University of New England - Innovation for a Healthier Planet

Services & Spaces

Finding and Using Images

It is easy to find images online, but most are covered by copyright. There are library and open-source sources for copyright-free images that you can use in your academic work, even if you intend to publish.

Finding Images

Library Resources

Images from our online library resources can normally be used in educational presentations if you cite the source (called attribution). You can find the citation with the downloaded image.

Resources for finding images include the SMART (Scientific and Medical Art) Imagebase….


Pixabay is a library of copyright free images and illustrations. Although not required, a link back to Pixabay is appreciated.


MedPix is a free online database of medical images from the National Library of Medicine (NLM). MedPix images are available for personal and educational use; for any other use contact the NLM for permission.

Getty Open Content Program

The Getty Open Content Program includes historical images from the Getty’s collections. Images here are believed to be in the public domain (not protected by copyright) which means there are no restrictions on their use. Getty requests the following credit line: “Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.”


Flickr is a popular image hosting service. Many creators post their pictures with a license that allows others to use them: find these by using the license filter after performing a search.

Flickr: The Commons are images from the world’s public photography archives. Participating institutions contribute photographs that they believe are free of copyright restrictions, such as those in the public domain. Note that the site cannot grant permission to use an image or provide a guarantee that the image is in the public domain.

Google Images

A Google Image Search contains results from web pages which have been crawled and indexed by Google. These images do not belong to Google, and are not necessarily intended for use by others. To find copyright-free images, go to Tools in your search results and select Usage Rights; choose Creative Common Licenses. Even then, the image may still be subject to copyright. Go to the original site for more information, and/or conduct a fair use assessment if usage terms are unclear.

Using Images

Even if an image is available for your use you still must include a citation or attribution to avoid plaigerism.

Questions & Help

If you have questions on this, or another, topic, contact a librarian for help!