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I want to use another person's images and materials in my assignment or class presentation. What am I able to do under copyright?

Most images you find on the Internet, in books and elsewhere are protected by copyright. The act of creating something automatically gives it copyright protection. For example, you own the copyright in the photographs you take with your smart phone.

The use of copyright protected images in student assignments and presentations for university courses is covered by Copyright Act exceptions for fair dealing and educational institution users. The fair dealing exception allows you to use excerpts of copyright protected material in certain circumstances without asking permission. The educational institution exceptions permit specific uses of copyright protected material by instructors in the classroom. See the FAQ "Is there a limit to how much I can copy?" for a simple break down of how much you can copy under SFU's Fair Dealing Policy , which is the University's guidelines for working under fair dealing. See the Copyright Infographic describing both fair dealing and the educational institution exceptions for instructors, to find out what you can do when presenting to your class, handing things out to your classmates, or otherwise acting like an "instructor" in your course.

In general in your course assignments you can, under fair dealing for purposes of research, private study and education, use one entire image from a compilation of images (e.g. a gallery of images on the Web, a coffee table book), or up to 10% of a stand alone image (an image that is not part of a larger compilation but is on its own such as a photograph pinned up on your wall). The educational institution exceptions will allow you to display an entire work (even a whole stand alone image) in the classroom (e.g. in your PowerPoint slides), but not to hand out copies.

In certain circumstances you may be able to use more than a "short excerpt" (e.g. 10%) of a work under fair dealing. SFU's Fair Dealing Policy sets out "safe harbour" limits for working under fair dealing at SFU, but the Copyright Act does not impose specific limits. See the FAQ "What is fair dealing and how does it relate to copyright?" for more information. If you want to use more than is outlined in the policy, and your use doesn't fall under the educational exceptions, contact the Copyright Office to ask for a fair dealing assessment to be performed.

It is also an excellent idea to look for images that come with re-use rights, which you can freely use within the limits of any license terms. Examples are materials posted to the Web under a Creative Commons license, or materials that are out of copyright and now in the public domain. You can search for such material using the  Creative Commons search engine .

Please contact the Copyright Officer at [email protected] if you have questions.

Note : The information obtained from or through this website is provided as guidelines for using works for educational purposes and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Contact [email protected] with any questions. The Copyright Officer is not a lawyer or legal expert in copyright law and is able to provide a professional and not a legal opinion. A professional opinion is offered for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

using images in assignments

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Using Images in an Assignment: Finding and Crediting

Attribution vs. Citation

While attribution and citation are often used interchangeably, they have subtle differences.  Attribution  is usually more focused on giving  credit  to the source of images, texts, ideas, etc., while  citation  is more focused on helping scholars  trace back ideas  through their development in various scholarly and primary resources. There is no single way to provide attribution, while citations have specific requirements and structure depending on the style guide you are using. Both are acknowledging that someone else contributed content that you are using in your material.

This work is adapted from " Attribution " by Gettysburg College, used under a  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License . 

Image Guideline

  • Finding Images
  • Attribution
  • APA Citation
  • Image Websites and Tools

Searching for Images

Images can be found anywhere on the internet. They are found on social media, informational or educational websites, clipart and stock image websites, and perhaps the easiest way to find images is by using a search engine. While images may be easy to locate, using them in an assignment isn't as simple. Copying from a website and pasting it into your assignment may make it difficult to properly give credit to the image's creator, may make it difficult for others to find, or might violate copyright law. Links to image websites will be provided in the " Image Websites and Tools" tab  to help with these issues, but sometimes the easiest way to get the image needed is to Google it. The guide below will detail how to search for any type of image, Creative Commons images, and where to access the original image, to retrieve the best information for a citation or attribution.

Searching With Google

Searching for ready-to-use images in Google

Finding an image's correct URL in Google

Searching with Google

It is recommended to use the Google Images  search rather than the global Google search. If you do use the global search you can select the "Images" option in the blue oval below the search box, as captured in the screenshot below. The screenshot also displays an example of an unlimited search for a "heart diagram." Image results come from Wikimedia Commons, Britannica, healthcare websites, and more. Some of these images may require a fee or copyright permission to use. In order to avoid determining if the image is free to reuse and if permission is already granted, details are below. 

Screen capture of the results page for a Google image search for a heart diagram

One way to find ready-to-use images is to include one of the following phrases in a global Google  search. Adding these phrases to the search isn't a guarantee that the images are free and have permission to reproduce elsewhere, so double-checking is recommended. The global search helps as the results include websites that state if they are free. 

  • public domain 
  • free to use 
  • Creative Commons
  • royalty free
  • license free

Another option for finding ready-to-use images is the  Google Images  search. Below is the same search as displayed in the image above; however, by clicking on the  blue, rectangle, labeled "Tools", a set of options appears, including "Usage Rights." Select "Creative Commons licenses" by clicking on "Usage Rights". 

Screen capture of the results page for a Google image search for a heart diagram, highlighting the Tools button and the Creative Commons limiter

Viewing an image's correct URL in Google

Once an image has been selected, follow the link to the original source. To do this, click on the image in the result list and then, in the large view of the image, click the blue oval labeled "Visit." This will take you to the website where Google found the image. From this website, the information for an attribution or citation should be found.  Note:  Do not use the URL from the address bar on the Google search page. This is a link to the search and not the image. Results can change order or be completely different for other individuals.

Screen capture of the results page for a Google image search for a heart diagram, with a specific diagram of the heart selected, and the Visit button highlighted

What is Required for an Attribution?

There are  best practices  for giving attribution for materials you find online. This is different than citing a source in a bibliography or works cited. There is no correct way to attribute, but there are better ways than others. Ideally, in a digital project, if you are using something you found online, such as an image, video, audio, or text, the following elements are crucial: title , author , source , and license , collectively known as TASL .

  • The title of the media, as best as you can determine it. If no title, it’s not required.
  • The author ‘s name. Sometimes you will see a screen name or other pseudonym, so use that.
  • The original source . You need to provide a link to where the media lives on the Internet so others can find it as well.
  • The license . If the media includes a Creative Commons or other license, include the specific license as well. If it’s in the public domain, you can simply note that.

It is usually best to include the attribution in the caption for media, if that is available. Some digital tools, such as TimelineJS and StorymapJS, have specific fields for credit. Otherwise, try putting the attribution as close to the media as possible, such as on the same webpage.

Finding Information for Attributions

Sometimes finding information for attributions is easy, other times it can be a bit tricky. It depends on the website where the original media was hosted. Some websites, like Flickr and Wikimedia Commons make it easy. Other times, you just have to use your best judgment. The most important piece of information is the Source part of the attribution, so a user can trace back to where you found it.

Wikimedia Commons

For our first example, we are using a picture of a cat found on Wikimedia Commons.

Tan and white cat sitting on pavement

TASL Analysis

  • Title: Mittens, the Cat of Wellington
  • Author: Diksha Gaur (no known link to the author’s page)
  • Source: A link to the Wikimedia Commons page where the image lives ( https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mittens_the_cat_of_wellington.jpg )
  • License: CC-BY-SA, with a link to the license

Finding Attribution Information

This video will show you how to find the TASL attribution information for an image found on Wikimedia Commons.

Our second example is a picture of a penguin found on Flickr.

Emperor penguin jumping out of the water onto ice

  • Title: Emperor Penguin jumping!
  • Author: Christopher Michel, with a link to his author page on Flickr ( https://www.flickr.com/photos/cmichel67/ )
  • Source: A link to the Flickr page ( https://www.flickr.com/photos/cmichel67/11235945713/ )
  • License: CC-BY, with a link to the license

This video will show you how to find the TASL attribution information for an image found on Flickr.

Public Domain

Images in the public domain don’t need attributions legally, but it’s still the best practice to do so anyway as ethical users of information. This is an image of the earth taken by NASA astronauts; generally, all materials created by the United States government are required to be in the public domain.

Apollo 10 view of the earth

  • Title: May 18, 1969 – Apollo 10 View of the Earth
  • Author: NASA
  • Source: A link to the image on NASA’s website ( https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/may-18-1969-apollo-10-view-of-the-earth )
  • License: Public domain, so no license information is required, but you can include Public domain if you want.

Image without Title, Author, or License

Black question mark

  • Title: Unknown, so went with the descriptive “Question Mark.”
  • Author: Unknown, so not used.
  • Source: A link to where you found the image on the Internet (since I made this up on my own, the link just goes to gettysburg.edu for illustrative purposes).
  • License: No known license, so not used.

How Do I Attribute Something I Created?

Images that you have taken yourself and uploaded directly to a project can be handled as easily as:

Photo by Abraham Lincoln (Own work)

If you put the image on Flickr or another online repository, or added a Creative Commons license, you can treat it like any other image. Adding a title to the image may help identify it.

Copyright Attribution and Citation for Images (Using APA, 7th edition)

Using personal images

When using your own images, a reference citation and copyright attribution are not required, unless you have published your images elsewhere. If your images have been published elsewhere follow the formats listed below, treating the images as though they were published by another author. For papers, a figure number and title will be needed for your images.

Using others images

When referring to an image, without reproducing it, use an in-text citation and reference citation, as laid out in the APA, 7th edition, Style Guide. If an image is being reproduced, a reference citation and copyright attribution will replace an in-text citation. The formatting for and examples of reference citations and copyright attributions are detailed below.

Reference List Citation

Citation Format:

Creator last name, First initial. (Year).  Title of the image [Medium]. Source. Image URL 

  • Creator- For photographs list the photographer, for clip art list the creator
  • Year- the year the image was created, posted, or copyrighted
  • Title of the image- some images may have titles, if there is no title either the file name for the image can be used or a description of the image should be used
  • Medium- list Photograph, Clip art, Infographic, etc. as the medium, depending on the image
  • Source- the name of the website, journal, book, or other material the image is located in
  • Image URL- Use the most direct link to the image possible; if the image doesn't have its own URL use the URL of the webpage where the image is located. Note:  Google or other search engine URLs will not be the most direct link. Please see the Finding Images tab for more details.

Unknown citation information:

Some images may not have all the information listed above and it is acceptable to fill in as much as you can. Note:  If no creator name is found, move the Title to the creator position. 

Title of the image [Medium]. (Year). Source. Image URL

HIPAA protected images 

If an image is protected under HIPAA, there are two ways to address citing the image. The first would be to receive permission from the patient to disclose the image and associated information. The second way would be to remove all identifying data, following the HHS's  Guidance Regarding Methods for De-identification of Protected Health Information in Accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule . You would then cite the image using what information you have. An example of an image that has been de-identified can be found in the examples below. 

Copyright Attribution

If an image is reproduced in the assignment, a copyright attribution must be included under the image. All the information from the citation is included, with the addition of licensing information. However, the formatting follows a different pattern. A figure number and title (does not need to be the image title in the citation) must be included above an image, in an APA Style paper. The figure number and title are optional for presentation slides.

Attribution format (to be located under the image): 

Note.  From  Title of the image [Medium], by Creator First Initial Last Name, Year, Source, (Image URL). Permissions Statement.

  • If changes are made to the image, include "Adapted from" before the title
  • Permissions statement format: CC BY-NC.
  • Permissions statement format: In the public domain.

Creative Commons Image

The image in the assignment:

The image citation in the reference list:

Public Domain Image

Note: There was no title for this image so a description is used in place of the title.

HIPAA Protected Image - De-identified 

Open Access Medical Images

American Society for Microbiology: Image Library

Peer-reviewed images relating to microbes, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution – Noncommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Public Health Image Library (PHIL)

Images are intended for public health professionals, educators, students, and the public for reference, teaching, presentation, and public health messages. Most of the images are in the public domain.

Open-i is a service of the National Library of Medicine that enables the search and retrieval of abstracts and images (including charts, graphs, clinical images, etc.) from the open-source literature, and biomedical image collections. Searching may be done using text queries as well as query images. Open-i provides access to over 3.7 million images from about 1.2 million PubMed Central ®  articles; 7,470 chest x-rays with 3,955 radiology reports; 67,517 images from NLM History of Medicine collection; and 2,064 orthopedic illustrations.

SMART - Servier Medical Art

Over 3,000 free medical images, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

University of Utah: Health Education Assets Library (HEAL)

A collection of over 22,000 free, digital materials for health sciences education. The license for usage is included with the images.

  • Last Updated: Dec 4, 2023 9:46 AM
  • URL: https://library.bryanhealthcollege.edu/images
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14 December 2022

Legally Using Images in Presentation Slides

legally using images in presentation slides

Do you use images in presentations? Whether an in-person or virtual presentation or class, this article will help you establish best practices for legally using images in presentation slides and minimizing your risks of copyright infringement. Images include photographs, charts, maps, illustrations, charts and more. You may also like our online copyright course that includes an entire module on legally using images.

Scroll down to the end of this article to download our Simple Guide to Legally Using Images in Presentations.

Are You Legally Using Images in Presentation Slides?

How much attention do you pay to copyright law when you create slides for a presentation? While it's important to focus on the non-legal aspects of the presentation such as content and images to enhance speaking points, it's just as important to consider copyright issues. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Include copyright management as a regular part of planning your presentations
  • Incorporate a permissions process into your planning
  • Be aware of your budget, if you have one, to pay for permissions
  • Plan for the possibility that if you're unable to secure permissions on time or the fees are too high, you'll need to adjust your content accordingly

As with most copyright issues, the matter of legally using images in presentation slides is nuanced. The answer to many questions is often “it depends” or "maybe" or "let's examine your particular circumstances." Understanding copyright issues will help ensure you're legally using images in presentation slides.

First Ask Yourself: Are the Images Protected by Copyright?

When you find an image online or elsewhere, assume it's protected by copyright. Once you identify the image you want to use, consider its copyright status and whether you need permission to use it.

Google has made it easier to determine an image's copyright status by providing copyright-related metadata for images in Google Images, when this information is available. To learn more, see Google’s article Image Rights Metadata in Google Images . Note that some images don't have this metadata and you'll need to do further research.

How Can You Avoid Copyright Concerns When Using Images in Presentations?

There are several ways to legally use images in presentation slides that don't require you to clear copyright permissions with the images' copyright holders.

Use Public Domain Images

If you determine that copyright in a work has expired and the work is in the public domain , you can use the work without obtaining permission. In the U.S., a work is in the public domain 70 years after the author's death. Most countries have a copyright duration of 50 to 70 years after an author's death.

Be mindful that a work that's been manipulated or adapted may constitute a new work. That new work may have a new and longer copyright duration, even though the underlying work is in the public domain.

State or Summarize Facts, News and Historical Events

You may state or summarize facts, news and historical events without permission as long as you don’t reproduce them exactly as you found them in the source.

This basic principle of copyright law works for text but is more difficult to apply to the use of images. You could, however, use data or summarize it rather than reproduce, adapt or share a source table or chart without permission.

Create Your Own Images

Instead of using third-party content, another way of legally using images in presentation slides is to use a chart or photograph that you or a fellow employee created. An employer generally owns the copyright in any works its employees create during the course of their job duties. So, keep in mind that if you take a photo as part of your employment duties, your company likely owns the copyright in it.

Employers, however, should be aware that you don't own copyright in everything created by your employees. You only own copyright in those works created as part of an employee's duties. So even if an employee posts a vacation photo on your organization's website, you likely don't own the photo if it wasn't created as part of their required duties.

Use a Stock Photo Agency

Your organization may have an account with a stock photo agency where you can find images that suit your purpose. You must follow the terms and conditions of the agency's license agreement to legally use these images in your presentation. Familiarize yourself with the license your stock photo agency uses (e.g., see the iStock Content License Agreement) .

Use Images with a Creative Commons (CC) License

Just because an image has a Creative Commons license doesn't mean you have unrestricted use of it. Read that license! Does it specifically allow your use of the image? Review the terms and conditions of the CC license to ensure your use complies.

Tips for using images governed by CC licenses:

  • You need to acknowledge the author of the image
  • Read the terms and conditions of the CC license to see what's permitted and what requires further permission
  • CC licenses are irrevocable, so you can use the image under the license as long as you need to

Don't Rely on Prior Copyright Permissions

If you already have permission to include a photograph in a management training session at your company’s headquarters in Baltimore, it doesn’t mean you can use that photo in a public presentation being made across North America. Know the terms of licenses and assignments (i.e., permissions). If they don’t apply to the current situation or current presentation, either seek additional permission or use an alternative image.

