Research Guide: Images

Use this guide to learn more about how to find images

Fair Use vs Creative Commons

Fair Use or Creative Commons?

As a student or educator, Fair Use laws give you the legal right to use images for educational purposes, even if those images are copyrighted. You are still required under fair use to give credit to the creator and publisher of those images - with both captions and full citations.

If you want to maintain the right to use the work you produce outside of education, you should use images that are licensed under a Creative Commons license or works that are in the Public Domain. Creative Commons licenses spell out clearly how you may use the creative work of others in your own work and what kind of attribution (citation) you must give.

Use the links below to learn more.

Can I use this image?

When you see an image, look for its Creative Commons license information. It will usually be visible when you open an image and will consist of words, small icons, or both.

In the case below, this image is licensed for Attribution and Share Alike. That means that it can be used provided that the copyright holder is acknowledged (Attribution) and that the user agrees to share any resulting works with the same license (Share Alike). 

(Click on image to enlarge)Photo of sleeping dog on Fotopedia site with an arrow pointing to license information  Image: "Boxer_napping." Retrieved from: Fotopedia. <

Creating citations

Citing images

Citing the images you use online is very important! You can get help from a librarian by visiting the library or using the librarian chat; however, below are some links to some sources that might help! 

     Select the APA or MLA tabs for information on citing images in papers and presentations.

Using Images Example

[Two seated figures and two-he... Digital ID: 79647. New York Public Library

Two seated figures and two-headed dog

within a circle, over bench decorated with figures and abstract elements. 1822. NYPL Digital Gallery. Web. 19 July 2010. <>.

Find images like this from the New York Public Library Digital Collection.