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Copyright @ NSCC

Copyright information for NSCC faculty, staff and students.


Use these web-based repositories to search for content that is free to use and share. Remember to check the license terms and include a credit - Giving credit is a fundamental component of academic integrity.

Images with a CC0 license or images in the public domain do NOT require a credit. They are free to use without attribution unless including credit is a requirement of your assignment and is required by your instructor. CC0 images are an excellent option for brochures and posters.

Use this NSCC Library IMAGE subscription resource for your teaching, handouts or student projects.

Searching for Images

Assume the content you find is protected by copyright unless there is a statement that states otherwise.

Use a Google Search Filter to find Images you can Copy & Use

You can filter your image results to show only images that are labeled for reuse:

1. Type  your search terms into a Google search box. Select Images.

2. Select Tools – a new menu bar will appear below.

3. Select Usage Rights from the new menu bar and then select Labeled for reuse.

4. Your image results will now be filtered -- Results include only images Labeled for reuse.

5. Click on the image, until you land on the webpage where the image is hosted, to confirm that the image can be used. Look for the name of the creator and usage terms or a Creative Commons (CC) license.


NOTE: Please do not use the BING search engine. The filter tool in Bing does not work as advertised.
Bing filtered image search results consistently include copyright-protected content.

Consider searching for images from public domain repositories or images with creative commons (CC) licenses. Open source and CC images are free to use and share.
See the Finding Images tab for more information.

Where did that image come from?

Reverse image web searching tools may be able to answer this question.

  • Drag and drop the image file into one the reverse image search tools (see links below), then review the results.
  • Try using more than one: results vary as each tool uses a different search algorith

Reverse Image Search Options


APA - Citing an Image from a Website

  • No creator named: Use the image title as the author
  • No image title: Try placing your cursor over the image. The image title or description (if available) will be displayed.

APA Style Template for Website References -- The Internet as an Egg

Yellow Yolk: Content in the yolk is covered by clearly defined APA citation examples. See the NSCC APA Guide, By Type page for examples.

Egg White: Content represented in this area are less traditional resources, like images found on websites. Creating a reference is actually simple if you follow the template below.

You need to find four pieces of information:

  • Author / Creator
  • Date
  • Title
  • Source

The APA Reference Formula

Author, A. (date). Title of document [Format description]. Retrieved from ... insert url address

APA Reference Example - The Egg Image on this page


APA Reference Example - Blog Post


The format description in brackets is used only when the format is something out of the ordinary, and provides information about the type of resource being referenced.

More information about using APA is available on the NSCC APA Guide.

Adapted from Lee, C. (2010, November 18). How to cite something you found on a website in APA Style [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Creative Commons (CC) - Citing a CC Licensed Image

Creative Commons licensed content (with the exception of CC0 licenses) requires an attribution that includes the license type, with links to the content and the license description when reproduced in electronic formats.

Include 4 elements in a CC credit:

  • Title
  • Author
  • Source
  • License (The image license type is included in the reference)

The 4 elements written as a CC credit: Image Title by Author Name [Source] is licensed under CC License Type

Image Credit: Ella the Snow Dog by John Talbot [Flickr] is licensed under CC BY 2.0
For more information on Creative Commons go to the Creative Commons License section of OER guide.

NSCC Guidelines

  • Academic integrity is an important aspect of academic education. See NSCC Academic Integrity Policy
  • NSCC faculty and students are expected to include attribution for all copied works.
  • When your assignments include copied images, you must include references for the images.
  • Check with your instructor about whether a specific citation style is required.
  • Support for creating APA references is available from campus librarians.
  • Web-based support can be found here: NSCC APA Citation Style.

Credits vs References

A credit line under a visual is the equivalent of an in-text citation. It provides acknowledgment to the creator and provides enough information to point the reader to the full reference. The reference list is the complete list of all the sources you have used and cited in the creation of your document.

Creating Brochures for Assignments?

  • Use a small type size and place the references in their own separate section on the brochure.
  • A well created reference makes it easy for the reader (your instructor) to locate the source of the copied content.
  • If you purchased visual content under a license or are using your own photographs you don't need to include attribution, unless this is a requirement for your assignment.
  • Always check to make sure you have the 'right' to include the image -- consult your campus library staff if you have questions.

What is a Royalty Free Image?

Royalty Free does not mean no cost.

A royalty based fee schedule requires ongoing payment based on the number of times the content is used.

Royalty Free means a single payment (the permission fee) covers multiple use of the image without additional payments. It allows for more than one use of the image for the fee paid.

You pay for the image, but it is free of royalties or ... royalty free.