Using images

Images (such as paintings, photographs, icons, maps) can help in learning, teaching and research across different disciplines and subjects. However, as copyright and other right-related issues remain central to activities involving the use of digital images, it is important to check for relevant terms of use before using them.

JISC Process Chart for Using Images

JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) Digital Media developed a process chart for using digital images, as shown below. While it is not an exhaustive assessment of all situations, it is a useful guide to “navigate around the key issues associated with the use of images” and help to decide whether an image can be used for a particular context or situation.

Image from JISC Digital Media.

Some of the key questions to ask when deciding to use an image include:


  • Is the image covered by any license?
  • Can I download and use that image?
  • What are the conditions of use?
    • Can I alter, crop, modify, remix this image?
    • Can I print, distribute or share the image or my works using the image?
    • Do I need to attribute (or cite) the image use?