Sourcing images for resources: What you need to know

Heather Imrie
07th August 2015
sourcing images for resources,resources,authors,teacher authors,what you need to know

Good practice for sourcing images

When it comes to sharing teaching materials online (free or premium), you need to make sure you have permission to use any images included in your resource. This is a notoriously tricky area, as most of us hop straight in to search engine results to find pictures to use, and often it isn’t clear what the permissions are or who the copyright holder is.

We’ve highlighted below some best practice points and links to help you source images and attribute them appropriately.

How do I know if an image is available for reuse?

It’s becoming more and more common for images to be shared with a specific licence, which should explicitly explain the conditions of re-using and attribution of that particular image.

As a general rule, always check the terms of use of the website that an image originates from – this usually gives a clear-cut stance from the copyright owner on whether images can be re-produced or not. If in doubt, it’s best to find a different image which is clearly labelled for re-use, or in the case of premium resources, labelled for commercial re-use.

Do I need to credit or attribute the images I use?

Normally, yes. It can depend on the type of image, licence or permissions – but it’s good practice to always provide a link to the website where the image originated, as well as the author and the licence it’s shared under where appropriate. E.g. If using the Creative Commons ShareALike licence, you would put: Scent bottles by Warburg licenced under CC-by-SA 3.0

Check out this wiki for more examples of Creative Commons-based crediting.

What about using my own images?

Feeling creative? If you wish to use your own illustrations, photographs or designs, we’d suggest you state ownership of the images clearly in your resource. Just a simple sentence with ‘all images created by Joe Bloggs’ will do the trick.


Links to get you started

(Please note: As mentioned above, don’t forget you still need to check if the images found on these sites allow your specific use)


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