Use this guide to find images at the library and online.

Can I use it?

Can I use an image for teaching?

Yes. Using an image in a lecture is generally considered acceptable under the terms of fair dealing. You can use figures, illustrations and photographs taken from books, websites and other published works.

Can I put an image on my website?

Yes, if that website is password-protected or otherwise restricted to students enrolled in your course. For example, you can put a PowerPoint presentation which includes images on Virtual Campus.

Can I use an image for an assignment?

Yes. Re-using figures, illustrations and photographs in a paper, a presentation or your own art work is generally considered acceptable under the terms of fair dealing. You must credit the original source. 

Conferences and publications

Using an image in a presentation or a poster session is generally considered acceptable under the terms of fair dealing

But, if your presentation or poster is then published in print or online, you will need to remove the image or obtain permission to do so.

In the same way, if you want to use an image in an article or a thesis to be published in print or online, you must obtain permission.

Creative Commons Licences

Creative Commons provides creators with a licensing scheme to openly distribute their copyright-protected works. These licences allow users to reproduce these works for free without having to request permission, as long as certain conditions are respected.

There are six main licences and a public domain designation, representing varying degrees of openness. Creative Commons-licensed images are usually identified by an icon and/or an acronym.

The most open is the public domain designation, making content available freely without restrictions:

  or CC0

As for the licences, at a minimum, attribution will be required:

or CC BY

To learn more about the different licences, their icons and acronyms, and their level of openness, see Creative Commons licences.

There are a host of platforms offering access to CC-licensed images. Begin your search here: Online Images (Creative Commons-licensed and public domain images)

Public domain

Images that are in the public domain are not subject to copyright restrictions. This includes images where copyright has expired and those covered by a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) designation.

Useful websites

Openverse (formerly Creative Commons Search) - Find Creative Commons content to use and remix

Canadian Copyright Term and Public Domain (PD) Flowchart - Find out if an image is in the public domain (Copyright Office, University of Alberta)

TinEye - Find out where an image came from

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Roxanne Lafleur
MRT 016
613 562-5800 (3720)