This resource guide has information on copyright, using images, and sharing articles.

Can I use images from library resources?

Each database, journal, or book publisher is likely to have its own terms and conditions for how their images can be used.

Sometimes, images may be used for research and/or educational purposes, provided permission is obtained from the copyright holder and credit is given as per copyright holder instructions.

If you have questions regarding the use of images from any Library resource (books, ebooks, journals, databases, etc.), please contact the Library for guidance or the publisher of the material in question for permission/instruction.

Where can I find free-to-use images?

  • "Free," in this context, means that there is no cost associated with use and/or that copyright either does not apply or has been waived. There may be specific license requirements that tell you how you must use and attribute a resource.
  • Not all "free" image sites are created equal. Some sites "borrow" from pay-for-use sites. If you have questions about whether a site is legitimate, find another source.
  • Carefully read licenses and terms of use.
  • Be wary of images of, or containing, trademarks (e.g. Coca Cola, Nike, Mcdonalds). Even if you find them on a free image site, usage may violate trademark laws.
  • Even when citing the source of an image is not required, it makes sense to do so. In addition to crediting the creator of the image, citation allows others to see where the image originated and that it was used legally.
  • Library Services cannot guarantee that all images on the websites we share on this page have been uploaded legally.
  • Responsibility for legal use lies with you.

Free to use

*Note* Library Services cannot guarantee that all images on these sites have been uploaded legally. 

Some restrictions apply

Free to use

Some restrictions apply

Free to use

Some restrictions apply

What about images found online?

Can I create my own images?

It can be difficult to find exactly the right image, particularly for clinical procedures or conditions. If you can't find an image that you are permitted to use, you may be able to create something yourself.


  • Take your own photograph. Keep in mind that:
    • a signed release form may be necessary
    • copyright for photos taken for work purposes is held by your employer
  • Use photo editing software to edit a free-to-use image from sources such as Pixabay or Wikimedia Commons. Remember to read the license to ensure that modifications are permitted.