This Resource Guide provides information on how to effectively and ethically find and cite images for research projects.
Many thanks to the University Libraries at the University of Dayton for their assistance in compiling this guide.
Copyright law exists to promote the creation of new, original material by protecting the rights and incentives of those who create content.
Original content is copyrighted at the instant it becomes fixed in a tangible medium. Creators no longer have to register a copyright to receive protection against unlawful use--it is automatic.
The doctrine of Fair Use, however, limits the exclusive rights of the copyright owner and makes reasonable public access to copyrighted works available for limited purposes. Determining what constitutes Fair Use in a specific situation can be difficult. Section 107 of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) specifies four factors that are balanced together when determining whether a use is Fair or not:
The following guidelines may be helpful:
When U.S. Works Pass into the Public Domain
A handy chart showing length of copyright term based on date of work
DIRC--Digital Image Rights Computator
A tool intended to assist in assessing the intellectual property status of a specific image documenting a work of art, a designed object, or a portion of the built environment.
Fair Use Evaluator
A tool to help you determine if your use of an image or other work falls within fair use.
Columbia University Copyright Advisory Office, Copyright Quick Guide
Columbia University's guide to copyright. Information on the fundamentals of copyright, fair use, and other issues related to copyright.
Stanford University's Copyright and Fair Use Overview
Information on a variety of issues related to copyright.
This page will help you cite images. Be sure to keep track of the basic information needed for citing images:
If you found the image in a book or periodical, you will need to cite the book's or magazine's information. See examples below.
If you found the image on the web or in an online database, you will need to cite the database name, URL, identifying file number for the image, and date of access. See examples below.
Your instructor may require you to use a specific style manual; consult the manual for the proper format of your citation.