Use Images As-Is

Even if you have permission from the copyright owner, you may need specific permission to re-color, make black and white, or color, crop or otherwise manipulate images. Standard stock photo agency licenses, for example, may not allow these additional uses without further permission.

Does Fair Use or Fair Dealing Apply to Using Images in Presentation Slides?

Fair use or fair dealing provisions may apply to your use of images in your presentation, permitting you to reproduce a work without permission in some situations. You’ll have to apply the fair use or fair dealing criteria to your particular situation to determine if it falls within these statutory provisions.

Fair use and fair dealing are not without risk. The only way to know for certain if your fair use or dealing assessment is correct is in a court of law. It's wise to know your organization’s risk tolerance for an inaccurate fair use or fair dealing determination. It's also advisable to consult internal policy, a copyright specialist, and/or your legal counsel on these matters.

Familiarize Yourself with Copyright Law

Everyone needs to be familiar with the basics of copyright. Whether you’re designing presentations, writing the company newsletter, or photocopying materials, copyright should be part of your workflow. To understand how to legally use images, concentrate on:

  • What images are protected by copyright law
  • When you need to obtain permission to use images and when you can use images without permission or additional permission
  • Additional rights to consider when legally using images, such as moral rights that protect the paternity and integrity of an author, and privacy rights

You may also be interested in our article on obtaining permission to use comic strips , as well as Copyright Issues in E-Books and Electronic Publishing .

Want more helpful information like this? Our Copyright Leadership Certificate program provides a primer on U.S. and global copyright law, devotes an entire course to legally using images, and teaches you practical skills to interpret copyright in your workplace.

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The Essential Guide To Using Images Legally Online

Are you using images legally online? Learn how to avoid copyright infringement and protect yourself from legal consequences with this guide.

The Essential Guide to Using Images Legally Online

The information in this article is not intended to and does not constitute legal advice. Only your attorney or your organization’s counsel can provide assurances that the information contained herein – and your interpretation of it – is applicable or appropriate to your particular situation.

Images are an essential component of online content – and it’s obvious why. Images aren’t just pretty—they’re powerful marketing tools that help you stand out.

They pique your audience’s attention, enhance your messaging, and significantly enhance the appeal and effectiveness of your content.

Whether you’re creating a social media post, a webpage, an ebook, a blog post, or something else, adding visuals goes a long way in improving the overall user experience.

However, you can’t just pull images off the internet and use them – and it’s your responsibility to determine if and how you can use the image without breaking the law.

If you violate copyright law – even accidentally – you can face serious consequences. Many online platforms, such as Google and YouTube , have copyright policies that streamline copyright claims and enforcement actions. Often, a minor violation will result in receiving a DMCA notice and the content being removed or demonetized. However, if a violation is egregious or impactful enough, you could face heavier consequences such as hefty fines, court trials, and, in extreme cases, even jail time.

In this article, we’ll explore how you can navigate these murky waters to ensure that you’re using images impactfully and legally online.

What Is Copyright Law?

Copyright law is complex and dynamic, and it requires a careful approach to using images online – especially in the wake of tech advancements like generative AI .

Every image – whether you find it on Google, social media, or a stock photo site – gains copyright as soon as it’s created, and it’s up to you to discern whether or not you have the legal right to use it.

Copyright is designed to protect the creative works of authors, photographers, artists, and other creators. It gives them the exclusive rights to use, distribute, and modify their creations.

Without such laws, creators would have few defenses against individuals and corporations alike simply stealing their work and using it for whatever purposes they desire.

And while the foundational principle of copyright remains unchanged, the landscape around these laws is always evolving.

A recent example of this is the CASE Act of 2020 , which created a small claims solution to make it easier for creatives to make copyright complaints without the need for long, expensive legal battles.

This goes to show how important it is to understand and respect copyright law, as its goal is to balance the interests of creators with the need for the public to have access to creative works.

What Is Fair Use?

Another thing you should be familiar with if using images online is the fair use doctrine.

The doctrine of fair use is a legal principle in U.S. copyright law that allows limited use of copyrighted work without requiring permission in certain cases and circumstances. Some of these cases include commentary, criticism, news reporting, or educational purposes.

“Transformative” use of an image can also constitute fair use – which means altering the original visual in such a way that it takes on a new meaning, message, or expression and can include parody.

A search engine showing an image you searched for is an example of fair use.

Teachers and news organizations also have certain protections under fair use for how they use copyrighted material.

Fair use is very nuanced, but the main factors involved in determining whether something is fair use are:

  • The purpose and character of the use : Do you want to use the image for commercial or non-commercial purposes? Are you a non-profit organization, a customer packaged goods (CPG) brand, or a journalistic organization?
  • The nature of the copyrighted work : Is it a photograph or an art piece?
  • The amount and substantiality of the portion used : Are you using a small piece of the work or all of it? Is what you’re using considered the “heart” of the image or whatever it represents?
  • The effect of the use on the potential market: By using this image, are you potentially negatively impacting the market value of the original?

Given all of these factors, you should carefully consider whether fair use might apply to an image you would like to use online.

Fair use is not guaranteed protection and you may want to consult your general counsel before relying on it. If a policy for using copyrighted works doesn’t already exist in your organization (for example, editorial guidelines for a news organization) and the stakes of using a copyrighted work don’t necessitate the expense of consulting a lawyer, then you should not use content you don’t have explicit rights to.

General Guidelines For Using Images Online

As we’ve already established, anybody using images online has a responsibility to abide by copyright laws in order to avoid legal issues.

As part of this, you should understand that even if images online seem “free,” they might have hidden restrictions based on how they’re used, where they’re shared, and the purpose of using them.

When using images online – especially for commercial/marketing purposes – you should always:

  • Obtain proper licenses or permissions where required . As part of this, make sure to get signed releases for any images using trademarks, logos, identifiable people, or other private entities.
  • Respect any terms of use associated with said images.
  • Be careful when making fair use determinations . If you’re unsure, seek legal advice.
  • When in doubt, seek permission directly from the copyright owner . This is the safest way to use an image, and we would recommend taking this path whenever possible.

And, of course, ensure you stay informed on the latest developments in copyright law, especially as it pertains to your own activity.

Now, let’s get more specific on the types of images you can use online, and best practices for how to put them to use (or not).

1. Public Domain Images (a.k.a. ‘No Copyright’ Images)

Images in the public domain are free to use without any copyright restrictions.

This is because one of the following things is true:

  • The copyright has expired.
  • The work never had a copyright, to begin with.
  • The copyright holder released the work into the public domain, thereby waiving their right to copyright.
  • The image is a U.S. work published before January 1, 1929.

That last bullet is why you’ll often hear about certain works “entering the public domain” each year.

Generally, public domain images don’t require citation or permissions, making them a very useful resource when you’re looking for easy-to-use visuals.

But be careful; make sure you verify that the image is indeed in the public domain before using it.

Copyright-free images will have the Public Domain Mark 1.0 or the CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Mark, and you can obtain them on sites like Wikimedia Commons and Flickr Commons .

2. Creative Commons Images

Another great (and free) source of visuals is images with Creative Commons licenses.

Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that provides licenses allowing creators to make their works available to the public while retaining some control over their use.

This means, images under Creative Commons licenses are available for use, but with specific conditions based on the license type.

While some licenses allow for commercial use and even modifications to the original image, others do not – and often, you’re required to provide attribution for the original creator.

There are six different types of Creative Commons licenses that range in terms of how permissive they are and their requirements – but for marketing purposes, they essentially fall into two categories:

  • Those that allow commercial use.
  • Those that don’t.

Commercial use is defined as use that is “primarily intended for commercial advantage or monetary compensation.”

That compensation, however, can be direct or indirect. So, if you’re using an image in a blog post or on a webpage affiliated with a for-profit company, the use is considered commercial. This would also apply to social media content.

To that end, we would recommend only using Creative Commons photos that are allowed for commercial use – especially if you work for a for-profit company.

Beyond that, photos with a CC license can have other stipulations you must adhere to, including:

  • Attribution : This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon the creator’s work as long as they credit the creator for the original creation.
  • Attribution-ShareAlike : This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon the creator’s work as long as they credit the creator and license their new creations under the identical terms.
  • Attribution-No Derivatives : This license allows for the redistribution of an image as long as the image remains unchanged and is credited to the creator.

As you search through the Creative Commons website, you can filter your search to find images that can be used commercially and/or modified.

3. Stock Photos

Stock photos have long been a favored image resource for marketers, and it’s not hard to see why. They’re a high-quality, convenient solution that often caters to commercial use cases.

Stock photo websites give you access to a massive offering of professional quality images that address almost any need or situation you can think of.

Creators can partner with stock photo companies to license their works to anyone willing to pay their licensing fee.

Buying a license for a stock photo (or paying for a subscription to the stock photo service itself) gives you free rein to use the photo in any way prescribed by the licensing agreement .

That last part is important. Stock photos still come with stipulations, and there are different licenses that apply to different images. These include, among others:

  • Royalty-Free (RF) – The most common license type, this gives you the ability to use the photo multiple times across different platforms with just one initial purchase.
  • Rights-Managed (RM) – With this license, you get more specific usage rights based on the duration, geography, and how you’re distributing the image. Typically more expensive than RF, but it can be possible to secure exclusivity, meaning you’re the only one who can use that image in that way for a specific period.
  • Editorial Use – This license applies to images that are intended solely for journalistic or newsworthy purposes – not commercial use . So, while a writer could use this photo for a newsletter or a blog, a brand could not use it for a Facebook ad, or a corporate homepage. This is typically reserved for images that feature recognizable products or brands, celebrities, events, etc.

Stock photos are a great option for using images online – just be sure to always read the licensing agreement thoroughly.

4. Your Own Images

As far as using images legally online, this is always going to be your best option.

Creating your own images is a straightforward and simple way to avoid copyright infringement and ensure you’re not upsetting any creators out there.

If you’re the photographer, then there’s no danger of violating any copyright – because you own it. You have the flexibility to use the image as you wish, alter it, and distribute it anywhere, for as long as you like.

Plus, the photos will be entirely original, which can go a long way in engaging your audience and setting you apart from the crowd.

Don’t have a fancy camera on hand? Don’t worry. Thanks to advances in smartphone camera technology and accessible photo editing apps and software, you can easily create high-quality photography without spending a bunch of money on a DSLR.

To make your pictures look professional, make sure to consider lighting and background framing.

Alternatively, you could hire outside help like a photographer or designer – just make sure the contract grants you exclusive rights to ownership, use, and distribution of the photos.

And don’t forget to get signed releases from any individuals who might appear in your images.

5. Social Media Images (Only W ith Permission)

If you’re looking for compelling visual content , chances are you’re looking at social media. With a wealth of imagery to choose from, social media presents tempting opportunities for marketers looking to spiff up their brand messaging.

But beware: Images posted on social media platforms are copyrighted by the original creator who uploaded them – and they require permission from that owner to be legally used.

It’s vital to act responsibly and secure explicit consent from creators if you plan to use their content.

Giving credit to the original owner via a tag or comment is also best practice – and while some consider that to be enough, I recommend always seeking explicit permission first, especially as a brand.

If you use social media content without permission, it could result in legal action – and the legal fees and final judgment could be crippling.

Always err on the side of caution, and research the terms and conditions of the platform you’re using.

Let’s say you have a customer who posted an amazing image of your product on Instagram, and you’d like to use it – sending a simple direct message (or leaving a comment) asking for permission is quick and easy and will protect you – and chances are you’ll get a yes.

It’s worth noting that using native tools to reshare images in-platform is typically okay. That means that you can go ahead and retweet something, or share a photo to your Instagram Story that tagged your brand, just make sure to credit the creator.

Similarly, remixes and duets on platforms like TikTok are more flexible, as the creator implicitly gives permission for their content to be adapted when they enable those features.

But remain mindful of the content itself, the terms of the platform, and the intentions of the original creator.

6. AI-Generated Images

Due to the meteoric rise of generative AI over the past few years, there’s been a surge in AI-generated images.

Now, you can use tools like DALL-E, Midjourney , and ChatGPT to create visual content using only a simple prompt – and this brings up a lot of questions (and debates) around the legality, copyright, and authorship of AI-created content.

There’s no crystal clear answer for you here. This is an issue that is actively evolving, and regulations and policies are certain to keep developing.

[Editor’s note:] SEJ does not recommend publishing content outputs from generative AI models, including images. Some platforms may offer liability protection, such as Shutterstock , which trains a specific model on proprietary images. But always read the fine print, understand how the models are trained, and consult a legal professional.

The internet loves GIFs .

But while GIFs abound throughout online content, that doesn’t mean their use is legal. In reality, it’s a confusing landscape without clear guidelines.

For one thing, it can be argued that GIFs fall under the doctrine of fair use, which I covered above.

You could claim GIFs are used for commentary, criticism, or parody.

You could also argue that GIFs are a “transformative” use of the original work, as a brief, looping clip of something is not representative of the entire piece of content – and, therefore, doesn’t undermine the value of the work as a whole.

Still, this does not constitute blanket permission.

Technically, if you wanted to be operating entirely without risk, you would need written releases from the copyright holder of the original work and the people who appear in the GIF. That sounds like a lot of effort for something that will probably amount to a dead end.

You could get away with it, but why risk it?

Our official recommendation is to simply avoid using GIFs. That way, you can avoid the possibility of getting slapped with a cease and desist order – or worse.

That said, if you insist on using GIFs, here are a few quick tips:

  • Create your own GIFs from content you own or have permission to use . With some simple design work, or help from online tools, you can convert your existing content into custom GIFs that you can use to your heart’s content. This is the only way I would confidently recommend leveraging GIFs in your marketing.
  • Understand copyright law and fair use . Before deciding to use a GIF, consider the four factors of fair use – purpose and character of the use, nature of the copyrighted work, amount and substantiality of the portion used, and the effect of the use on the potential market for the copyrighted work.
  • Source from reputable platforms . Some platforms like Giphy have existing licensing agreements with content creators and copyright owners, making their GIF libraries generally safe to use. However, you should still review each platform’s terms of use and licensing agreements before making the call.

Proceed at your own risk.

Images are an essential part of online content.

As such, marketers will inevitably need to use them in their digital marketing efforts – and it’s important to understand how to do so legally and responsibly.

By keeping yourself informed on the latest legal developments, developing an understanding of copyright licenses, and practicing due diligence before leveraging images online, you can create compelling and engaging visual content without the risk.

More resources: 

  • 41 Places To Find Free Images Online That You Will Actually Want To Use
  • 11 Best Image Search Engines For Visual Content
  • Content Marketing: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To What Works

Featured Image: VectorMine/Shutterstock

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Teaching Students to Legally Use Images Online

November 13, 2017

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using images in assignments

As our students create more and more digital products —blog posts, videos, podcasts, e-books—they should be using images to enhance them. Images grab an audience’s attention, they can illustrate key concepts, set a certain tone, and present a more complete understanding of the ideas you’re putting out there.

And the internet is absolutely teeming with images students can grab and use in a matter of seconds. But in most cases, they SHOULD NOT GRAB. Despite the fact that these images are easy to get, using them may be illegal.

Does this Matter at School?

Is legal image use really a big deal with school projects? If our students are just using images to enhance assignments for class, it might be easy to shrug off the technicalities, since most of these images will never be seen by audiences outside the classroom.

Two things to consider:

  • Even if your students are working within a tightly monitored, password-protected, closed online environment, there’s no guarantee that the products they create will always remain private . Proud parents might share their child’s work on social media, a student might place their work in a digital portfolio for future use, and household guests might ultimately view things inside that “closed” environment. So it makes sense to operate under the assumption that all digital products could eventually become public.
  • Why not prepare students for the day when these rules will carry more serious consequences? As students move out of school and into professional contexts, being trained in the proper, legal use of images will serve them well.  And legal use of images is also closely tied to ethical habits and plagiarism.

So in the spirit of complying with the law and preparing the next generation to participate responsibly online, let’s review the different approaches students can take to add images to their written work, blog posts, videos, presentations, and other digital products. We’ll start with the safest, most affordable option.

