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Open Images & Media

Citation and terms of use

Citing Creative Commons

Creative Commons states that citations should include the Title (if there is one), Author (or owner of the material), Source (where it can be found; usually a link) and License (the name of specific CC license with a link to that license). Copyright holders may require that a specific citation style or information be included. On the CC website, see: Best practices for attribution and Attribution in specific media

With hyperlinks (ideal)

"question" by cesar bojorquez is licensed under CC BY 2.0 

With hyperlinks (short)

"question" by cesar bojorquez / CC BY 2.0 

No hyperlink

"question" by cesar bojorguez ( is licenced under CC BY 2.0 (

With license icons (short)

"question" by cesar bojorquez 

Remixed / Modified work 

"Thinking" by Freddy Alequin is shared under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license / Modified from original and shared under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license

Citing Other Licensed Works

For non-Creative Commons works, check to see if the creator or website states how images or media should be cited. 

The Noun Project, for example, requires a specific statement and format. See: How do I give creators credit in my work? and Medium-specific credit requirements and examples

With hyperlinks

"Pisa tower" by Danil Polshin from the Noun Project 

No hyperlink

"Pisa tower" by Danil Polshin from

Further Help

  • Image Citation Guide: UBC's guide has a number of examples based on different media sources and citation styles.

Citation and terms of use

To use others' work legally, it's important to follow the requirements of the license or any terms of use. Attribution is a very common requirement. 

When you give credit to the creator of the work you're using, you don't have to use a specific citation style but you do have to provide attribution in the way they've requested. Some licenses may require that you place the citation near where the work was used, while others will allow you to group citations together at the end of a work (e.g. end of video; last slide of a PowerPoint). 

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