thesis or poster as per their degree fulfillment requirements.
  • Publicly display images incorporated in academic work when association with courses in which they are enrolled.
  • Retain work in personal portfolios for use in graduate school or employment applications, for example.
And you may not...
  • Publish images in any work in analog or digital form that do not have proper copyright clearance. When in doubt, consult the Four Factors of Fair Use.

Information above used with permission from the Colgate Visual Resources Library

Giving credit

Thanks to Sarah Christensen, Visual Resources Curator at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and Jesse Hendersen, Visual Resources Curator at Colgate University, for graciously allowing me to copy text and other information from their library web pages.

Flickr Commons

Using Flickr Commons

image from the Flickr Commons website

"The key goals of The Commons on Flickr are to firstly show you hidden treasures in the world's public photography archives, and secondly to show how your input and knowledge can help make these collections even richer."

Google Images

 Screenshot of Google Images' logoGoogle Images is a great tool to see the work of many photographers. For your presentations, however, the images may not be high enough resolution to project well. It's possible to find useful images with introductory information, and you can even use the advanced settings to limit to works that are in the public domain

Image captions

In-Text Citations for Images

Just as you would always provide in-text citation information for copied text, you must for images and photographs!

According to the MLA Handbook, images within a research paper "should be labeled Figure (usually abbreviated Fig.), assigned an Arabic numeral, and given a caption. See the example below:

(click on image to enlarge)

Image of five men, as cited in the figure below

Fig. 4. Author Langston Hughes [far left] with [left to right:] Charles S. Johnson; E. Franklin Frazier; Rudolph Fisher and Hubert T. Delaney, on the roof of 580 St. Nicholas Avenue, Harlem, on the occasion of a party in Hughes' honor. 1924. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture / Photographs and Prints Division, New York. Web. New York Public Library Digital Gallery. 1 April 2011.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons Images

wikimedia logo

Wikimedia Commons contains, according to the site, a collection of over 58 million freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute."Files include images, audio, video, animations, maps, and other multimedia. Users can choose from multiple images sizes when downloading, and each image is often accompanied by information about the work depicted as well as copyright information.

Image Source: "PNG logo with text" by Wikimedia Foundation is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0