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Finding and Using Images: Citing Images

This guide is intended to help you search for images to use in your projects and research. It is not a comprehensive list of image resources but rather an introduction to the process of locating appropriate images.

Why Citation Matters

Properly citing sources protects against plagiarism.

  • Plagiarism is using someone else's work without giving them credit. This is a form of academic dishonesty that is considered a serious offense and is handled under SAIT policies.
  • Properly citing a work is essential in an academic community but does not protect against copyright infringement.

 

The boxes below show examples of how to cite images in APA and IEEE citation styles.  For more information on citation styles, go to the library's Help page.

How to Cite Images using APA

It is important to note that the APA Manual does not provide specific directions related to figures (e.g., images, charts, and tables). Consult with your instructor to confirm the format they require for figures within an APA style paper.

If an in-paper reference is required, this reference appears as a caption underneath the figure that you copied or adapted for your paper. Begin the caption with the word "Figure", a number, and a title. Follow this with "Source" and a full citation for the figure.  If you adapted the figure, begin the citation with "Adapted from" followed by the full citation.

Example:

Figure 1: Proper Desk Setup
Source: Adapted from Smith, L. (2016). Making the office safe. Toronto, Canada: Pearson Publishers.


Tip:

  • Looking for images that have an appropriate licence for use in your project? Check out the Finding Images guide.

 

APA Citation, Continued

To create a citation for a table, chart, or image within the list of references, use the following examples:

General Format

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Artist Surname, Year)

References:
Artist Surname, First Initial. Second Initial. (Year). Title of the artwork [Format]. Retrieved from URL

Example

In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Baumel, 2010)

References (Basic):
Baumel, A. (2010). Cholera treatment center in Haiti [Online image]. Retrieved October 2, 2010 from https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


Tip:

  • Many images on the web do not have easily identifiable author, title, or date information. Try to locate missing information by right-clicking on the image and viewing the properties and/or looking for information within the page on which the image is found.  If you cannot find any of this information, begin the citation with a description of the work within brackets.

Example

[Untitled illustration of a sleeping dog ]. Retrieved December 5, 2010 from http://www.sleepinganimals/pix.com

How to Cite Images using IEEE

A reference for a figure appears as a caption underneath the figure that you copied or adapted for your paper. Begin the caption with the word "Figure", a number, and a title. Follow this with "Source" and the citation number in brackets.  If you adapted the figure, begin the citation with "Adapted from" followed by the citation number in brackets.

Example


Figure 1: Wind Turbine
Source: Adapted from [2]


Tip:

  • Number figures and tables separately.
  • Looking for images that have an appropriate licence for use in your project? Check out the Finding Images guide.

IEEE Citation, Continued

To create a citation for a table, chart, or image within the list of references, list the citation number and cite according to the format for the type of source where you found the image (e.g., image found in book would be cited in the book format).

For specific examples of formatting citations for different types of works, go to the books, articles, or websites sections of the IEEE Citation Style Guide.

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