You may want to use images in your assignments, dissertations and theses. This guide will show you what you need to consider when using other people’s images, and where to search for online images.
Image credits: FreeImages.com/Carlos Paes/Mira Pavlakovic/Miguel Ramos/Jean Scheijen/Thomas Mavrofides
It can be tempting to use Google Images to find images for your research and assignments, due to it's vast subject coverage and ease of use.
However, just because something appears in the search results does not mean you have permission to include these images in your work. In almost every case, you will need to check the copyright license.
If you have found an image you want to use, whether it's from a website, a print publication or an online database the University subscribes to, you will need to check the copyright license attached to that particular image to determine whether you can re-use the image, and in what context.
In the UK, all images have copyright attributed to them as soon as they are created, regardless of format. Just because something is available online, does not mean it has no copyright restrictions and can be freely used by others. The creators decide what they will or will not allow others to do with their images.
Copyright restrictions may vary image to image, and will depend on how you want to use them. For example, some images may allow only non-commercial or personal research use, while others will allow commercial use and/or manipulation.
If you are unclear whether the copyright license allows re-use, you should ask the creator of the image, use your own images or find images from a copyright free source such as Pixabay.
Copyright is a complex subject. Further information on copyright in general can be found in the Copyright LibGuides:
The University of Exeter subscribes to a number of quality art image databases, some of which are listed below.
For the full list of databases that include images use the LibGuides A to Z database list and refine your database type to Images.
A wide range of images can be found in our Primary Source databases, especially because, in most cases, the source materials have been digitally photographed.
Click here to search for images. You can refine your search by format, theme and more.
Most of the websites below cover multiple subjects and contain many thousands of images. However, it's important to remember that although something may be copyright free, you may still have to pay for the right to use an image. Always check the image licence!
This guide from Harvard will help you find and correctly attribute public domain and Creative Commons media for your project or presentation: Finding Public Domain & Creative Commons Media