Skip to Main Content

Image Research

This guide is a starting place for image-based research at UCLA.

How to Cite

Once you find an image you would like to use for your project, it is important to properly cite that image just like you would a journal article or book.

Here is some basic information you might need to cite an image:

  • Creator name
  • Title of the work
  • Date work was created
  • Source (URL and date of access)
  • Format
  • Image ID number

If you find an image in a book you will need that book's author, title, publisher information, date, and page, figure, or plate number of the reproduction.

Additional information may be needed for works of art.  Remember to always refer to specific style manuals for complete information and consult the terms & conditions of image databases used to locate images since database licenses may specify required caption information.

You can also refer to the Image Workstation Help from Reed College and the Finding Images guide from Boston College for more information and examples on citing images.

Consult these style manuals to create your citations.  Copies of several of these manuals are available throughout the libraries at UCLA at reference desks or in the stacks. 

Need help citing your sources? Try these tools:

Consult your Style guide for information about caption formats.

See Image Resources: Captions, Citations, Examples, for guidance on the distinction between captions and citations, examples with unusual or unknown elements, and links to additional resources.

Also see the Reed College Image Workstation Help, which provides the following guidance (and more:)

MLA Handbook - Captions

  • Images should be labeled Figure (usually abbreviated Fig.), assigned an Arabic numeral, and given a caption.
  • The caption should appear directly below the image.
  • Image captions should always include the image creator's first name, last name (if available), title, work date, and the source of the image.
  • For a more descriptive caption, it is acceptable to include a description of materials, measurements, the institution or individual who owns the work, and the location of the institution.
  • Note whether the image came from a print, electronic, or other source and cite appropriately.

Print Source Caption Example
Fig. 4. Frank Duveneck, Portrait of Maggie Wilson, Oil on board, 38.10 x 30.48 cm, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; Unsuspected Genius: the Art and Life of Frank Duveneck, by Robert Neuhaus  (San Francisco: Bedford Press, 1987) 227.

Electronic Source Caption Example
Fig. 9. Amasis Painter, Lekythos; Women Weaving, 17.15 cm height, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Accessed Jan. 12, 2007 from the Reed College CONTENTdm database <http://cdm.reed.edu/u?/vrcwork,38536>.

Other Source Caption Example
Fig. 13. Columbia River at Dawn. Personal photograph by author. 13 March 2008.

Examples of Image Citations

MLA Style

Bibliography citation:

Gas Power Magazine, Cover. 1904 November. Artstor, library.artstor.org/asset/SS35197_35197_19447297.

This is an MLA style citation generated from Artstor that gives a magazine cover a descriptive title, “Gas Power Magazine, Cover.”

 

Cover of Gas Power magazine

MLA Style

Bibliography citation:

Unknown photographer. Baseball players, Trinity College, Hartford, CT [Athletics], overall. ca. 1900, Image:2019. Artstor, library.artstor.org/asset/24977027.

This is an MLA style citation generated from Artstor that attributes the photograph to “Unknown photographer” as the creator.

Chicago Style

Bibliography citation:

Unidentified Photographer. c. 1870s. Untitled. Photograph. Place: <A HREF=http://www.clevelandart.org/>The Cleveland Museum of Art</A>, Cleveland, Ohio, USA, Collection: Photography, Department: Photography, Gift of Mitzie Verne. https://library.artstor.org/asset/24623239.

This is a Chicago style citation generated from Artstor that attributes the photograph to “Unidentified photographer” as the creator and “Untitled” as the title.

APA Style

Bibliography citation:

[s.n.]. (1980). Derek Jacobi as Hamlet. Retrieved from https://library.artstor.org/asset/SS36790_36790_39613934.

This is an APA style citation generated from Artstor that uses [s.n.] (“sine nomine” meaning “without name”) for a film poster, and gives a descriptive title, “Derek Jacobi as Hamlet.”

Film poster for the theater play Hamlet

APA Style

Bibliography citation:

Unknown. (1888-1894). View of thatch buildings, probably in Samoa. [lantern slides]. Retrieved from https://library.artstor.org/asset/SS7729540_7729540_13002457.

This is an APA style citation generated from Artstor that attributes the image to “Unknown” as the creator.

APA Style

Bibliography citation:

Artist: Unidentified. (n.d.). Untitled. [Print]. Retrieved from https://library.artstor.org/asset/24272474

This is an APA citation generated from Artstor that addresses many unknowns, including date.