Disclaimer: I am not a legal expert. My goal is to raise awareness of the complexities of online use of images and get teachers to pass on that awareness to their students. If you find inaccuracies, please point them out and I will make corrections.

using images in assignments

Option 1: Make Your Own

If students create their own images, then they own the copyright and can use them without having to pay any money or get permission (unless the photos are of someone else…but we’ll get to that).

ILLUSTRATIONS

When I first started this website, I couldn’t afford to buy nice photos, and I didn’t want to use the same free ones I saw everywhere else online, so despite the fact that my artistic skills are nothing special, I just created my own doodles in MS Paint, like the one shown above. This is a great route to take, because you can get started right away, it’s free, and there’s no copyright to worry about.

Students can create their own illustrations in two ways:

  • Handmade : Students can draw or paint an image on paper, create a paper collage, or even build something in 3D like a sculpture, then take a picture of it and use that photo for whatever digital product they are creating.
  • Digital : Using simple programs like MS Paint for Windows, Paper by 53 for iOS devices, or web-based tools like Google Drawings , Adobe Creative Cloud Express , Canva , Autodraw , Piktochart , and Sketchpad . On any of these platforms,  students can create just about any illustration they can think of, save it as a PNG file, then add it wherever they like.

Students can take their own digital photos and upload them in a heartbeat, using sites like PicMonkey and Pixlr to edit or enhance them for free. When using photos they take themselves, students should keep the following rules in mind:

  • If you took the photo at a public event and the photo will be used for journalistic purposes (to simply describe the event, for example)
  • If the person is not recognizable in the photo (their face isn’t showing, for example)
  • If you’re going to use the photo for commercial purposes (to sell something) or promotional purposes (to promote a product, service, or idea), you need permission from the subject.
  • If the photo was taken on private property, even if it is not the subject’s property, you must get permission from the subject to use that photo.
  • If you are holding an event, like a festival, party, or concert, and you plan to take photos that you might share with the public, you should get permission from attendees. Event organizers often use crowd release forms at the point of registration: They’ll require attendees to check a box giving permission to use photos of them. Another approach is to hang up crowd release signs at the event itself. Learn more about event release forms in this post from SLR Lounge and this one from Mark Schaefer.
  • If you are taking photos of students at school, it’s likely that the parents or guardians of those students signed a media release form at the beginning of the school year, giving the school permission to use that student’s image in various non-commercial publications throughout the year. These permissions may also extend to student photographers, as long as you are using the images for school-related projects. Students should check with their teacher and administrator to make sure.
  • If the photo contains an image of a store or business logo. Some businesses have rules about using images of their facilities or that prominently feature their logo, so if you are going to be taking photos that will include any kind of business logo or store, get written permission from the business owner first.
  • If the student has a job that includes taking photos, photos taken as part of the job may actually belong to the employer.

using images in assignments

Option 2: Use Creative Commons Images

Creative Commons is an organization that has made it much easier for people to share artwork. They have established a set of licenses that artists can place on their work that automatically gives others permission to use that work in their own projects under specific terms and conditions.

A photographer, for example, might use a Creative Commons licenses on a collection of her photographs,  so that anyone who finds them online can easily check the chosen license and follow the restrictions of use specified in that license .

If your students want to use images they find online, they should look for images that have Creative Commons licenses. You can learn about all of the licenses here , but the safest bet is to steer students toward pictures that have the two least restrictive licenses:

using images in assignments

CC0: Creative Commons Zero This is the least restrictive level, and the one students should look for first. Items marked as CC0 can be used by anyone, for any purpose without having to get permission or give credit to the artist. In other words, an image licensed with CC0 is the same copyright-wise as an image in the public domain .

using images in assignments

CC BY: Attribution Items with this license can be used for non-commercial OR commercial purposes, and all the user has to do is give credit to the original artist.

[Both license images above came from Creative Commons and are licensed under CC BY 4.0 ]

WHERE TO FIND CREATIVE COMMONS IMAGES

Free Stock Photo Sites These fantastic sites curate free, high-quality images that are all CC0 licensed. Simply search for what you need, download the photos you like, and use them. Unfortunately, many free stock photo sites contain adult content, so unsupervised students should not use them, but if your students are working under adult supervision, they should try these sites. Here are a few good sites that don’t appear to contain inappropriate content: StockSnap Good Free Photos Foodiesfeed (all food-related)

Flickr Commons Flickr is where thousands of photographers store their photography for public display, and many of these photos have CC0 and CC BY licenses.

Photos for Class This is a handy search engine for finding school-appropriate images. My only hesitation with recommending this site is that it automatically adds attribution to each photo. Although this could be seen as a good feature, I feel it doesn’t really teach students how to give appropriate attribution, because it does the work for them. Also, students may not always want the added black bar with the attribution information at the bottom of each image, and they may be tempted to simply crop it out, which would defeat the whole purpose.

Google Image Search Although a Google search will pull up plenty of images students don’t have permission to use, the search can be filtered so that the results only show images that are licensed for re-use. Just be sure to open up the Tools after you search, and check one of the options under “Usage rights” that will remove all of the photos that have not been labeled for some kind of reuse. Checking “Creative Commons Images” should give you images that have the least amount of restrictions.

using images in assignments

HOW TO GIVE PROPER ATTRIBUTION

If students use an image that requires attribution, students should simply add a line of text underneath the image providing four pieces of information (Creative Commons recommends using the acronym TASL to remember these):

T = the title of the image A = the author (or artist) S = the source (or where it is located online) L = the license for the image

Ideally, the attribution should be placed fairly close to the image, so that those who view it connect the information to the picture. Here are some examples of properly attributed images:

Online If you use the image in a blog post or on a website, you can place the attribution in the caption or on a line of text below the image:

using images in assignments

Blood Orange Shine by Derek Gavey is licensed under CC BY 2.0

In the above attribution, I included the title , “Blood Orange Shine,” the name of the author , Derek Gavey, and the code for the license . Because the image will be displayed online, I can include the location by just hyperlinking the title to URL of the site where the image is stored. I can also hyperlink the author’s name to his page on Flickr, the photo sharing site where the photographer stores his photos, and the name of the license to the license page on the Creative Commons website.

In Print Because print publications don’t allow hyperlinking, I would need to add the URL information to the attribution:

Blood Orange Shine (https://www.flickr.com/photos/24931020@N02/14995800960/) by Derek Gavey is licensed under CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

If doing this right by the photo would make my product look less attractive, I can add the photo credit to the bottom of the page or on a page of photo credits.

In a Video or Slide Presentation Attribution can be placed in small print right on the slide or frame where the image appears. Because giving full attribution, including URLs, would take up a lot of space and could interfere with the enjoyment of the image, one solution is to place an abbreviated attribution where the image appears (giving the title, author, and license code), then add full credits on a slide or frame at the end.

Here’s what an on-slide attribution could look like, using a simple black rectangle at the bottom with a white-font text box on top of it:

using images in assignments

And here is what the photo credits page might look like at the end of the presentation or video:

using images in assignments

Option 3: Buy Images

Although it’s not necessarily within most students’ budgets, they do have the option to actually purchase high-quality stock photography and illustrations. When making these purchases, students should read the licensing agreements carefully: In general, the more widely a user plans to distribute the product, the more the image will cost.

  • On graphic design sites like Canva , where users can create their own designs with drawing tools and free images, there’s also the option to buy photos and illustrations to use in a single project for as little as $1. If the student wants to use the image in multiple projects, the fee for a single image can go as high as $100. Learn more about Canva licensing here .
  • Other sites, like iStock , sell the images without the graphic design tools. These images can be quite expensive depending on how they are going to be used and distributed. Learn more about iStock licenses here .

using images in assignments

Don’t Make This Rookie Mistake!

When doing general searches for images, paid items will come up in the results. The way to identify a paid image is if it has a watermark: a translucent design that covers the image but doesn’t prevent you from seeing the picture behind it.

These watermarks are only removed after someone actually pays for the image, but it is possible to download a watermarked image, and people will sometimes do this without realizing that they are basically stealing the image AND broadcasting that fact to the world.

Teach your students not to do this.

Making a Good Effort

With all of this said, using images correctly can be an inexact science: Sometimes you can’t always contact a person for permission. Sometimes it’s nearly impossible to find the name of a photographer. The best rule of thumb is to make a good effort to give credit where it’s due and ask for permission as much as possible. If we can build these habits in our students from an early age, we will be helping to make the internet a more respectful and cooperative place.

Want a Ready-Made Lesson on Image Use?

using images in assignments

I’ve pulled the concepts from this post into a ready-to-use lesson you can teach tomorrow. Using Images Correctly includes a beautifully designed PowerPoint (also available in Google Slides), two student handouts that summarize the key points, and a Team Challenge students can take to test their knowledge of appropriate image use. Come check it out !

To Learn More

The Copyright Laws website is a great place to read more about these issues. They even have a course you can take on legally using images online.

All of the images in this post that have no attribution are licensed by CC0 or were created by the author.

What to Read Next

using images in assignments

Categories: Technology

Tags: distance learning , library/media , remote learning , teaching with tech

33 Comments

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As always, your inquisitive mind leads my lesson planning! I am just introducing eDocs to students and will include your TPT photo credit slides in my presentation. Students will benefit from developing these good habits from the beginning 🙂 Thank you –

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This is also an ideal lesson to use your librarian for. Your librarian can talk about the reasons why we cite sources and provide the proper way to cite materials. This lesson can also be added on or extended when talking about plagiarism, note-taking and generally locating, evaluating and using sources. It is important to note that students should also be evaluating the images they use to make sure they are accurate and reliable for whatever they are using them for.

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Thank you for making the task of teaching our students about copyrights such a fun and interesting experience.

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My #1 go-to site for photographs is Pixabay. All public domain, some really terrific photographs. https://pixabay.com/

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Hi Jennifer,

Thanks so much for creating this great resource. It’s certainly one I’ll be able to share with others!

We must really be on the same wavelength as I recently posted an article on a similar topic http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/2017/10/09/where-to-find-free-images-for-students-and-teachers/

As a primary school teacher, one issue I find a real obstacle is that a lot of the sites to either make your own images or find Creative Commons images are 13+. In my post above I’ve listed some good options for students both over and under 13.

Sadly, I have also recently discovered the PicMonkey is no longer free. Canva and Adode Spark are still great options for 13+.

Thanks again, Jennifer. I always enjoy your work. Not only the content, but it’s always so visually pleasing and easy to read too! 🙂

@kathleen_morris

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Thanks for sharing. You have certainly shed lights on how students are also in need of great images. We are giving away free images that students and everyone can download the image to be used in their personal/school/commercial project safely and for free. Would be cool if you could take a look and see if you would be keen to add it to the list :). We are also trying to curate public domain illustrations from the past I found the ones on fish, astronomy and botany very interesting and educating.

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Hi Tip! I took a look at rawpixel.com and I am REALLY impressed with your mission to bring more diverse images to the world! (Anyone reading this: Go to their site, do a search for “girl” and check out all the variety you get back. SO much more interesting than standard stock photos.) They are beautiful! Since I am trying to encourage students to go with CC0 images, I want to mention to my readers that the licenses at rawpixel are not technically CC0, but they do allow for most of the same uses that a CC0 license would, so this would also be a good option. Just have students read the license details (click “view license”) on each photo page. Load time is really slow on this site, but the images are worth the wait.

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I used this in class and it worked really well – a lot of students are using visuals in their final presentations, so it was timely (and worked well for the two days before Thanksgiving Break.)

I also used this article to explain to them why this is important: http://www.livingfornaptime.com/starting-a-blog/blogging-mistakes-to-avoid/ In it a blogger was charged $7,500 for using an image of a pepper illegally. It fits in perfectly with your lesson.

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Hi, David–I’m a Customer Experience Manager and wanted to say thank you for adding this to the discussion. Wow. And THAT’S why we have to learn and teach about this stuff! Thanks again!

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Dear Jennifer,

Thank you so much for the sharing and its an eye opener for me and my teacher librarian and subject teachers too. I’m now actively giving talk on Information Literacy to schools. Can i use your write up and interpret it in simpler way and using my language ie Bahasa Melayu. I always share it on my FB Pages Literasi Maklumat – Malay version of Information Literacy.

Regards, Norhayati Razali

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Great article! If I could recommend one more possible source for Creative Commons/free to use pictures that might make this post an even bigger resource, it would be https://pikwizard.com

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Have you tied Unsplash. I might have learned about here or on my twitter PLN. It is free as long as you credit the individual as mentioned above. They are images shared by photographers from around the world.

https://unsplash.com/

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Thanks, Jennifer! For several years now, we’ve been teaching students what how images are, and are not, tagged for free use and how to attribute them, in particular when publishing to their blogs. It’s great to see your succinct and informative presentation of appropriate use, credit, and format. Interestingly but not surprisingly, students who incorporate this into their practice influence teachers who do not yet.

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I really appreciate your message on properly using images, especially when to give credit (important foundation) and resources (meaningful application) available. As I reached the section on citation I wondered why not use MLA format? I advocate for proper use and credit in and out of the classroom and want to be sure I am aware of best practices.

Thank you! Stephanie

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Hey Stephanie, I agree that this is an important topic for teachers to go over with their students, both in terms of foundational knowledge (why we do it) and application (how we do it). I think the answer to your question comes down to the difference between citation and attribution. For a good comparison of the two, see here . The MLA format, as you mention, is one option for citation that’s used mainly in academic settings. Attribution, on the other hand, is used mainly for legal purposes, which is what Jenn is focusing on here in her post. Neither one is better than the other; it just depends on what your purpose is.

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Hi Jen, So helpful, as always, this is a great resource, thanks so much. Such an important topic, and one I want to broach soon with my staff, so this is perfect (I’m a teacher librarian so it falls into my area of responsibility).

Thought it might be worth mentioning that teachers should be aware that each country has its own copyright laws, with the link to copyrightlaws.com only relevant for US teachers. Here in Australia we have our own laws and there are different laws again for schools, I presume other countries are similar.

But of course the principles are the same, I love all the various ways you have suggested to avoid violating copyright. Brilliant!

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A great resource, many thanks!

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This is a great resource and good reminders.

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Thanks so much!

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Great ideas

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I think students need to understand how to use images properly, and to have fun.

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I agree with authentic teaching to be most effective. Why not teach from the elementary level the legal and illegal use of images?

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As an elementary teacher, I absolutely think this can get started with younger kids.

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I agree, Debbie. I think the earlier students learn these the better.

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It all makes sense.

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I was just referred to this article/blog and found it to be VERY useful and informative. As a secondary school educator I feel there is not enough emphasis put on the ethics of using the internet – basically becoming a free-for-all take what ever you can get a hold of – forgetting the effort it took to create much of what the internet contains.

Hats off to a job well done Jennifer.

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Paul, Thank you so much for sharing this positive feedback. It’s so good to hear that as a secondary educator you are finding value in Cult of Pedagogy. Let us know if you have any questions or need help finding a resource. Katrice

I really appreciate all of the great advice regarding teaching students the legal and proper way to select images. I also loved your idea of having students draw their own images and to post them on Pixaby or other sites like PicMonkey. How exciting for students to see their creations posted on a Pic website to be seen and used by others.

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Hey! I have a quick question as this has been a source of discourse in some of my studies.

How does the Fair Use policy come into account, in the specific case of private research within study? It is my understanding that this means we do not need to cite copyright or get permission from the image owner. Especially in the case of high-level tertiary study, it can be INCREDIBLY difficult to find scientific diagrams or anatomically correct images on free stock sites. For example, I recently did a research paper on chronic kidney disease in canines, and we had to use images under the fair use policy, as that level of image does not exist for free. This level of research isn’t exactly ‘fun’ either haha!

I understand what you’re going for, but one of our lecturers is determined that we only use free images, even though my institution does not have any rules around using images under the fair use policy, which makes high-level research reports nigh on impossible. They have used this blog to tell us why we must only use free images.

At a secondary level of teaching, I understand what you’re going for and support it, as I’m sure many high school (or younger) students do not understand referencing and copyright laws, I’m just frustrated by being restricted at a higher level of learning.

