Answered By: Rudolph Matas Library. Health Sciences Reference Dept.
Last Updated: Mar 31, 2016     Views: 59

Advice for using an image in publication:

•             use public domain material

•             get license to use image

•             look for Web creator’s statement of permissible use and for suggested credit line.


Before using any image check copyright statement on the site.  Many of the Tulane licensed resources may allow the use of their material for educational, noncommercial or personal use as long as the source is acknowledged.  The Matas library does not license any stock database of medical images that may be used freely.

Tulane does have images available via licensed resources, the publishers require that you obtain permission to use in a publication. Using images from licensed resources for teaching slides, lectures, classroom presentations and other educational uses is recommended.

How to locate an image that is in the public domain:

  • Search for your topic in Google Images.  Filter your search by Usage rights. Try adding the term "creative commons" to your images search filter by usage rights
  • Search in government sites (.gov). -  Most U.S. government images and graphics are in the public domain.  Read the disclaimers on each site before using in a publication to make sure that they are truly “free” to use in publication.  The source should be acknowledged even if permissions or payment for use is not required
  • Is it possible for you to create your own photo image or drawing?  The Matas Library has the Adobe Creative Suite loaded on every computer (including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.)  You may wish to ask your publisher what size image and resolution are suggested, especially if it is needed for a print publication.  
  • Search Creative Commons - "Please note that is not a search engine, but rather offers convenient access to search services provided by other independent organizations.  CC has no control over the results that are returned.  Do not assume that the results displayed in this search portal are under a CC license.  You should always verify that the work is actually under a CC license by following the link. Since there is no registration to use a CC license, CC has no way to determine what has and hasn't been placed under the terms of a CC license.  If you are in doubt you should contact the copyright holder directly, or try to contact the site where you found the content."