Finding & Citing Images in Presentations

Modified image of Double Transgenic Zebrafish ( by NICHD/Creative Commons

Modified image of Double Transgenic Zebrafish

( by NICHD/Creative Commons


A great presentation- whether it's for a class project, a conference talk, or an interview- usually includes images. The right picture can captivate an audience and convey your research findings.

Properly attributing and citing images used in presentations is as important as using clear, high definition images. Providing author and URL information on your slides communicates to the audience that you understand citation guidelines and gives credit to the people that created these images. Using someone else’s image without permission or copying an image from the internet is plagiarism, just as if you cut and pasted someone else’s words into your paper. Citing your images also allows directs the audience to your source material to learn more about your ideas.

The format of the image citation depends on citation style (APA vs. CSE) and venue (presentation vs. journal publication) but the general best practice is to list the --Title (URL) by Author/License.

Google Images is certainly one of the most well known places to find pictures online. Use the Google Image search tools to limit results by type of license. This way you can quickly find pictures licensed for noncommercial reuse or modification.

Flickr is another website that provides reusable images. If you have a gallery on Flickr you can set permissions for others to use your photographs.

Creative commons allows you to search for reusable images and register and license your images so that other researchers can easily reuse them.

UIC Image Databases

●     Artstor - is not just for art! It features many natural science collections. Search for specific subjects or browse collections such as Yale’s Peabody Museum

●     ScienceDirect - a platform for searching articles across the sciences that allows you to limit searches by image (mostly charts, tables and figures- but includes pictures and illustrations)

Other places to find Bio images online:

●     NIH Image Gallery

●     Bio-Image Search

●     Smithsonian Collection

●     Wellcome Images

Make sure that you cite all images you use as fully as possible and provide links to the image source. Also check each site to make sure images are available for reuse. 

Reuse of images may be limited under Fair Use guidelines. Find more information on all the image databases at UIC and how to cite them here.