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Hi there! Really good question, and I’ll be up front about the fact that my knowledge of fair use standards does not run deep. I think a good rule of thumb to follow is if you’re not going to make money from the use of the image, attitudes toward use become much more lenient. As you suggested in your comment, my article is geared toward helping K-12 students break the habit of just grabbing any old image off the internet and sticking it into their own creations; even though their work is not likely to have an audience outside the school building and will therefore not be likely to get the attention of anyone seeking to nail them with copyright infringement, if they never learn the right way to do it, they will take those bad habits into their adult lives, where the consequences could be far more serious.

With all of that said, I’m not quite sure what your options are. I wonder if you could create your own images by using a tool like EasyAnatomy and doing screenshots when you get just the right image you need, then crediting the site as the source. I looked at their FAQs and I’m not sure what the legality of that might be, but it seems like it might be an avenue worth exploring. Outside of that, you might try networking with other students in your field (through something like a Reddit discussion or Facebook group) to look for solutions others have already found.

I hope this helps!!

Hey Jennifer,

Thanks for your feedback, that’s awesome. I’ll definitely check out that anatomy app! Creating our own images is definitely viable, just tricky to do without high levels of artistic ability so an app like that might just be perfect!

I appreciate the thought and for taking the time to reply. 🙂

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Many thanks! For the first time, I’m attempting to create something. I was under the idea that most internet pictures were protected and that this discovered me to produce photographs from them! https://pathedits.com/blogs/tips/100-places-to-find-free-stock-photos-for-your-website-and-social-media

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This resource provides an invaluable guide to help students cultivate a culture that not only gives credit where it is due but also encourages accountability. Irrespective of a person’s background, cultural disposition worldview, or environmentally conditional influences, originality when well modeled will always be chosen over mediocrity.

Helping my students own their material, giving credit to who it is due grows ethically driven professionals and citizens.

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  • USC Libraries
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Using Images and Non-Textual Materials in Presentations, Papers, Theses, and Dissertations

  • Documenting and Citing Images
  • Finding Images - Select Sources

Documenting and Citing Images/Photographs and Their Sources

Please note that this is advice on best practices and considerations in documenting and citing images and non-print materials. It does not represent legal advice on obtaining permissions.

Generally, images copied from other sources should not be used without permissions in publications or for commercial purposes. Many American academic institutions require graduate students to archive their finished and approved theses/dissertations in institutional electronic repositories and/or institutional libraries and repositories, and/or to post them on Proquest's theses database. Unpublished theses and dissertations are a form of scholarly dissemination. Someone else's images, like someone else's ideas, words or music, should be used with critical commentary, and need to be identified and cited. If a thesis/dissertation is revised for publication,  waivers or permissions from the copyright holder(s) of the images and non-textual materials must be obtained. Best practices also apply to materials found on the internet and on social media, and, properly speaking, require identification, citation, and clearance of permissions, as relevant.

Use the following elements when identifying and citing an image, depending on the information you have available . It is your responsibility to do due diligence and document as much as possible about the image you are using:

  • Artist's/creator's name, if relevant;
  • Title of the work/image, if known, or description;
  • Ownership information (such as a person, estate, museum, library collection) and source of image;
  • Material, if known, particularly for art works;
  • Dimensions of the work, if known.

The Chicago Manual of Style online can be searched for norms on appropriate ways to caption illustrations, capitalize titles of visual works, or cite print materials that contain images.

Including images/photographs in a bibliography:

Best practice is to not include images within a bibliography of works cited. It is common, instead, to create a separate list of images (or figures) and their source, such as photographer (even if it's you) or collection. It may be useful to also include location, e.g., museum, geographic reference, address, etc.

Examples of Documenting Images

The image below is scanned from a published book. It can be used in a critical context within a presentation, classroom session, or  paper/thesis, as follows:

using images in assignments

[ Figure 1. This photograph from 1990 shows the Monument against Fascism designed by Jochen Gerz and Esther Shalev-Gerz, Hamburg, 1986-1993. Image from James Young, ed.,  Art of Memory: Holocaust Memorials in History (New York: Prestel, 1994), 70]

If you need to use this image in a published work, you will have to seek permission. For example, the book from which this image was scanned should have a section on photo credits which would help you identify the person/archive holding this image.

The image below was found through Google Images and downloaded from the internet. It can be used in a critical context within a presentation,  classroom session, or paper/thesis, as follows:

using images in assignments

[Figure 2. This image shows the interior of Bibliotheca Alexandrina designed by the Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta in 2001. Image downloaded from https://mgkhs.com/gallery/alexandria in March 2016.]

If you want to use this image in a published work, you will have to do your best to track down its source to request permission to use. The web site or social media site where you found the image may not be an appropriate source, since it is common for people to repost images without attribution. Just because "everyone does it" does not mean that you should be using such materials without attribution or documentation. In this specific example, you may need to write to the photographer or to the architecture firm. If you have done due diligence and were unable to find the source, or have not received a response, you may be able to use an image found on the internet with appropriate documentation in a publication.

The image below was downloaded from a digitized historic collection of photographs held by an institutional archive. It can be used in a critical context within a presentation,  classroom session, or paper/thesis, as follows:

using images in assignments

[Figure 3. In the 1920s the urban landscape of Los Angeles started to change, as various developers began building multi-family apartment houses in sections previously zoned for single family dwellings. Seen in this photograph by Dick Whittington is the Warrington apartment building, which was completed in 1928, surrounded by older single family structures. Downloaded from the USC Digital Library in February 2016]

I f you plan to use this photograph in a publication, seek permission from the library/institution from whose digital archive you downloaded the image. Contact information is usually found in the record for the image.

The image below was taken by the author. It can be used in a critical context within a presentation, classroom session , paper/thesis, or a publication* as follows:

using images in assignments

[Figure 4. Genex Tower, also known as West City Gate, is a residential tower located in New Belgrade. This example of late 20th century brutalist-style architecture was designed in 1977 by Mihajlo Mitrović. Photographed by the author in 2013.]

*Please note, if you re-photographed someone else's photograph or a work of art, or if you re-photographed a published image, you may not be able to publish your photograph without first seeking permission or credit for its content.  If you have done due diligence and were unable to find the source or have not received a response, you may be able to use your image with appropriate documentation.

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Finding and Using Images

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using images in assignments

The Basics of Copyright

As a student, especially in disciplines like history, communications, art, etc., you may need to search for images and use them as part of class presentations, research papers, or assignments in other formats.  Finding images is increasingly easy due to the Internet, but many of these images belong to other people,  even if  you do not immediately see a copyright notice.

Fortunately, due to a principle called  fair use , you are often able to reuse other people's photographs, digital artwork, etc. under certain conditions.  You can do so because one of the following is true:

  • The image is copyrighted, but you are using the image for an educational purpose (see below).
  • The image is not copyrighted.  It is either in the public domain (see below) or the creator has decided to make it freely available.

Please read through this guidance before reusing other people's images.  This page  does not  constitute legal advice.  If you are unsure about a specific situation, contact the library or your professor.

Any time you create something - a photograph, essay, digital artwork, sculpture, etc. - you own a  copyright  on that work; it is your  intellectual property .  Because you own the copyright, it is illegal for someone else to claim it as theirs.  They cannot copy your design or words, put their name on it, or sell it.  You automatically have a copyright on your work, even if  you have not published it, for your lifetime plus another 70 years.

Most images you find on the Internet belong to someone else.  There are some circumstances in which you  can  reuse online images, especially as a student or educator, due to the principle of  fair use .

Assume that most images that you find are under copyright unless indicated otherwise.

Important exceptions :

  • Note that academic integrity  often requires you to cite your sources, even if the image is no longer under copyright.
  • The image has been produced by a government agency.  All US government documents, including images - regardless of publication year - are automatically available without needing to request permission or pay a fee.
  • The image has been made freely available by its creator - e.g., via a  Creative Commons  license.  See our Creative Commons page for further details.

Fair use  allows you to reuse other people's work under certain circumstances, which you can view in greater detail by visiting the US Copyright Office website .

Fair use guidelines are intentionally  broad  - there is no checklist or black and white situation where a circumstance is "always" or "definitely" fair use.

Instead, a given situation can be  more likely  or  less likely  to be considered fair use.  Ask yourself the following questions.  Just because your answer to one or more of the questions makes your purpose "less likely" to be fair use does not automatically mean that you can't use the image.

  • Is your use educational / nonprofit, or commercial?  Is your use "transformative"?  If you are using the image for class or research (i.e., not making money), then it is more likely to be considered fair use.  "Transformative" means that you have substantially altered or added to the work so its purpose no longer resembles the original - for example, by including academic commentary or criticism.
  • Is the work creative or factual?  Factual works are more likely to be considered fair use than creative ones.  Although many images would be considered highly creative, you can still often use them in an appropriate classroom / research context.
  • Did you use all of or a substantial part of the work, or just a small part of it?   Using images often requires you to reproduce the entire work, but again, doing so is often considered acceptable in many educational situations.
  • Will people use your version of the work instead of buying it /accessing it from the original creator?   This question might be especially relevant if you are making your assignment or research publicly available on the Internet (as opposed to, for example, an in-class presentation).
  • You are giving an in-person presentation to your photography class.  On one slide, you include a photograph which demonstrates a class concept that you found via an online newspaper.  You give credit to the original source and include commentary about how it demonstrates the photography concept.
  • You are writing an art history research paper.  You include several images of 20th century paintings (with appropriate citations) alongside commentary about common features among them.  You submit your paper to your professor for an end-of-term assignment.
  • You are giving an in-person presentation to your photography class.  To decorate your slides, you use some doodles you found on Google Images from various websites.
  • You start an art history blog and copy and paste various images of 20th century paintings around your website.  You assume most of your visitors will be familiar with the artwork, so you don't include information about where you got the images or why you are using them.
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Images, figures and tables

  • Important information

Figure setup

Table setup.

  • Full citation and copyright statement
  • For decoration
  • Referring to images

In APA style,

  • Tables  are visual displays of text or data in columns and rows.
  • Figure  refers to all illustrations except tables including graphs, photos, screenshots, drawings, maps, infographics and  images .

Figures and tables can add visual appeal and make your work more understandable. 

All figures and tables you have created, adapted or reproduced in your assignment should be:

  • set up in APA style (see  Figure setup  and  Table setup ); and
  • referred to in the text of your assignment (e.g. Figure 1 shows...).

If you wish to use an image for decorative purposes only and will  not  refer to it in your text, see  For decoration .

All figures and tables included in your assessments are presumed to be your own work unless you state otherwise. As personal images and data are not retrievable, they do not require a full citation and copyright statement nor an entry in your reference list.

When using other people's images in your work there are important factors to consider. Before using an image from a public website, a book or other source, you need to ensure your use of it falls within any limitations set by the copyright or licence. For more information see  Full citation and copyright statement . 

If you need to cite an image in your assignment (but not reproduce it), see  Referring to images .

For more information about questions to ask when  deciding  to use an image and how to  find  images:

  • Finding images The Library's guide on finding images for your assignments.
  • Copyright for students (La Trobe University) Discover what is protected by copyright and how to decide what materials can be used for your studies.

Title of Figure

[Insert figure here]

Figure number

  • All figures are numbered as they appear in-text.
  • The word Figure and the figure number are in bold, e.g. Figure 1 .
  • Figures are numbered in a separate sequence to any tables.
  • If you include a figure in your document you should refer to it in your text, e.g. Figure 1 shows... (not 'figure above' or 'figure below')
  • The Title is written in italics below the Figure number . 
  • Give the figure a short clear descriptive title in Title Case .
  • The Note is immediately below each figure.
  • A note is included if you need to explain the figure or its contents.
  • If the figure (or the data you have used to create the figure) is reprinted or adapted from another source the note must include a full citation and a copyright statement .

For more information on how to set up a figure in APA:

  • Figure Setup How to set up a figure using APA 7 formatting, including where to place figures in your assignment.
  • Sample figures Sample APA 7 figures.

Title of Table

[Insert table here]

Table number

  • All tables are numbered as they appear in-text.
  • The word Table and the table number are in bold, e.g. Table 1 .
  • Tables are numbered in a separate sequence to any figures.
  • If you include a figure in your document you should refer to it in your text, e.g. Table 1 shows... (not 'table above' or 'table below')
  • The Title is written in italics below the Table number . 
  • Give the table a short clear descriptive title in Title Case .
  • The Note is immediately below each table.
  • A note is included if you need to explain the table or its contents.
  • If the table (or the data you have used to create the table) is reprinted or adapted from another source the note must include a full citation and a copyright statement .

For more information on how to set up a table in APA:

  • Table setup How to set up a table using APA 7 formatting, including where to place tables in your assignment.
  • Sample tables Sample tables in APA 7.

If the figure or table (or data you have used to create it) is reprinted (reproduced) or adapted from another source you must include a full citation and a copyright statement in the Note section.

Full citation

  • The full citation is used as an in-text citation and includes all elements of the reference in the order of title , author , year of publication and source , determined by where you reprinted or adapted it from. 
  • Use From when you are reproducing an image / figure as is (i.e. you haven't made any changes).
  • Use Adapted from when you are reproducing an image / figure or data from another source and you have changed it for your own purposes, e.g. put data into a graph or table of your own, joined two images together.
  • See the Figure examples  and Table examples in the boxes below to see how the full citation should be written if the image or data is coming from an article , book , or webpage .

Copyright statement

  • Copyright Year by Name of Copyright holder , e.g. Copyright 2020 by La Trobe University.
  • Creative Commons Licence abbreviation (with link) , e.g. CC BY 4.0 .
  • In the public domain . This statement can only be used if a resource is no longer subject to copyright.  A resource is not 'In the public domain' just because it is freely available on the internet.

You must also include a full citation in your Reference List.

Please note if your work is going to be published , the copyright statement must be followed by the permission statement , e.g. Reprinted [or Adapted] with permission. You can ONLY add a permission statement if permission has been sought and granted. Please refer to your supervisor and or the La Trobe University Copyright Officer for more information.

If you are using an image purely for decorative purposes in a presentation or poster (i.e. you are not referring to it in your text), you may not need to include a figure number, title, note, full citation or copyright statement.  This will depend on the licencing details of the image as some images (including personal images) require  no attribution . However, it is good practice to add a full citation and the copyright statement or CC licence (i.e. attribution) for anything that is not your own.

The La Trobe University Copyright Officer suggests using images from the following public domain image banks for this purpose however, it is very important to check the licence details of each image:

For further information:

  • Clip art or stock images referencing Information regarding the special requirements for using clip art and stock images in APA style assignments.

Source: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed., pp. 346-347).

Figure examples

  • From an article
  • From a book
  • From an image database
  • From a webpage

Source: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed., pp. 225 – 250, 389 – 391); APA Style Sample Figures .

Source: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed., pp. 225-250, 389-391); APA Style Sample Figures .

Table examples

Source: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed., pp. 195-224, 389-391 ); APA Style Sample Tables .

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The Innovative Instructor

Pedagogy – best practices – technology.

The Innovative Instructor

Teaching with Images

Today’s students are surrounded by visual media in their everyday lives.  With their heavy use of the Internet, they are accustomed to accessing information in both textual and visual forms. The use of images in the classroom is a pedagogical strategy aimed at engaging students who have grown up in a media-rich environment. Digital technology has made images more readily available and easier to incorporate into teaching and learning materials.

Finding images While a Google Image Search , which draws from the many images available on the Web, can be useful for finding a specific or obscure image, there are problems associated with this method. Google retrieves images based on the text appearing nearby or on the image file names, often resulting in hundreds of unrelated results that have nothing to do with your subject. In addition, images posted to the Web may have incomplete or incorrect data attached and may have rights restrictions. Finally, the images found by Google are often of insufficient resolution for classroom projection or printing.

