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Library Image Resources

Instructions and sources for finding images to use in courses and student presentations

Open Access Image Source Searching

These four sources will allow you to search for images that are labeled as available for use. Some of them have no restrictions; some only permit academic use; some permit use only if you credit the source (which you should always do); some permit you to make substantial changes and some do not. Look carefully at each image that you find for license terms before using it to be sure it is legally available for your purposes.

OPEN-I Google Image Search Creative Commons Search Flickr Image Search

OPEN-i

1. Go to Open i Image

2. Search for your desired image by keyword

3. If you need a specific type of license permission - one that allows reuse for commercial purposes, one that allows reuse for noncommercial purposes, etc. - limit your search by License Type

license type search limitation

Attribution 

Allows any reuse with credit to the original creator, even commercial uses

Attribution noncommercial

Allows reuse for noncommercial purposes with credit to the original creator; any changes must be described in the credits

Attribution noncommercial no derivatives

Allows reuse for noncommercial purposes with credit to the original creator but you may not make changes of any sort

Attribution noncommercial share-alike

Allows reuse for noncommercial purposes with credit to the original creator; any changes must be described in the credits; you must use the same license when you redistribute the changed image

4. Click on the License link under the image on the image page to find the exact terms of the license. There are different varieties of each type.

5. If there is no good link to the specific license for an image, visit its hosting site.

Google Image Search

  1. Go to Google Images

  2. Enter your search term, and click Search.

  3. On the results screen, click Tools below the search box to open an array of tools for narrowing the results.

  4. Select Labeled for Reuse or other appropriate usage category from the Usage Rights drop-down menu.

    Image of license drop-down on google search interface

  5. The results visible will narrow to those that fit your usage rights choice

  6. Browse to choose a desirable image, and check EACH IMAGE for a specific license statement

  7. Link back to and cite the image source AND license statement as you reuse the image in a presentation or slide

Creative Commons Search

CC Search image

  1. Go to the Creative Commons Search to search a wide range of open images, music, sound effects, and video.

  2. You must read the license for EACH ITEM you link to or re-publish.

    1. "Please note that search.creativecommons.org is not a search engine, but rather offers convenient access to search services provided by other independent organizations. CC has no control over the results that are returned. Do not assume that the results displayed in this search portal are under a CC license. You should always verify that the work is actually under a CC license by following the link. " - from Creative Commons.org.

  3. You must ALWAYS cite the source and link back to the specific license.

Flickr Image Search

  1. Go to the explore page at  flickr logo

  2. Search for your desired image topic

  3. Click on the Any license drop-down menu from the link at the top left of the search results. 

    Image of license drop-down on flickr search interface

  4. Select the desired permission level to see images

    1. Select U.S. Government works for images in the public domain.
  5. Check EACH IMAGE for a license statement to make sure that it allows your desired use. Some on Flickr do not allow re-use at all.

  6. Link back to and cite the image source AND license statement