Using Images in Research and Presentations

Creative Commons Search

Creative Commons (CC) Search is a great place to start looking for images with a Creative Commons license, which means that they are free to use as long as you attribute them properly. CC Search provides guidance on attribution.

Google, Flickr, and Wikimedia Commons

Some common sources for images and photos online are Google Images, Flickr, and Wikimedia Commons. A lot of the content found in these resources is protected by copyright, meaning that you're breaking the law if you use it without permission from the creator. However, there are ways to make sure that you can legally use what you find!


  • Type your search terms
  • On the results page, click "Tools" underneath the search box.
  • Click the dropdown menu for "Usage Rights" and click one of the options
  • if you plan to modify the image, click "labeled for reuse with modification"
  • If you're using the images for a school project, that counts as noncommercial!
Screenshot of Google Image search

  • Type your desired search in the search box in the top right.
  • On the results page, click the dropdown menu that says "No known copyright restrictions."
  • Change that dropdown menu to one of the other options, except for "Any license."
Screenshot of Flickr Commons search

  • Almost all of the content in Wikimedia Commons can be reused freely as it is either licensed under an open license (like Creative Commons) or in the public domain. 
  • There isn't a good way to limit your search results to a specific use in Wikimedia Commons, so be sure to check the rights for each image.
  • Usage rights and license information can be found by clicking on the "More Details" button when viewing the image.

 

For more information about reusing images from Wikimedia Commons, see their guide.

Modern Photographs & Stock Images

Artwork Images

Historical Photographs

Clip Art

Science Images

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