High quality images can be found through the Johns Hopkins Libraries, which provide access to a number of specialized image resources.  These databases provide downloadable, high-resolution images, include reliable information about the images, and allow advanced search capabilities. The resources include:

  • ARTstor , a database of over one million images in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.                                                            
  • Digital Image Database at JHU (DID@JHU) provides JHU faculty and students with access to thousands of images in a variety of subjects.   You can also request to add images for specific courses to the database.                       
  • Accunet/AP Multimedia Archive , a database of images, audio files and texts from 160 years of news and world events.
  • There are thousands of free, public domain images available through the U.S. government, easily searchable at the USA.gov website.                          
  • The Image Research Guide contains search tips, information about copyright and publications, and subject-specific web recommendations.                              
  • The CER has a list of websites containing freely available images and multimedia for educational use

Copyright & Permissions While technology has made it easier than ever to download, manipulate, and re-publish images, it has also made it easier to inadvertently violate the copyrights associated with them.  The use of copyrighted images for educational purposes is allowed under the Fair Use exemptions to the US Copyright Act.  As there are several factors to take into account when determining whether your use of an image may be considered a fair use, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with these criteria.  Many image databases and websites will stipulate the extent to which educational use of their materials is permitted.

There are resources available online to help guide you in determining whether your use qualifies under the Fair Use exemptions.

  • The University of Georgia’s Guide to Understanding Copyright & Educational Fair Use
  • Information about the different types of Creative Commons-licensed materials

In addition, there are some best practices to follow to facilitate the legal and ethical use of images. These include:

  • Restrict online access to images to class members only.  Post images to a password-protected website or space, such as Blackboard, or in a shared folder in ARTstor or the Digital Image Database (DID@JHU).  If you’re not sure how to do this, consult your Research Services Librarian or a CER staff member .
  • If you are posting or publishing images to a forum that is open to members of the public, use public domain or Creative Commons-licensed images.

Uses of Images Images will be more effective in the classroom if they are meaningfully integrated into course curricula.  Think of ways images can support the delivery of content, illustrate class themes, serve as primary research materials, or be built into assignments.

If you would like to learn more about integrating visual materials into your teaching, contact Macie Hall, Instructional Designer, CER: [email protected] . The following are additional resources on how to use images in the curriculum:

  • Harris, Benjamin R. “Visual Information Literacy via Visual Means: Three Heuristics.” Reference Services Review 34.2 (2006): 213-221.
  • Click!  Photography Changes Everything , a Smithsonian project with essays on the impact of photographic images on human behavior, belief, memory, and more.  Great for ideas on how to use images in the classroom.                                                                  

Some ways you can introduce images into your course materials:

  • Presentations in PowerPoint, Keynote, the ARTstor Offline Viewer, or the DID@JHU image viewer
  • Blackboard resources
  • Other learning tools, such as the CER’s Timeline Creator or Interactive Map Tool
  • Primary source materials: photographs as historic documents, maps to inform urban planning and site architecture, diagrams and technical drawings to show the evolution of bridge design, or medical images to practice diagnosis
  • Class assignments: images can be powerful as illustrations, didactic materials, or stimulating starting points for structured writing exercises

Adrienne Lai, Emerging Technologies Services Librarian, North Carolina State University Libraries

Ms. Lai was the 2008/9 Art Libraries Society of North America Intern and did her internship at Sheridan Libraries and Department of the History of Art, Johns Hopkins University. She wrote the original Innovative Instructor print series article, Teaching with Images , adapted for this blog post. She completed Master’s Degrees in Library Studies and Archival Studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, Canada and holds a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of California, Irvine. She came to the library profession from several years of teaching art, art history, and cultural and media studies at art colleges in Canada and the US, and is interested in the possibilities of collaborative instructional efforts between libraries, faculty, and technology.

Image Source: Images in the collage were obtained from USA.gov Photos and Images and include images from NASA, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, and National Agricultural Library, ARS, USDA.

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Images for Designers and Art Researchers

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This guide is intended for students who are working on academic assignments such as research papers, mood boards, presentations, and e-portfolios. The guide is intended to be educational and non-commercial.

Please note the examples contained in this guide are based on the author's interpretation of proper citing procedures.  There are few standards for image citation for educational purposes in the  Chicago Manual of Style .

It is not intended to be used for scholarship by faculty members; for publishing online to the general public; or for commercial purposes.   Students should speak to instructors for guidelines for specific assignments.  For example, citations might be unnecessary for certain studio projects.

The four factors used to determine whether fair use applies are:

  • the purpose and character of your use
  • the nature of the copyrighted work
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion taken, and
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market.

Resources for Fair Use of Art Images

In 2015, the College Art Association (CAA) published The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use in the Visual Arts , which provides guidance on image use for those who write about, teach, display, archive, or make art. 

Resources for Faculty

  • Fair Use in the Visual Arts: Lesson Plans for Librarians Crafting learning experiences that empower students to understand copyright and take advantage of fair use in their art, design, and academic practices.

Resources for Documentary Filmmakers

  • Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use

Commercial Sources

When using images in a manner that does not qualify as fair use, image copyright holders must be consulted.

For example, when an image is being used in a book that will be published by a for-profit publisher, the author or publisher is usually responsible for clearing copyright (obtaining permission and/or paying a licensing fee) for the images.  To clear copyright, contact whoever owns the image.  The copyright holder might be a museum, a library, a photographer, an artist, or an artist's estate.  Many artists are represented by Artists Rights Society  or VAGA .

All databases (library, commercial, and non-commercial) are governed by terms of use:

  • Getty Images Site Terms of Use
  • ARTstor Terms and Conditions
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art Website Terms and Conditions
  • MoMA Website Terms of Use

Some web resources provide tools for sharing or embedding images. It is preferable to use these tools whenever they are available (rather than downloading and re-uploading image files, or taking screenshots).

  • Flickr Web Embeds
  • Getty Images Embed

Copyright for Your Own Work

using images in assignments

Did you know that anyone can copyright their creative work?  You can do it online at copyright.gov .  You can register multiple works under the same copyright and revise the works after they are registered.  

Questions?  Ask Us , contact Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts , or refer to the resources below:

using images in assignments

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Using Images in Academic Work: Home

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Using Images in Academic Work

using images in assignments

Citation is still important, however the images are copyright free so you will not be stepping on anyone's creative toes by using the image they have created. The sources on this site are specifically designed to allow creators and users of images to share and access images which have no copyright constraints.

Using Creative Commons Images

What you need to check before using an image

using images in assignments

You also need to ask if you need to cite the image in a particular way and if there are any restrictions on how you can use the image.

The majority of images are protected by copyright whether or not this is explicitly stated. Using these images for anything other than purely academic purposes is likely to be a breach of copyright and therefore illegal. Using copyright protected images without permission could entail:

  • Compulsory removal of images
  • Request for payment
  • Potential legal action
  • Coursework being rejected by tutors or examiners
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Copyright: a Practical Guide

  • Using images
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  • For Students (Undergraduates and PGTs)
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  • Protecting and licensing your work

Copyright in images

Whether you are blogging, creating a presentation, writing for publication or designing a poster, you are likely to want to illustrate your material with other people's images.

Bear in mind that free-to-view images are not necessarily  free to re-use . Even uncredited photos on transient websites may be protected by copyright.  

UK copyright law permits you to ' quote ' other people's images, provided that they are relevant to your discussion or critique (i.e. not just used for decorative purposes), and that you have used no more than is required for your specific purpose.

You also need to abide by 'fair dealing' : your use of the image must have no impact on the market for the original (you should use a lower resolution or cropped version) and you must fully acknowledge the rights-holder (your image caption or credits should reiterate any copyright statement or licence terms indicated at the source).

Using images for educational purposes

Third-party copyright images which are integral to your work as a teacher or student may be legally defensible as " Illustration for Instruction ".  

Typical educational scenarios in which you may not need the rights-holder's permission to utilize their image:

  • projecting a reproduction of an artwork for discussion in a lecture 
  • utilizing a figure from a textbook in a course handout
  • taking a screenshot from social media for an assignment
  • sharing an image file with classmates for a group project.

The  captions  for any images you reproduce should provide information about the image and its source in accordance with your department's preferred referencing style . You should also identify the rights-holder (e.g. " Copyright © University of York" ), reiterate any copyright statements or licensing terms indicated at the source (e.g. " All rights reserved" , or " This work is licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License " ) and state whether you have obtained any necessary permissions to use the image. 

Ensure that your material is not shared outside the classroom (physical or virtual), or with anyone other than the markers in the case of assessed work.  Or look for images which are licensed for re-use in an educational context (see opposite).

Be aware that even your own photos of artworks and panoramas may not be risk-free: although an artist's copyright may have expired (usually 70 years after their death), the gallery may have a 'no photographs' policy which doesn't exempt educational use. Or the country where you took the photo may impose legal restrictions on the reproduction of copyright material sited in public (including France, Italy and Greece ).

Corporate logos  can be particularly problematic, as they are likely to be trademarked as well as protected by copyright.  Ensure that any logo which you reproduce for the purpose of 'instruction' doesn't leave the (physical or virtual) classroom.  Or contact the company for permission to use their logo in your educational material.

Creative Commons heart icon

Our  Creative Commons for Researchers Practical Guide  covers the range of Creative Commons legal tools available and the benefits and considerations for both creators and users of licensed works.

Recommended sources of images

The creator of an image may release it with a Creative Commons licence ,  which provides a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their work.

Many image libraries allow you to filter search results by licence status: for instance CC0 (in the public domain, no attribution required), CC BY (free to re-use with attribution and indication if changes were made) or CC BY-NC (free to re-use in a non-commercial context, with attribution and indication if changes were made). The CC Search tool enables you to search multiple libraries simultaneously.

University of York Faculty Engagement Manager Ned Potter has blogged about the best sources of CC0 images for academic work, including presentations, posters and websites (2018).

Google Images  Advanced Search enables you to filter results by  Usage Rights , similar to Creative Commons categories. Be aware that Google doesn't accept responsibility for the reliability of these results - check the terms of use at source where possible.

A source to treat with caution:

Getty Images : Embed our images

Getty provides a tool which enables you to embed rather than copy their images, free of charge, for use in material "relating to events that are newsworthy or of public interest".  The  Terms of Use  warn that "availability may change without notice", and Getty reserves the right to place advertisements or monetise your material, as well as collecting data about its use. Be aware that Getty actively pursue unlicensed copying of their images and will invoice the website owner.  

Further help

Wikimedia Commons brings together a very comprehensive list of answers to the question " Do copyright laws allow the upload of pictures of...? ",  in the UK and other countries.

The UK's Intellectual Property Office has published a Copyright Notice (2014, pdf) for a general audience,  providing advice about reproducing digital images and photographs , and protecting your own images.

UK-based art dealer Follio.com has published a straightforward infographic (2016) illustrating How to Avoid Copyright Infringement when manipulating images.  Note the differences between US and UK law which are outlined in the guide.

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  • Last Updated: Apr 24, 2024 5:01 PM
  • URL: https://subjectguides.york.ac.uk/copyright

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What is a good source of images I can use legally in my papers and presentations?

As a student you can often use images you find on the web in your student papers and presentations, because this typically falls under fair use . Learn more about creating refereces for clip art or stock images straight from APA, and how to cite images in APA style . Also, keep in mind, once you are no longer a student, using images from the web without getting permission and/or paying royalty fees will likely be a violation of copyright law.

To avoid legal, copyright and ethical problems related to images, you can adopt one or all of the following practices:

  • Use images you have personally created and/or photographs you have personally taken in your papers, presentations, etc.
  • Use Microsoft ClipArt images in your papers, presentations, etc.
  • Use images from the public domain and/or that have a  Creative Commons  license
  • Image Quest is easy to use
  • Image Quest images are legal to use...as a student and as an employee, even after you graduate
  • Image Quest images have the information you need to cite them in APA style!!

using images in assignments

  • Figure 1: Aerial photo of Waimea Bay Beach Park, Oahu, Hawaii. Taken from:  R. Francis (n.d.) Waimea Beach [Photograph]. Retrieved from Encyclopedia Britannica Image Quest database. Copyright 2018 by Photolibrary.

Remember that you need to cite your images. We have how-to and help information for that, too!

  • Research and Library
  • Research Papers
  • Last Updated Feb 27, 2024
  • Answered By Kate Anderson, Librarian

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The Educator’s Guide to Copyright, Fair Use, and Creative Commons

  • Author By Kathleen Morris
  • Last modification date Updated On August 24, 2021
  • 152 Comments on The Educator’s Guide to Copyright, Fair Use, and Creative Commons

using images in assignments

It has never been easier to publish online or consume digital content. This comes with many advantages and can make teaching and learning so much more targeted and impactful. Living in a digital world also brings up many questions — one issue that is very important to understand is copyright. Whether you’re an educator, student, or blogger, copyright is a topic that is often overlooked as it can be confusing or just not considered important.

Unfortunately, there are also a lot of myths about copyright circulating amongst the education community. Maybe you’ve heard that you can use any images or texts you find online if you’re using them for education? Or perhaps you’ve heard that you can use any songs in your videos as long as you use less than 30 seconds? Yep, both not true.

Copyright is important for all teachers, students, and bloggers to know about. And it doesn’t have to be as complicated as you think. We’re here to break down the basics of copyright and other related topics like fair use, public domain, and Creative Commons.

There’s a lot to learn in this post so remember to bookmark it and use the menu below to navigate.

using images in assignments

Copyright Rules To Remember

using images in assignments

What Is Copyright?

using images in assignments

What Is Fair Use

using images in assignments

What Is Public Domain?

using images in assignments

What Is Creative Commons

using images in assignments

Finding Creative Commons Images

using images in assignments

Copyright And Music

using images in assignments

Copyright And Video

using images in assignments

Copyright Text Or Curriculum Materials

using images in assignments

Copyright Infringement

using images in assignments

Copyright Considerations When Publishing Online

using images in assignments

Using Quotes In Blog Posts

using images in assignments

Adding Your Own Creative License

using images in assignments

Conclusion And Summary Slideshow

Let’s get started with the basics.

using images in assignments

Let’s begin with the 5 main rules you need to remember about copyright.

1) Just because you found it online, doesn’t mean it’s free to use (even if you’re a teacher or student).

2) There are a lot of resources you can use freely including work that has a Creative Commons license or is in the public domain.

3) You have a right as a creator to have your work protected from copying and you can also give your own content a Creative Commons license.

4) If in doubt about using content, ask the creator for permission, find a free alternative, make your own material, or purchase an alternative that has the usage rights you’re after.

5) Instead of looking for loopholes, consider whether you’re being the most responsible and ethical digital citizen you can be.

using images in assignments

📌 Want a poster for your classroom or staffroom? Download a letter-sized poster of the 5 rules to remember here.

using images in assignments

Copyright is a form of legal protection offered to creators by default. That means, in many countries (like the USA and Australia), you don’t have to register your work to have it protected by copyright.

Some creators do register their work with the U.S. Copyright Office (or the equivalent in their own country). Usually, this is to provide strong evidence to a court that the creator is the copyright holder if there is ever an infringement case. You don’t need to have registered your work with the Copyright Office in order to pursue a copyright infringement case.

It’s a myth that you have to display a copyright symbol © to protect your work.

Can Others Use Your Copyrighted Work?

If you’re a copyright owner, someone else can’t copy your work without your permission. They also can’t perform the work, distribute copies of the work, display the work publicly, or create derivatives.

If someone does use work that’s protected by copyright without permission, that’s called copyright infringement. We’ll cover this later.

Who Owns The Copyright?

Usually, the creator of a work is the copyright owner but the copyright can also be sold, traded, or inherited.

What Does Copyright Cover?

Copyright covers both published and unpublished works that are tangible in format. So, all tangible original work is protected by copyright whether it’s a blog post, music, artwork, photo, play, poem, novel, dance choreography, movie, software, architecture, or more.

Copyright does not protect works that are not tangible, like facts or ideas. Copyright only protects the tangible expression of your ideas. So you might have a great idea for a blog post about teaching 5th grade math but unless you actually write the post, you can’t protect the idea that’s floating around in your head. And you can’t stop others from writing about the same idea.

You can read more about the basics of copyright on the U.S. Copyright Office website (or on your own country’s official site). There are some variations between countries.

using images in assignments

What Is Fair Use?

So now you understand that most of the work you’re accessing online or in books is going to be protected by copyright (images, text, videos, music, and more). This means you can’t necessarily use these materials freely on your class blog, website, or with your students in your classroom.

“But fair use applies here doesn’t it”, I hear you ask? Because you’re using images, text, videos, or music for educational purposes, that’s okay, right? Teachers and students don’t have to worry?

Not necessarily.

