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ASTR 104 Astronomy of Planets: Citing Images

Basics of Image Citing

In your research report, if you include images that you find through Google search, on a website, in a book, or in a journal/magazine paper, be sure to cite it properly. By citing the image, you avoid plagiarism and give credit to the creator of the image. At a minimum, image citation should include the following elements:

  • Title of image
  • Creator, artist, or photographer
  • Source of the image (website, book, paper, database, poster, etc)
  • Date accessed (for online images)

How to cite Creative Commons images

Citing vs. Attribution

When to Cite:

If you are writing an academic paper and use an image to support an idea or argument then you would cite that image according to a specific citation style, e.g. AIP, APA, or MLA.

When to Provide Attribution:

Attribution is to acknowledge the creator(s) who hold the copyright of an image. You may attribute an image used for presentation, web page, or other formats that do not require a specific citation style. For example, if you use an image to enhance a web page or a presentation, you need to attribute the image to its creator.

Example: "The Moons of Mars" from NASA

If you use the image above to support the argument that the two satellites of Mars are potato-shaped in your research paper, you would need to cite it using a specific citation style.

If you use this image only to make your website more visually appealing, you would need to provide attribution. You do not need to follow a specific citation style as long as the key elements (title, creator, source) are included.