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Using Images in Research and Presentations


Would it bother you if someone went on your Instagram, copied your pictures, and then sold them for money without asking?

Probably, so you shouldn't do it either. But that's what we're doing when we use images from a Google Image search or other simple search without being careful! Luckily there are many ways to find great images without violating the rights of artists, photographers, or organizations.

Quick Tips about Finding and Using Images

  • Most images on the Web are copyrighted, even if they don't say so, and only the holder of the copyright can grant permission for use of the image.
  • In some cases the use of an image may be covered by Fair Use, especially for educational purposes (see Using Images tab).
  • To avoid copyright infringement, look for images that are in the Public Domain or have a Creative Commons license that allows for reuse (see Finding Images tab).
  • Most web search engines offer image search options and ways to limit results to images with a Creative Commons license or in the Public Domain (see Finding Images tab).
  • Graphs, charts, and other data representations are considered images and should be cited if they originally appeared in another source.
  • No matter where you get your image, be sure to attribute and cite it correctly, both within your paper or presentation and in your bibliography or works cited list (see Citing Images tab).
  • If YOU are the creator, illustrator, or photographer of your image, you own the copyright and do not need to cite yourself.