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Finding images research guide: Citing Sources

General Caption

There are numerous ways to cite an image. Images used for art history papers will vary from those that are used for in class presentations and particularly from those used in scientific research papers. It is important to stick to one format while citing images. For example, if your paper is in MLA format, your images should be cited in the same manner. Regardless of what an image database or image distributing websites policies, you should cite the source of the image because they might change over time and you should attribute credit to a work if it is not yours. 

Scientific Image Citing Example

The example below taken from the Lake Forest College Research Guide shows the citation technique for an image in the APA format.

Figure 1. B. pertussis by
J. L. Carson, 2003. Used
with permission. ¹

¹ From “Three genomes and whooping cough,” by E. R. Winstead, 2003, Genome News Network . Copyright 2000 - 2004 by the J. Craig Venter Institute.  Reproduced with permission of the photographer. Available at whooping_cough.php

Shown directly below is a citation for the image if you include it in your References, but APA style does not require you to do so.
Carson, J. L. (2003). “B. pertussis.” [Online image] In Three genomes and whooping cough, Genome News Network. Rockville Maryland: J. Craig Venter Institute. Retrieved from whooping_cough.php
Give the address of the page on which the image appeared rather than the address of the image to assist retrieval of the image at a later date.

General Image Citing Example

The example below taken from the Cornell Library Image Research guide shows how to cite a general image in the APA format. A similar format can be applied for using images in an Art History paper if they are in the APA format. 

Penfield, E. (1908). Cornell [Poster]. New York Public Library Art and Architecture Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs. (Posters. New York, 1890s-1907. / E. Penfield, Leaf 62). Retrieved from New York Public Library Digital Gallery.

Further Resources

The following are additional resources to acquire further information when in doubt about citing images.


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