Skip to main content

Avoiding Plagiarism

Citing Image Sources

Images or illustrations can enhance your papers and presentations. Like written sources, images also need to be properly cited. Always indicate, or cite where you found the image. 

Citations can be formatted according to the citation style you are using (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc). 

Using images you did not create requires a citation in all cases. Citations should be accessible in the context of the image's use and should link back to the original image whenever possible. 

Here are a few basic guidelines:

  • Give attribution to image creators in citations and credit statements to acknowledge authorship
  • Indicate when using a personal photograph
  • Include source information
  • Citations to images included in image databases should include the following (or as much of it as can be easily determined from the source):
    1. Creator's name;
    2. Title of the work, as given;
    3. Location of the work (museum, library or owning institution, if known);
    4. Date;
    5. Database collection, if known;
    6. Rights information, if known.

No matter where you get your image (Google image search, ARTstor, WGSN Fashion, museum website, scan from a book) or how you use it (Power Point, in a paper for class, a flyer) you MUST provide a citation for every image you use. This is as simple as adding any of the known information about the work (listed above) to the bottom of the digital image. Provide as much information as possible.

For example: 

Red Panda by Mathias Appel, 2015. Flickr (Public Domain)

Image Databases

Citing Image Sources - Image from ARTstor

The following image was downloaded from ARTstor. Here's the information provided by the metadata within ARTstor that I need to keep track of and include where appropriate. 

An image from ARTstor

  1. Creator's name: Andy Warhol
  2. Title of the work, as given: Endangered Species: Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)
  3. Location of the work (museum, library, owning institution, if known): Exhibited at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts
  4. Date: 1983
  5. Database collection, if known: In ARTstor [database online]
  6. Rights information, if known: © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. 

  

Endangered Species: Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) by Andy Warhol, 1983. ARTstor.
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts, Inc. 

The MLA Citation in your works cited would be: 

Warhol, Andy. Endangered Species: Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). 1983. Exhibited at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts. ARTstor, Accessed August 2016.