This guide provides techniques for searching for and providing citations for tables and images.

Finding Images and Tables Online

What are Creative Commons and Copyrighted Images?

Though images are available quickly and easily, they are also protected by copyright law.  It is not always immediately apparent who is the copyright holder for an image.  Images, including photographs and tables, belong to someone and you need to credit the creator whenever you use their work in your own work.

Some images take a little more work, though.  If the owner of the image still holds a copyright and you will be sharing your work outside the university (for example, if you are creating an online presentation or submitting your work to be published), you will need to be sure you have the right to use that work.

Finding Images and Tables

To find an image that is available for reuse without a copyright permission letter:

  1. Enter your search terms into
  2. Click Search Tools
  3. Click Usage Rights
  4. Select the Creative Commons' license you can use (probably Labeled for Reuse)
  5. Select the image you would like to use and collect the information you will need for your reference page or bibliography--even though it's labeled for reuse, you need to credit the original source, and Google Image is not the source!  Detailed instructions on citing an image from Google Image can be found here

  1. Enter your search terms in the search box
  2. Select a source to search, such as Flickr
  3. Select your image and use the image source to provide an accurate citation.  More citation instructions can be found here

When you are searching for an image using this source, you are looking at images and tables that have been published in journal articles.  Details of how to cite these images can be found here


When you find an image from this source, you will need to provide the access information, but no special information about copyright or permissions is required.

Loading ...

Copyright Permissions

According to APA (the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association 6th Edition) the following items require permission when using content.

  • Directly reprinted figures and tables
  • Adapted figures and tables
  • Directly reproduced data
  • Tests and scale items
  • Questionnaires, vignettes, etc.
  • Long quotations (Example: Case Studies, Policy Citations, etc.)
  • Either a single 400 block quotation OR
  • Total excerpts more than 800 words 

Creative Commons.Org (a group of intellectual property experts – lawyers and librarians) created a set of copyright licenses free for public use that define the “middle way” between copyright and the public domain – or between all rights reserved and no rights reserved.



Creative Commons have defined a set of licenses so that authors and artists can clearly define what rights they are keeping, and what they are sharing – for free or for fee. These Creative Commons (cc) licenses, six variations in total, allow for creators to keep their copyright while inviting other uses of their work – or a “some rights reserved” copyright. Using these creative commons licenses, creators can choose a set of conditions they wish to apply to their work.The basic four conditions are:

Attribution : You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work — and derivative works based upon it — but only if they give credit the way you request.

Noncommercial : You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your work — and derivative works based upon it — but for noncommercial purposes only.

No Derivative Works : You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copies of your work, not derivative works based upon it.

Share Alike : You allow others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work.


Loading ...