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Images and Multimedia : Citing Images & Copyright

Medical images captured from the subcellular to full body and can be used in presentations.


Become familiar with fair use by reading our guide on Copyright Basics. For more detailed information on use of images for educational purposes, private study and research, go to the Visual Resources Association statement on fair use.


CITING IMAGES THAT ARE FREE TO USE (public domain, Creative Commons licenses, etc.)


Image retrieved from the internet:


Figure legend:

Figure 1. Put any desired caption here. Reprinted from Wikimedia Commons, 2010.1


Reference list (full citation in AMA format):

1. Amos E. A small and simple white mortar and pestle, on bamboo. Wikimedia Commons. Published November 11, 2010. Accessed December 1, 2015.  


Or, put entire citation below image if you do not want to include it in the reference list. Example: 

Figure 2. Anatomy of the knee in humans ( by staff, December 3, 2013. Creative Commons BY 3.0 license. 



Image retrieved from an article (with Creative Commons license):

Figure 1. Photograph of patient shows facial flushing only on the right side, as found in Moon SY, 2005.1 Creative Commons BY-NC 3.0 license. Copyright: The Korean Academy of Medical Sciences.

Then include the full article citation in your reference list. For example (in AMA format):

1. Moon SY, Shin D, Park S, Kim JS. Harlequin syndrome with crossed sympathetic deficit of the face and arm. J Korean Med Sci. 2005;20(2);329-30.


Image retrieved from an article (permission granted, but no Creative Commons license):

Figure 1. Basic structure of the voltage-gated sodium channel, as found in Simkin D and Bendahhou S. Copyright 2011 by Simkin and Bendahhou.

Then include the full article citation in your reference list. For example (in APA format):

Simkin, D. & Bendahhou, S. (2011). Skeletal muscle Na+ channel disorders. Front Pharmacol, Oct 14. Retrieved from



Other resources for help with citing figures and images:


Copyright Stuffs blog:


Creative Commons Wiki:


Creative Commons License Generator:


Flickr URL shortener:



If you find your use of an image does not fall under fair use and it’s not in the public domain, you will need to get permission to reproduce the image in your article, poster, or presentation outside Baystate.





If you want to use a copyrighted image, you will need to get permission from the publisher to use it.

You will also need to ask about:  1) citing the source of your image, 2) the cost of reproducing the image, and 3) terms of use.


Steps to getting permission:


What to include in your permission letter:


When the Copyright owner is unknown:

If you cannot find the owner to obtain permission, consult this copyright page at Columbia University: