Part of being a principled scholar, an  honest internet user, and an good digital citizen means giving credit to the other people’s work which  you use in your own.  In this post, we will talk about images, though any media can be licensed.

Of course, you have chosen images that are licensed for re-use (a Creative Commons license) or are in the public domain.  How are you going to format the image credit?

To properly attribute a Creative Commons image you should

  1. Name the title (if given) and author of the work and the type of creative commons license used
  2. Link the title and/or author name to the original work, and link the Creative Commons license name back to the designated Creative Commons license page
  3. Include this linked attribution in close proximity to the photo

That’s a lot of detail to keep track of, and to formulate appropriately. Fortunately, Alain Levine has created a very helpful tool for formatting Creative Commons attributions for Flickr images, called the Flickr CC Attribution Helper.  To install it, click on this link, and drag the blue bar you’ll see at the bottom if the screen to your browser’s bookmark bar (or follow the directions at this link).

When you’ve found an image on Flickr (using their “Advanced Search” function), with the correct CC license that you want to use, a click on the bookmarklet generates the appropriate photo credit text.  For example, here is a screen shot of the attributions which the tool generated  for one of my own photos.

Screen shot of attribution text for a CC photo

Screen shot of attribution text for a CC photo

Copy the “Attribution (text)”  text, and paste it in your work where appropriate.  On a blog post, that might be just below the image in a very small font. On a presentation slide, it might be in a text box on top of or along side the image, in a small font and in a colour that is visible, but does not distract from the image. For example, here is slide I created using an image found on Flickr, with the attribution text placed along the right edge.

presentation slide showing CC attribution

presentation slide showing CC attribution


and an example from a blog post, with the attribution text pasted in the “caption” box:

Screen shot of CC attribution in a blog post

Blog post screen shot showing CC attribution

You might be interested in further reading at, and

Have you given thought as to how do you license your own work on the web?

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