The more you dig in to the topic of fair use, the more you come to realize it is a gray area.

As the U.S. Copyright Office explains, The Classroom Use Exemption 17 U.S.C. §110(1) allows you to use copyrighted material when you meet certain criteria.

For “fair use” to apply, the copyrighted material must be used:

  • for performances or displays (e.g. acting a play, reading poetry, watching a movie, listening to music)
  • as part of face-to-face teaching activities
  • in a nonprofit educational institution
  • in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction
  • using a lawful copy of the works (e.g. a movie you purchased legitimately)

If you’re teaching online or wanting to hand out copies of work, then you may not be covered by this exemption. Furthermore, these fair use laws are specific to the U.S. so if you’re in another country, you may not be covered. Some countries don’t have a fair use law or they may be more specific or broad than the U.S.

For example, in Australia, there is “ Fair Dealing ” which is an exception to copyright infringement that’s a little more specific than in the U.S. You may be able to use portions of copyright material without permission for the purpose of:

  • research or study
  • criticism or review
  • parody or satire
  • reporting news, or
  • enabling a person with a disability to access the material

Overall, fair use isn’t as simple as it seems, right? Instead of trying to find loopholes with fair use, a better approach is to look for materials that you can use freely.

The best place to start is with public domain or Creative Commons materials. So let’s dig into that.

using images in assignments

What Is The Public Domain?

In general, in the U.S. , copyright lasts for the life of the author plus seventy years after the author’s death.

What happens to work after the copyright expires? Well, it becomes part of the public domain. Works can also enter the public domain if they are factual (e.g. charts or calendars), they are published before a certain date, or a creator has assigned their work to the public domain.

When something is in the public domain it means the work is owned by the public and you don’t have to get permission to use it. This is great for educators looking for materials they can freely use with their students.

Example Public Domain Resources

There are many places online where you can find books, images, audio, and videos that are in the public domain.

Some popular choices for public domain materials include:

  • Project Gutenberg : 60,000+ eBooks that can be downloaded (most are older works with expired copyright). 
  • Faded Page : 5,000+ eBooks that are in the public domain in Canada.
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art : includes more than 400,000 images from The Met collection.
  • Smithsonian Institution Public Domain Images : a collection of 3,000+ images housed on Flickr.
  • Librivox : public domain audiobooks that are read by volunteers from around the world.
  • Prelinger Archives : thousands of public domain films (advertising, educational, industrial, and amateur).

using images in assignments

What Is Creative Commons?

Sometimes creators (copyright holders) are happy for others to use their work, as long as they meet certain conditions.

A creator can place a Creative Commons license on their work which describes the terms of using, modifying, and sharing the works. A simple license removes the hassle of others having to ask the creator for permission.

Creative Commons is an international organization that made this system possible. The mission of the Creative Commons organization is clear,

By helping people and organizations share knowledge and creativity, we aim to build a more equitable, accessible, and innovative world.

If a creator decides to attach a Creative Commons license to their work, there are six Creative Commons licenses to choose from.

I have written a post on my own blog about copyright and Creative Commons that includes a poster to simplify the licenses.

The poster includes a Creative Commons license so you’re welcome to use the poster in your classroom or share it with your colleagues (a poster about Creative Commons licenses that includes a Creative Commons license — meta, right?). There is a PDF version of the poster on my blog.

using images in assignments

👉🏽 If you’d like to learn more about Creative Commons licenses, the video below by McLaughlin Library is a good place to start. You can learn more about Creative Commons Licenses on the official website of the organization as well.

using images in assignments

If you need images for your blog, website, videos, or other projects, Creative Commons images are a good choice. As long as you’re using the image according to the license with attribution, you won’t be infringing copyright.

If you’re looking for images that have a Creative Commons license, there are an increasing number of options out there. We’ll show you some of the more popular options, but first, it’s important to understand attribution.

All Creative Commons resources require attribution unless they’re licensed with the least restrictive Creative Commons Zero license. That means no attribution is required and you can use the resource however you like.

Let’s take a look at how to attribute Creative Commons images. The same instructions apply to other works (text, videos, etc.).

How To Attribute Creative Commons Images

When you use a resource with a Creative Commons license, you have to attribute it in a particular way. Attributing means sharing the details of the work and giving credit.

The acronym  TASL  can help us remember what to include.

  • T itle of the image or material (don’t worry if there is no title)
  • A uthor  or creator of the image/material
  • S ource of the image/material. Where is it from? Include a link if possible so others can find it
  • L icense — include which of the six Creative Commons licenses applies to the work

Here’s a photo I found on Wikimedia Commons of a bridge in Western Australia. You can see I included the attribution below the image.

using images in assignments

If you use images from Wikimedia Commons , getting the attribution information is easy. As you go to download the image, you’re prompted to copy the attribution information.

Screenshot showing attribution information

You can copy the attribution information either in plain text format (as in caption above), or as HTML as shown below.

If you insert HTML into your blog post, it’ll become hyperlinked. Learn more about inserting custom HTML in Edublogs/CampusPress/WordPress block editor here.

👉🏽 If you’d like to learn more about attribution and explore some examples of ideal, acceptable, and unacceptable attributions, check out this page on the Creative Commons wiki . There’s also a handy PDF about attribution on the Australian Creative Commons website.

Now you know the basics of attribution. Let’s take a look at where you can find images and music that have a Creative Commons license. We’ll begin with images that don’t require attribution.

Creative Commons Zero Images

(No Attribution Required)

There are a number of websites where you can find images that are free to use without attribution (Creative Commons Zero).

I’ve written a post on my blog about the best websites to find Creative Commons images that either don’t require attribution or the attribution is included within the image like the example below from Photos For Class :

using images in assignments

The sites reviewed in my post and the summary diagram below are:

  • Photos for Class*
  • Openclipart
  • Pics4Learning

* Photos For Class currently has fewer options than it used to. The team has told us they aim to improve this in mid-2020. 🤞🏽

Here’s a summary poster that you’re free to use in your own teaching.

using images in assignments

The one issue that a lot of educators overlook is that a lot of these free image sites are age-restricted. So if you teach younger students, many sites are not going to be suitable.

Another thing to consider is that even though the images from these sites don’t need to be attributed (or they include the attribution information within the image) it’s still a good idea to teach students about copyright, Creative Commons, and attribution. As producers and consumers on the web, these are really vital understandings for students and all internet users. Just remember, even if attribution isn’t required, it’s always appreciated by the creator.

Creative Commons Images That Require Attribution

Apart from the sites listed above with images that don’t require attribution, there are other places to find images with one of the six Creative Commons licenses that do require attribution.

Creative Commons Search Engine

The first place you might want to look is the search engine on the official Creative Commons website. This is an excellent tool that was updated in 2019. It allows you to search through millions of CC images from more than 20 different sites.

When using the search engine, you can easily filter the search results — for example, you can filter by file type, use, or license.

using images in assignments

There’s also a Creative Commons search browser extension that allows you to look for Creative Commons images on the go.

Wikimedia Commons

We already mentioned Wikimedia Commons above in the section about attribution. Wikimedia Commons has a large collection of images, audio, and videos that are free to use. Most require attribution.

Wikimedia Commons collections are included in the Creative Commons search engine so that tool really is a one-stop shop.

Search For Creative Commons Images On Google

Sadly, it is common practice for many teachers, students, and bloggers to take images straight from Google. Most images on Google are protected by copyright and using these images is illegal and unethical.

You may know that you can do an advanced search on Google to find Creative Commons images, although it does require a few steps. First, you need to filter your search results to find images that can be reused.

This video from Jurupa School District explains how to do that.

Then the next step, that is not shown in the video, is you have to click through to the site the image is from, look for the Creative Commons license, and attribute your image correctly.

As we saw above, using the Creative Commons search engine or Wikimedia Commons makes it really simple to attribute your chosen image. All you really have to do is copy/paste. Using Google search doesn’t make it easy to attribute Creative Commons images. So this is not the way we’d recommend finding Creative Commons images online.

using images in assignments

No doubt there have been many times when you want to use music on your blog, in your content, or in class. When you’re creating a video it can be extremely tempting to use popular music that reflects the mood and emotion of the footage. Or maybe you want students to play popular music at a performance or public event.

As you probably know, most music is protected by copyright. It doesn’t matter if you paid for a song or not, it’s still protected by copyright. It doesn’t matter if you’re only using 30 seconds or less of a song, it’s still protected by copyright.

Let’s take a look at some specific examples of music and copyright.

Using Music In Projects Like Videos

Normally, you can’t just use any music you like in your projects or videos.

However, in many countries, there are exceptions. For example, in the U.S. and  Australia , you are allowed to copy music to add to a video if:

a) it’s for educational purposes  and b) you’re not sharing your video publicly (or selling it!)

So, if you make a video with music that’s protected by copyright, it’s not okay to publish this on a public blog, social media, YouTube, and so on. And you couldn’t show your video at a public event. However, it’s okay if the video is just being shown  privately  to teachers, students, and families at home/school.

It’s also important to note that background music is  not considered  “educational use”.

Summary graphic -- can I use a copyrighted song in my video

Paying For Music And Streaming

There are popular sites and apps where you can pay to download or stream music legally — for example, Apple Music, Google Play Music, and Spotify.

You can listen to your downloaded music yourself, but can’t upload the music to your blog or to a video or other project you’re working on.

It’s fine to stream music videos on sites like YouTube too but it’s not usually legal to download the audio from a YouTube video as explained in  this article.

Also, streaming music is meant for personal use — not for a public broadcast.

As  Spotify  says,

…it’s not possible to use Spotify in public places (such as bars, restaurants, stores, schools, etc.). You may only make personal, non-commercial, entertainment use of the content.

Most streaming services are similar.

Embedding Music Videos

Embedding a music video from a site like YouTube or Vimeo into your blog is usually allowed.

As  Richard Byrne  says,

If the host provides an embed and you embed it using their code according to their rules (usually that means not trying to hide branding), you can embed it without violating copyright.

You can also link to music files or videos that are publicly available on the web.

Using Purchased CDs

Some people still listen to music by buying a CD or borrowing one from the library, although, of course, digital music is becoming a lot more popular than CDs in many parts of the world.

Again, you can’t copy the music from a CD and use it for another public project (e.g. upload it to your blog or add it to a public video). It doesn’t matter if you have purchased the CD legitimately.

👉🏽 If you’d like to learn more about using music in education for other purposes including school concerts and online learning, check out this fact sheet from the National Association of Music Education.

Creative Commons Or Copyright Free Music

Even though most music out there is protected by copyright, there are many places online to find Creative Commons or other copyright free music options.

You might first like to check if your district has any subscriptions you can make the most of. For example,  Soundzabound .

If this isn’t an option, there are lots of other sources of free music online.

Three options for free music and audio are:

Dig CC Mixter

Youtube audio library, bbc sound effects.

Let’s take a look at how these three sites work.

Dig CC Mixter  offers thousands of hours of free music.

The music on this site has different Creative Commons licenses so you need to check whether you need to attribute the music or not.

Educational Blogger Richard Byrne explains in a video how to use Dig CC Mixter and filter by license.

YouTube has a great library of music you can use. Visit the  Audio Library  on YouTube to browse the selections.

If you click on Attribution, you can filter your results to find music that does or doesn’t require attribution.

You can preview the music to see what it sounds like and download the music you want to use.

using images in assignments

Here’s an example called Sunshine in my Heart by Jingle Punks.

During 2018,  the BBC  made over 16,000 sound effects available to use. These sound effects are not actually Creative Commons — they’re protected by copyright but the BBC gives permission for the sound effects be used for personal, educational, or research purposes.

You can browse by category to find the sort of sound effect you’re after for your project.

You should put a link in your project or blog post to say that your sound effects are from the BBC and link to  their site.

Here is an example of a sound clip. This is the sound of the surf at Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia.

Surf – Bondi Beach, bbc.co.uk , copyright 2020

using images in assignments

Copyright And Videos

Where would we be without all the awesome video content we now have at our fingertips on the web? In the education world, extensive video libraries like YouTube are becoming priceless.

Video copyright can be complicated as video can draw together multiple elements — video footage, images, music, sound effects, and so on. When using, sharing, or creating video, you need to make sure all of these elements are not protected by copyright.

Can You Link Or Embed Videos?

You are free to embed any video from sites like  YouTube ,  Vimeo , TeacherTube , TedED etc. on your blog or website as long as it gives you the embed option. It’s a good idea to add a link to the video as well.

Linking or embedding from YouTube or other sites on the web is not considered copying. Just make sure the videos aren’t violating copyright. If they are, they’ll probably be taken down by the site eventually but some content gets through.

Can You Download Videos From Sites Like YouTube?

While linking and embedding videos is okay, you shouldn’t download videos from YouTube. Sometimes this is tempting for teachers especially if they have unreliable internet connectivity, they’re worried about a video being removed in future, or they want to add a video to a learning management system. However, downloading videos raises many legal questions and generally violates copyright.

Additionally, you can’t necessarily use parts of videos from YouTube (or other sources) to make mashups or remixes. If you want to cut or remix videos, it is better to use Creative Commons content, public domain content, or request permission from the copyright holder.

Uploading Your Own Videos To YouTube

If you want to upload your videos to a site like YouTube remember to respect copyright. You should only upload videos that you made or that you have permission to upload. Make sure there aren’t copyrighted elements (e.g. music or images) in your videos. Of course, get permission from your school or district if these videos are being used professionally.

Educators should be especially careful about permission if using footage of students. Some teachers use the blurring tools available in YouTube to blur student faces and identifying objects. Richard Byrne shares a demonstration of how to do this on his website.

👉🏽 If you’re a creator and would like to learn more about videos and copyright, YouTube has a useful playlist of eight videos on their YouTube Creators channel.

Showing Videos To Students

Teachers can show videos in class for educational reasons, such as videos legally uploaded to YouTube (however, some districts don’t allow YouTube to be used in schools).

If you have a legitimate copy of an offline video (e.g. DVD), you’re allowed to use this in class for face-to-face teaching as long as it’s for educational purposes (not for entertainment or a reward).

Remember, this would be in line with the U.S. fair use policies we described above, so check your own country’s guidelines if in doubt. If you’re in Australia, a useful website for all things copyright is https://www.smartcopying.edu.au

using images in assignments

Copyright And Text Or Curriculum Materials

Say you’ve purchased a textbook or other teaching materials. You can obviously use these materials in class and you might be able to make photocopies, however, in most cases you can’t upload purchased curriculum or books to a public site. That means don’t put scans, photos, or PDFs of textbooks, worksheets, posters, picture books, novels, or other learning materials on your public blog or website.

If in doubt, seek guidance from the company you purchased the curriculum materials from about reuse.

Marketplaces Like Teachers Pay Teachers

Not so long ago, we were all purchasing our curriculum materials from professional organizations. Now anyone can be a creator and with the rise of sites like Teachers Pay Teachers, new copyright questions have arisen. As Education Week has pointed out, copyright infringement is rife on this popular marketplace.

What does this mean for you? Well, if you’re uploading to a site like Teachers Pay Teachers you need to make sure you have permission to use all your elements including fonts and images.

If you’re downloading resources from Teachers Pay Teachers, you need to seek clarification about how these can be used. And also keep an eye out for resources that look like they could be violating copyright before you use them (e.g. copies of a published textbook). There is limited vetting of copyright materials on Teachers Pay Teachers. As a savvy internet user, we all need to have an awareness of the larger copyright traps that are out there.

Link To Curriculum Resources

Linking may be a useful alternative to copying curriculum materials. If third-party text, articles, or other content is available on the web, teachers or students could include a link to the content on their blog or website.

Like embedding, linking is not a copyright activity because you’re not “copying” the content. You’re just providing a path to the original location that the readers can access themselves.

Creative Commons Textbooks And Curriculum

Another option to avoid copyright violations is to use curriculum materials that have Creative Commons licenses. One example is OpenStax . You can browse to find textbooks for a range of topics and the materials are free to use however you see fit.

You’ll find some more open textbooks and course materials listed on this Open Washington page.

using images in assignments

We know that most images, text, music, and other content are protected by copyright by default. Using work protected by copyright without permission is called copyright infringement. This is unethical and illegal. “Using” the work might involve reproducing, displaying, distributing, performing, or making your own derivatives.

