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APA Citation Style Guide (7th Edition)

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Finding Online Images

Looking for online images?

Please refer to our Open Educational Resources (OER) research guide for more information.

Look under the "Find Images, Videos and More" tab for open resource websites.


Citing an image in-text:

To cite an image you found online, use the image title or a general description in your text, and then cite it using the first element in the works cited entry and date.

The Dream (Rousseau, 1910) baffled art critics when it debuted, mere months before the artist's death in September of that year.

As demonstrated in Up Close and Personal with the Very Large Telescope (Salgado, 2010), the fish eye camera lens creates uniquely distorted images, which often evokes the curvature of the earth.


Incorporating images into the text of your paper:

  1. In the text, refer to figures by their number (i.e., Figure 1 or Figure 2). Do not refer to figures as "the figure below" or "the figure above."
  2. Place the figure close as possible to the part of text referencing it, unless otherwise instructed by your professor.
  3. Centre the image in the paper.
  4. Number the figures consecutively, beginning with Figure 1.
  5. Provide a brief description of the image. The caption should serve as both a title and explanation.
  6. On the same line as the figure number and caption, provide the source and copyright information for the image in the following format:


Figure X.  Descriptive caption of image. From Image title, by Creator’s Name, Year of creation, Database/URL.  Copyright Date by Name of Copyright Holder. Reprinted with permission (if applicable).



Reference list:


Creator's last name, first initial. (Role of creator). (Year of creation). Title of image or description of image. [Type of work]. URL/database

Note: If you can only find the screen name of an author (such as a photographer on Flickr), that will do as the author's name. If the screen name is all lowercase, keep the name lowercase in the in-text citation and the references list.


Electronic Image (No Author)

Title of work [Type of work]. (Year of creation). URL (address of website)


Electronic Image (No Author, No Title, No Date)

Many images found on the Web are of this category, but you should still look for this missing information: try clicking on the image, and/or looking at the bottom of the image.

[Format and subject of work]. URL (address of website)



Sphinx [Digital Image]. (2006).

Bonsu, O. (Sculptor). (ca. 1960). Female figure (akua ba). [Wood and glass sculpture].

Kulbis, M. (Photographer). (2006). Men pray [Photograph],

sinead-marie (Photographer). (2012). Dyslexia [Photograph],

[Untitled photograph of a baby chimpanzee].