But I Won’t Be Caught…

If only that were true.

Google makes it incredibly easy for companies and content creators to seek out those posting their work on the web. In fact, most large companies now aggressively patrol the internet looking for copyright infringement.

Sadly, we are also noticing more and more “law firms” and organizations out there looking for copyrighted content as a way of generating business. They then contact the copyright holder offering their services to get the content removed (for a fee of course). It is a ruthless (and apparently profitable) practice.

Another issue that is important to be aware of involves Creative Commons Zero sites. There have been cases where people have used images from free image sites like Unsplash and then were hit with a copyright infringement case. Sometimes people put images up on these sites in order to sue. They leave the images up on the site until they are downloaded multiple times and then remove them. This is a dark side of Creative Commons Zero that’s important to be aware of.

What If I Am Caught?

In many countries, copyright infringement brings hefty penalties including fines of hundreds of thousands of dollars and imprisonment, depending on the situation.

Of course, a good offense is your best defense. Check your blogs and class websites for any potentially offending material. Has anyone uploaded images straight from other websites or Google? Are there are educational materials (e.g. copies of textbooks) that shouldn’t be there? Has copyrighted music been used publicly? If you find anything, just remove it.

The law requires copyright holders to give you (and the host of your site, such as Edublogs, WordPress, etc.) an official notification. Take these seriously and act quickly to remove what they want if you are in the wrong. That should be the end of it.

Here at Edublogs and CampusPress, we’re contacted about copyrighted materials regularly. These are mostly images from Google, curriculum documents, or PDFs (e.g. textbooks or sheet music), or music files.

We were once notified about a teacher with a blog on Edublogs that had a harmless world map image on his blog that he had presumably found using Google image search. When we contacted him telling him why we had removed the image, he asked if he and his students could write an apology letter to the copyright holder.

It was excellent – turning what could be a bit of an embarrassing mistake into a teachable moment for his students. Now this teacher had a good reason to discuss copyright and Creative Commons with his students.

Even if you haven’t done anything wrong, having a space to publish online like a blog or website is one of the best ways students can learn about copyright and Creative Commons.

using images in assignments

Whether you’re a teacher, a student, or a regular blogger, when you’re publishing online you must do your best to be a responsible digital citizen. This means respecting others’ work and respecting copyright.

Here are three key things to remember when publishing online to be a legal and ethical digital citizen:

1) Steer Clear Of Google Images

Don’t copy images off Google or other websites. Even if you include an attribution it is still illegal and unethical.

If you like an image and don’t know where it originally came from, a reverse search might help.

If an image is created by someone that you can contact, you could always ask their permission to use it.

Remember the best bet is to find Creative Commons or public domain images. Otherwise, take/make your own images or purchase some from a stock photography website.

2) Embed Or Link To Audio Or Video Clips

If you’re going to include a video or an audio clip, embed the file from the source and include a link as well. Don’t download audio or video files as this brings up many questions about copyright.

If you’re embedding from a site like YouTube, make sure the content doesn’t violate copyright law. YouTube is usually pretty good at cracking down on this but there is some content on there that does violate copyright — e.g. copies of television shows.

3) Never Copy Someone Else’s Blog Post

You might find this a little hard to believe but unfortunately people copy posts from other blogs and publish them on their own site all the time. Or they publish the blog post in another format such as a PDF document or slideshow.

And in case you’re wondering, copying someone’s blog post and then including an attribution does not make this okay.

If you do want to share someone else’s blog post on your own blog, consider writing a short description of the post on your blog and then inviting readers to click on a link to read the post themselves. In your own post, you could include some key points about what you agreed or disagreed with. Or maybe you can expand on the topic in a different direction. All this would be perfectly acceptable and no doubt the author would appreciate the interaction.

using images in assignments

Hopefully you now know that you definitely can’t copy and paste someone else’s whole blog post or image, but you can include a quote of some text.

Here are a few points to be aware of that we included in our post on The Edublogger about quotes :

  • Make it obvious which words are your own, and which words belong to someone else by using quotation marks or block quotes.
  • Make your quotes brief. There are no universal rules here. Some larger organizations have guidelines around how much you can quote (e.g.  Hubspot’s rules  are 75 words). If you’re unsure or think you might be using too much of someone’s article, contact them to ask permission. Never copy the whole post.
  • Always include the person’s name, and link to their site, article, or book if you can.
  • If you’re using blockquotes, the attribution could be before the quote, inside it, or below it.
  • If you shorten a quote, use an ellipsis (…) in place of the missing words.
  • If you’re adding any words or corrections to the quote, use brackets.

using images in assignments

Adding Your Own Creative Commons License To Your Work

Earlier, we looked at the six types of Creative Commons licenses available to creators. If you’re publishing online, you’re a creator too! And you don’t have to be a professional. Maybe you share memes or lesson resources on social media? Perhaps you write blog posts? Maybe you take your own photographs that you share online?

Have you ever considered adding a Creative Commons license to your own original work?

As the Creative Commons organization explains,

When you apply a CC license, you give permission to anyone to use your material for the full duration of applicable copyright and similar rights.

This is therefore a serious decision but an important one. You can contribute to building a collection of art and knowledge that’s accessible to anyone in the world. How cool is that! You remain in control by choosing your own license, and people who like your work can use or share it without having to contact you for permission.

Before you choose a Creative Commons license, you need to make sure you are the copyright owner and the work is copyrightable (e.g. in a tangible format).

If you’re unsure which license to choose for your own work, there is an interactive tool on the Creative Commons website . This tool suggests a license after you answer a few questions. It also gives you a CC button that you can attach to your work to display your license.

If you would like to display your creative commons license on your blog, the easiest way is to use a text widget in your sidebar.

From your dashboard, go to Appearance > Widgets and select a Text widget to add to your sidebar. Paste the code provided by your Creative Commons license provider in the widget’s text box, and click “Save”.

Adults aren’t the only ones who can add Creative Commons licenses to their work. In many countries, children can too. What an authentic way for students to learn about copyright and sharing online.

Perhaps a whole class or school could make a library of Creative Commons content (e.g. images or music) that can be used freely by the education community? Talk about authentic learning!

using images in assignments

If you’ve made it this far into the guide you will have realized that copyright is a vast and complex topic, however, you don’t need to be an expert to understand the basics.

We’ve made a collection of slides which you’re welcome to use in your own classroom or perhaps you’d like to use them as part of your professional development program. Want to make a copy? Scroll down for instructions (don’t request access).

Want a copy of the Google Slides presentation? Don’t request access, just follow the steps below.

1) Click on this link: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1jK-_bTIBa9CZAC-bqKd0PQc7ohG9L47KSdcvfHgIxqw/copy?usp=sharing

2) You will be prompted to make a copy (screenshot below).

3) The Slides will be saved in your Google Drive.

4) You can edit the Google Slides to suit.

using images in assignments

Before we conclude, take a moment to reflect back on the rules to remember about copyright.

  • Just because you found it online, doesn’t mean it’s free to use (even if you’re a teacher or student).
  • There are a lot of resources you can use freely including work that has a Creative Commons license or is in the public domain.
  • You have a right as a creator to have your work protected from copying and you can also give your own content a Creative Commons license.
  • If in doubt about using content, ask the creator for permission, find a free alternative, purchase an alternative, or make your own material.
  • Instead of looking for loopholes, consider whether you’re being the most responsible and ethical digital citizen you can be.

Do you have any other tips to add about copyright for educators, students, or bloggers? Be sure to leave a comment and let us know. We’d love to hear your suggestions.

For any specific questions regarding your own copyright dilemmas, please consult professional legal advice.

Edublogs is the oldest and most trusted web publishing platform for students and teachers around the globe. We have helped create and publish more than five million blogs, websites and portfolios since 2005 while providing teacher-friendly, student-safe WordPress solutions at scale.

We offer both cost-efficient and free options, along with site development, hosting, security, plugin and theme support to ensure your digital presence is meeting your goals in a fast-changing digital world.Want to learn more? Contact us to receive more information.

using images in assignments

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152 thoughts on “ the educator’s guide to copyright, fair use, and creative commons ”.

Thank you so much for this wonderful guide! I have been teaching about copyright and fair use for years, but this is the most comprehensive guide I have found to date. I am also grateful for the list of sites with items in the public domain. I want to share these with my students since we will be blogging this year for the first time, and I want to make sure they don’t infringe on anyone’s copyright.

yah i get realy confused on copywrighting

This is an awesome post! I am currently taking ITEC 7455 where I am teaching students about Digital Citizenship! Copyrights was actually one of my lessons given this semester. Thank you for sharing!

Thank you so much for posting this! I am currently taking ITEC 7455 where I have to teach digital citizenship to my students. This was a great post! Thank you!

Thank you for all the information. Very important to know about copyright and the myths that can make us confused about it.

Thank you for this information! This is definitely useful as teachers and students create documents or presentations.

This is great, and this will actually help a lot of people in their real life!

Welcome to my blog! It would be very difficult to image education without technology. As the pace of technology continue, we will find it more and more difficult to keep our students as unique leaders in a highly digital, web-based environment. That is our first challenge.

E’ una bellissima guida. Peccato che non ci sia in italiano, perchè i miei studenti ( di scuola elementare) non hanno un livello di inglese che permetta a loro di capire le slide. Spero che riuscirete a tradurla in diverse lingue.

When you allow a copy of your Google Slides presentation to be copied, does that mean you give permission for it to be used on a website if full attribution is given? What about a closed teaching platform, like Schoology. When you copy the slides you create a new link online and you are literally copying the work. So, it is a little confusing as to what permission is given.

You are so right Shannon, copyright is a complex topic. The key takeaway from this is that when in doubt about using content, ask the creator for permission, find a free alternative, purchase an alternative, or make your own material.

Question: What if you try to replicate a piece of work not by copying the original material, but by making your own version of it.

Hi, that’s a very good question! It’s important to keep in mind that representing someone else’s ideas as your own, even when rewording, could be problematic. Once you rewrite a sentence, either through paraphrase or a summary, it is important that you cite the original source. I hope that helped!

Hi, I am a school librarian. I am creating a professional development course for my teachers on copyright, and I would like to use your site and content during my PD. I just wanted to check on permission.

Hi Jennifer! As long as any content used has the necessary accreditation it will be fine. We would love to see the final product, all the best! Barry.

Thank you SO MUCH for this post and the resources! I’ve been so lost trying to navigate the world of copyright for that last two months. I wish I had come across this blog sooner.

Thank you so so much. Very helpful.

Thank you for providing this useful information about copyright laws.

What about read aloud and storytelling? There are plenty of people (most of them are teachers) reading books for kids on YouTube. Is that considered fair use?

Good question, Renata. During these extraordinary times there have been questions about read alouds and some exceptions to the rules.

If you’re in the USA, you should be covered by “fair use” as outlined by EdSurge .

Some publishers have been allowing teachers to read books to their students during school closures but I’m unsure if this is going to be an ongoing thing? Kate Messner explains here .

Hope that helps!

Thanks for the reply, Kathleen! I see people doing it everywhere and not necessarily for their students since it’s an open video on YouTube. Some of them just read the book, others do it with a twist (with an activity, a game, comments etc). I understand that the fair use is only for your students, isn’t it? Or is the twist what changes it all? Another question is what if the book and the publisher is in English (from the US), but the person’s channel is not? Just curious.

Hi Renata, I wish I knew! I really feel like it’s such a grey area at the moment. You might even need to check with the publisher of specific books as I don’t think there are blanket rules. If you do find out anything useful please let me know! 🙂

What about writing about a novel or giving a book review? I want to share the books I am reading in class with other educators, but I don’t know if uploading a photo I took of the cover and writing about it is OK.

Hi Jax, it doesn’t sound like there would be any copyright issues with sharing a photo of a book and writing a review. I’m sure you’d link to the book/author too. Enjoy!

I wrote a long comment but I think it got deleted. Short answer is: yes, it’s probably violating the publishing company or book cover artist’s copyright to use the book cover in a blog post. But they would never ever sue you because you’re doing free marketing for them. Imagine if a publishing company decided to sue every book blogger and bookstore site using the covers without permission. No one would ever review those books again and sales would tank!

Check with your Teacher-Librarian! Many Library Management Systems have the ability to store book covers. Sometimes there is an exclusion which allows libraries to use book cover images for promotion of books.

Copyright is the most important factor while using the image or graph. Just because we found it on the net does not mean that is free to use, is a point worth remembering. For that purpose images can be used from free sites or they are free for educational purposes

This post was very helpful explaining what copyright is and you really dove into all of the specific vocabulary and important things to know. It shows you really put in the time to learn about the different sorts of laws and how to avoid getting in trouble through safer resources.

You should seek permission before using copy right resources. This should be a topic taught in schools to educate the students on using copy rights resources on blogs. The information is very useful and informative to all. As individuals we must take time to read and learn more about copy right resources.

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Answered By: Copyright Officer University Library Last Updated: Jan 30, 2023     Views: 11991

Yes you can, as long as the images are used for educational purposes only and the use qualifies as being 'fair'.

The how and why of this can be determined by the type of user you are for this type of educational use (student, staff, author). Please view the Using Images page of the Copyright and legal re-use guide to determine what your usage limits are.

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  • Writing Tips

How and When to Use Images in an Essay

3-minute read

  • 15th December 2018

Pages of text alone can look quite boring. And while you might think that ‘boring’ is normal for an essay, it doesn’t have to be. Using images and charts in an essay can make your document more visually interesting. It can even help you earn better grades if done right!

Here, then, is our guide on how to use images in an academic essay .

How to Use Images in an Essay

Usually, you will only need to add an image in academic writing if it serves a specific purpose (e.g. illustrating your argument). Even then, you need to make sure images are presently correctly. As such, try asking yourself the following questions whenever you add an image in an essay:

  • Does it add anything useful? Any image or chart you include in your work should help you make your argument or explain a point more clearly. For instance, if you are analysing a film, you may need to include a still from a scene to illustrate a point you are making.
  • Is the image clearly labelled? All images in your essay should come with clear captions (e.g. ‘Figure 1’ plus a title or description). Without these, your reader may not know how images relate to the surrounding text.
  • Have you mentioned the image in the text? Make sure to directly reference the image in the text of your essay. If you have included an image to illustrate a point, for instance, you would include something along the lines of ‘An example of this can be seen in Figure 1’.

The key, then, is that images in an essay are not just decoration. Rather, they should fit with and add to the arguments you make in the text.

Citing Images and Illustrations

If you have created all the images and charts you want to use in your essay, then all you need to do is label them clearly (as described above). But if you want to use an image found somewhere else in your work, you will need to cite your source as well, just as you would when quoting someone.

The exact format for this will depend on the referencing system you’re using. However, with author–date referencing, it usually involves giving the source author’s name and a year of publication:

Image plus caption.

In the caption above, for example, we have cited the paper containing the image and the page it is on. We would then need to add the paper to the reference list at the end of the document:

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Gramblička, S., Kohar, R., & Stopka, M. (2017). Dynamic analysis of mechanical conveyor drive system. Procedia Engineering , 192, 259–264. DOI: 10.1016/j.proeng.2017.06.045

You can also cite an image directly if it not part of a larger publication or document. If we wanted to cite an image found online in APA referencing , for example, we would use the following format:

Surname, Initial(s). (Role). (Year).  Title or description of image  [Image format]. Retrieved from URL.

In practice, then, we could cite a photograph as follows:

Booth, S. (Photographer). (2014). Passengers [Digital image]. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevebooth/35470947736/in/pool-best100only/

Make sure to check your style guide for which referencing system to use.

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  • Types of Plagiarism
  • Avoiding Plagiarism
  • Using Images
  • Academic Integrity

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You might think to yourself that it is okay to use an image you found on the internet for your assignment.

Did you know that you may need to cite that image or it can be considered plagiarism?  These popular activities are considered plagiarism:

  • Making a video using footage from others' videos or using copyrighted music as part of the soundtrack.
  • Copying media (especially images) from other websites to paste them into your own papers or websites.
  • Composing a piece of music that borrows heavily from another composition. 
  • Performing another person's copyrighted music. (i.e., playing a cover)

These tend not to fall  under the Creative Commons License. Which is essentially open access photos, meaning anyone can use them.

However, images should always be cited.

Information directly from Plagarism.org

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that is trying to create more creative works (i.e., images) that are available for others to use and share legally.

Not all images you see online or in books are freely available for you to use, you made need to verify the licensing.

  • Creative Commons Creative Commons helps you legally share your knowledge and creativity to build a more equitable, accessible, and innovative world.
  • Creative Commons Zero (CC0) This short document provides information about what a Creative Commons Zero license is and how it pertains to images that you may want to use.
  • CC: About The Licenses Creative Commons provides a great read about understanding what the licenses do and about the different types.

Here is a short list of some resources where you can find open access images.

  • Coverr Free videos that you can use. It is licensed under Creative Commons Zero.
  • Creative Commons Search The Creative Commons Search searches images that are under the creative commons license. It will search YouTube, Flikr, and more. *Please note that it is not a search engine, but rather offers convenient access to search services provided by independent organizations.*
  • Flickr: Creative Commons Many Flickr users have chosen to offer their work under a Creative Commons license, and you can browse or search through content under each type of license.
  • Google Advanced Image Search You can use the Advanced Image Search by Google to find images that you can freely reuse. To show "free to use" images scroll down until you see "Usage Rights" and click on any of the "free to use" and then proceed with your search.
  • Pixabay All images and videos on Pixabay are released of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0. You may download, modify, distribute, and use them royalty free for anything you like, even in commercial applications. Attribution is not required.
  • Unsplash all photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can copy, modify, distribute, and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash.
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  • Last Updated: Dec 30, 2020 12:06 PM
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Creative Assignments: Teaching with Images – Part 2 (Digital Exhibitions)

by Thomas Keith | Feb 19, 2020 | Instructional design , Services

Home page of Scipedia digital exhibition

The homepage of Prof. James Allen Evans’ digital exhibition on the history of science, Scipedia

Note: This post was updated on 6/17/2020 to reflect updated information about Omeka.

In Part 1 of this series we examined some basic types of image assignments, such as using images in discussion boards or annotating images. Instructors looking to move beyond these fundamentals and engage their students on a deeper level may wish to consider the digital exhibition. In a digital exhibition, students create a digital mock-up representing a physical display space and populate the space with carefully chosen text and images, which work in conjunction to argue for a central thesis. The digital exhibition space makes it possible to exhibit objects typically considered too fragile for student exhibitions, like parchment rolls, fragments, or manuscripts, alongside other biodegradable objects that are challenging to preserve and provide access to . Digital exhibitions can circumvent the issue of spatial scarcity that often afflicts physical exhibitions, and also last longer than physical exhibitions. UChicago faculty have used digital exhibition assignments to teach their students independent research skills in a way that can supplement, or even supplant, the traditional research paper, while also helping their students learn how to write for a public audience.

There are several different tools available for the faculty member interested in teaching digital exhibitions to his/her students. The choice of tool for a particular assignment may depend upon a number of factors, such as the learning curve involved in mastering the tool or the pedagogical objectives of the assignment. In this post, we will survey a few examples of digital exhibitions created in UChicago courses and consider the tools chosen in each case.

UChicago Wiki (supported by Academic Technology Solutions)

For faculty seeking a digital exhibition tool with a relatively shallow learning curve, UChicago Wiki may be ideal. It provides a dedicated wikispace for collaborative knowledge construction, including multimedia uploads. Professor James Allen Evans had the students in several successive iterations of his course “Science, Culture & Society III (Modern Science)” use UChicago Wiki to create Scipedia , a Wikipedia-like digital encyclopedia with media-rich articles on the evolution of modern science.  Students were instructed to think of the space as a digital museum, and to use the platform as a space for critical thinking and making carefully supported arguments. Prof. Evans made note of especially strong articles and took them as examples to show to future classes, thus refining and improving the collective product over time. He found the platform easy and simple to use, as well as more persistent than past platforms. Scipedia is now available to view to anyone with a UChicago CNetID, and offers a public example of a thematically focused digital exhibition.

Omeka (supported by UChicago Library)

If a faculty member or instructor wishes his/her students to create a digital exhibition with detailed image information (metadata), such as provenance, date, type, or style, Omeka may be a good choice of tool.  Omeka is a web publishing platform designed for creating media-rich digital exhibitions featuring image galleries. It offers a range of different templates from which users can choose to organize content in visually creative ways. In addition, Omeka allows users to customize the type of metadata to record according to the needs of a particular class or project.

At the University of Chicago, Professor Christopher Wild used Omeka for a digital exhibition within “Reforming Religious Media,” an undergraduate research course in Special Collections. Prof. Wild was seeking a means of teaching undergraduate research skills other than a traditional research paper. Initially he planned to have his students curate physical showcases within the Special Collections space, but when this proved unfeasible, Omeka offered a means for them to create digital “showcases” instead. His students were instructed to find five to ten items in Special Collections that related to their topic and then fill out the appropriate metadata fields for each item according to the Dublin Core schema. Using this as a scaffold, each student wrote a research proposal and was given charge of a digital showcase, for which s/he chose items to display and wrote explanatory text to accompany them. His students were excited to have this opportunity to create public-facing material and to work with items in Special Collections. Prof. Wild himself was pleased with the success of the digital exhibition and plans to use Omeka again in other courses in the future.

UChicago Voices (WordPress; supported by Academic Technology Solutions)

Omeka’s ability to catalogue metadata also proved appealing to Prof. Joe Stadolnik in his course “The Archives of Early English Literature”. Prof. Stadolnik had his students work with the archives of the Chicago-based Chaucer Research Project . Like Prof. Wild, Prof. Stadolnik scaffolded the assignment to make the prospect of creating a digital exhibition less daunting.  His students were assigned to find ten items that interested them in the collection and create skeletal Omeka records, including metadata, for each item. They then chose five of the ten to research more deeply and write up in a short description. Finally, they chose two of these five about which to write an object note that ran to greater length and tied into an aspect of the archives that interested them. The ultimate goal was to allow students to figure out their interests within the collection so that they could then go back and create a digital exhibit, as part of a larger collaborative digital exhibition.

In the end, while Prof. Stadolnik and his students found Omeka very helpful as a cataloging tool, they were less content with its performance as a publishing tool, finding it too inflexible for their purposes. They therefore turned to a public instance of the blogging/website design platform WordPress for the actual publication of their digital exhibition. Using WordPress allowed them to get a public-facing product out swiftly and without too steep a learning curve. To see the resulting digital exhibition, “Making the Canterbury Tales in Chicago,” please visit https://chicagochaucer.wordpress.com/ .

The University has its own instance of WordPress, UChicago Voices , which can also be used for this purpose. While Voices lacks the metadata capabilities of Omeka, it is easier to master quickly and is suitable for simple digital exhibitions combining text and images. Academic uses of UChicago Voices are fully supported by Academic Technology Solutions .

As the above examples demonstrate, digital exhibition assignments can entail a significant amount of initial effort on the part of both instructors and students. They are particularly well-suited to quarter-length or longer projects, including projects like Scipedia in which the faculty member can build on the same digital exhibition over several iterations of the same course.

As a general rule, digital exhibition assignments require careful planning with regard both to the choice of tool(s) used and the structure of the assignment if they are to succeed. That said, they offer a unique and compelling means of teaching research skills. By allowing students to engage both with text and images and to think through the connections between them, they spur creative thinking in a way that goes beyond the traditional research paper. As such, they can be a valuable addition to the faculty member or instructor’s pedagogical toolkit.

Digital Exhibition Tools Feature Comparison

Further resources and getting help.

  • Academic Technology Solutions supports the use of both UChicago Voices and UChicago Wiki for academic purposes. Send an email to [email protected] to get started.
  • For more information on getting started with Omeka, please see the Library’s guide (in development): https://guides.lib.uchicago.edu/omeka
  • If you would like to learn more about digital exhibition assignments and other topics at the intersection of technology and pedagogy, consider attending the Symposium for Teaching with Technology . The Symposium will be held Wednesday, April 22, 2020 , from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. , in the John Crerar Library . For more information and to RSVP, please visit the Symposium website .

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Library Lounges: Finding and Using Images for your Assignments

  • Navigating the Catalogue & Search Strategies 
  • Identifying a Research Topic: Mind Mapping   
  • Evaluating Sources and Misinformation
  • Introduction to e-Resources
  • Finding and Using Images for your Assignments
  • Using Library Resources to Kick Start Your Career after AUArts 
  • Managing Your Research: Getting Started with Zotero
  • Arts-Based Research: What is that?

Library Resources

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  • Oxford Art: Grove Art Online
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Open Access Resources

Arts-focused Public Domain and Creative Commons websites

  • Open Collection on JSTOR
  • Open Access & Free content on JSTOR
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art  Collections
  • Minneapolis Institute of Art Collection
  • The Smithsonian Collection
  • Walker Art Center
  • The Public Domain Review
  • The Rijks Studio

General Public Domain and Creative Commons websites

  • Creative Commons Search
  • The Flickr Creative Commons Search
  • The Flickr Commons Search
  • The Noun Project
  • Google Images
  • Pixabay Images
  • Wikimedia Commons

Find below the recording from the March 8th Virtual Library Lounge.

Please note:  From January 2024 onward, the ArtSTOR collection has been migrated to JSTOR. Please use JSTOR to find and search for your images.

  • Finding and Using Images for your Assignments slide deck Slide deck from the lounge.

Finding and Using Images for your Assignments

Find below the recording from the November 16th Virtual Library Lounge.

  • Finding and Using Images for your Assignments slide deck Slides from the lounge.

What is Creative Commons?

Related Guides

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  • Citing and Writing
  • Art History
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  • UBC Image Citation Guide
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  • Last Updated: Jan 25, 2024 1:59 PM
  • URL: https://auarts.libguides.com/virtual_lounges

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COMMENTS

  1. I want to use another person's images and materials in my assignment or

    In general in your course assignments you can, under fair dealing for purposes of research, private study and education, use one entire image from a compilation of images (e.g. a gallery of images on the Web, a coffee table book), or up to 10% of a stand alone image (an image that is not part of a larger compilation but is on its own such as a ...

  2. Using Images in an Assignment: Finding and Crediting

    Images can be found anywhere on the internet. They are found on social media, informational or educational websites, clipart and stock image websites, and perhaps the easiest way to find images is by using a search engine. While images may be easy to locate, using them in an assignment isn't as simple.

  3. Legally Using Images in Presentations Slides

    Whether an in-person or virtual presentation or class, this article will help you establish best practices for legally using images in presentation slides and minimizing your risks of copyright infringement. Images include photographs, charts, maps, illustrations, charts and more. You may also like our online copyright course that includes an ...

  4. The Essential Guide To Using Images Legally Online

    4. Your Own Images. As far as using images legally online, this is always going to be your best option. Creating your own images is a straightforward and simple way to avoid copyright infringement ...

  5. Teaching Students to Legally Use Images Online

    Teaching Students to Legally Use Images Online. November 13, 2017. Jennifer Gonzalez. As our students create more and more digital products —blog posts, videos, podcasts, e-books—they should be using images to enhance them. Images grab an audience's attention, they can illustrate key concepts, set a certain tone, and present a more ...

  6. Research Guides: Using Images and Non-Textual Materials in

    If you want to use this image in a published work, you will have to do your best to track down its source to request permission to use. The web site or social media site where you found the image may not be an appropriate source, since it is common for people to repost images without attribution. Just because "everyone does it" does not mean ...

  7. Images and Copyright for Students

    Using images often requires you to reproduce the entire work, but again, doing so is often considered acceptable in many educational situations. ... This question might be especially relevant if you are making your assignment or research publicly available on the Internet (as opposed to, for example, an in-class presentation). Examples - Likely ...

  8. Images, figures and tables

    In APA style, Tables are visual displays of text or data in columns and rows. Figure refers to all illustrations except tables including graphs, photos, screenshots, drawings, maps, infographics and images. Figures and tables can add visual appeal and make your work more understandable. All figures and tables you have created, adapted or ...

  9. Teaching with Images

    While teaching with images has been at the core of disciplines like art history for decades, all courses can benefit from the use of visual materials in class lectures, assignments, exercises, and resources. Images can be an effective way of presenting abstract concepts or groups of data. Instructors have reported that their use of images in ...

  10. Using Images

    Students should speak to instructors for guidelines for specific assignments. For example, citations might be unnecessary for certain studio projects. Fair Use. ... (CAA) published The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use in the Visual Arts, which provides guidance on image use for those who write about, teach, display, archive, or make art.

  11. Using Images in Academic Work: Home

    Using Images in Academic Work. If you want to use an image, photograph, graphic, drawing or artwork to illustrate a point in your essay or enhance an assignment, this guide will give you some options for finding and using images without having to worry about infringing copyright or being penalised academically for plagiarising.

  12. Subject Guides: Copyright: a Practical Guide: Using images

    utilizing a figure from a textbook in a course handout. taking a screenshot from social media for an assignment. sharing an image file with classmates for a group project. The captions for any images you reproduce should provide information about the image and its source in accordance with your department's preferred referencing style. You ...

  13. PDF How do I incorporate figures (images) and tables into my assignment?

    Yes, if your assignment has a Contents page , which is likely if you are writing a dissertation or other major project. ... Title of Figure or Table in Italic Title Case - s uccinctly describe the image or table or use the title from the original source. The figure or table - if a key or legend is included, position them within the borders of ...

  14. Creative Assignments: Teaching with Images

    Image annotation is the ability to mark up an image with text or visual symbols in order to highlight some aspect within the image. Applied to an assignment, instructors can use the idea of image annotation to introduce skills like visual literacy or visual analysis, by asking students to annotate images in order to make an argument about or ...

  15. What is a good source of images I can use legally in my papers and

    Use images you have personally created and/or photographs you have personally taken in your papers, presentations, etc. Use Microsoft ClipArt images in your papers, presentations, etc. Use images from the public domain and/or that have a Creative Commons license. Use images that are rights-cleared, such as those from the library's FABULOUS ...

  16. The Educator's Guide to Copyright, Fair Use, and Creative Commons

    Let's begin with the 5 main rules you need to remember about copyright. 1) Just because you found it online, doesn't mean it's free to use (even if you're a teacher or student). 2) There are a lot of resources you can use freely including work that has a Creative Commons license or is in the public domain.

  17. Can I use images from the Internet in my assignment or project?

    Jan 30, 2023 11957. Yes you can, as long as the images are used for educational purposes only and the use qualifies as being 'fair'. The how and why of this can be determined by the type of user you are for this type of educational use (student, staff, author).

  18. How and When to Use Images in an Essay

    Make sure to directly reference the image in the text of your essay. If you have included an image to illustrate a point, for instance, you would include something along the lines of 'An example of this can be seen in Figure 1'. The key, then, is that images in an essay are not just decoration. Rather, they should fit with and add to the ...

  19. Tables, Images, & Appendices

    Tables, Images, & Appendices. For some papers and reports, you may choose to add a table, graph, chart, or image within the body of the draft. Or you may choose to include an appendix at the end of your paper. These can help to provide a visual representation of data or other information that you wish to relay to your reader.

  20. Using Images

    These popular activities are considered plagiarism: Making a video using footage from others' videos or using copyrighted music as part of the soundtrack. Copying media (especially images) from other websites to paste them into your own papers or websites. Composing a piece of music that borrows heavily from another composition.

  21. Creative Assignments: Teaching with Images

    In Part 1 of this series we examined some basic types of image assignments, such as using images in discussion boards or annotating images. Instructors looking to move beyond these fundamentals and engage their students on a deeper level may wish to consider the digital exhibition. In a digital exhibition, students create a digital mock-up ...

  22. Library Lounges: Finding and Using Images for your Assignments

    Find below the recording from the March 8th Virtual Library Lounge. Please note: From January 2024 onward, the ArtSTOR collection has been migrated to JSTOR.Please use JSTOR to find and search for your images.

  23. Assignment Photos, Download The BEST Free Assignment Stock ...

    Download and use 1,000+ Assignment stock photos for free. Thousands of new images every day Completely Free to Use High-quality videos and images from Pexels. Photos. Explore. License. Upload. Upload Join. study writing school homework work. Free Assignment Photos. Photos 1.1K Videos 209 Users 173.