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Advanced Research for CRP Grads

Image Citation Basics (APA Format)

Giving proper credit for images has two parts: a caption with the image itself, and an entry in your bibliography. Where the image appears, write a descriptive caption indicating the source of the image. Then create an entry in your bibliography. While most citation styles do not give a rigid format for citing images, we can construct informative citations based on some or all of the following elements:

  • Artist's name (if known)
  • Title of the image (if known; if not, create a description & place in square brackets)
  • Institution where the photograph or original artwork is held (if applicable)
  • If taken from a book or journal:
    All the usual citation information – refer to your APA style guide
  • If taken from an online database:
    Database name, date of access, URL (if applicable)
  • If taken from the Internet:
    Title of web site (if it has no title, create a descriptive one and place in square brackets), Date of access, URL

Concentrate on creating the best citation you can given the information you can locate. The intent is not to frustrate you with intricate rules, but to give you guidelines so that you can provide your reader with enough information that they can track down the original image if they so choose.

Image Citation Examples (APA Format)

Here is an example of a caption and bibliography entry for an image retrieved from an online database (in this case, the Library of Congress American Memory Project)

Caption Example:
Figure 1. Golden Gate Park, San Francisco (1903-1906?). Source: American Memory from the Library of Congress (Image owner: Western History/Genealogy Department, Denver Public Library), photo by Joseph Collier.

Bibliographic Citation Example:
Collier. J. (Photographer). (1903-1906?). [Golden Gate Park, San Francisco], [Online Image]. Western History/Genealogy Department, Denver Public Library. Retrieved October 15, 2007 from The Library of Congress' American Memory website. http://photoswest.org/cgi-bin/imager?00130282+C-282

Further examples:

An image from a website

Caption Example:
Figure 2. Golden Gate Park Map, San Francisco (2001). Note: Copyright Lee W. Nelson, 2001-2007.

Bibliographic Citation Example:
Nelson, L. (Artist). (2001). Golden Gate Park Map, [Online Image]. Retrieved October 15, 2007 from Lee Nelson iNeTours.com Internet Tours. http://www.inetours.com/Pages/
SFLndmrkVws/GGP_Map.html

An image from a website (artist known, no title or date)

Caption Example:
Figure 3. Photograph of Golden Gate Park, San Francisco (n.d.). Note: Copyright Liam Quinn.

Bibliographic Citation Example:
Quinn, L. (Photographer). (n.d.) [Photograph of Golden Gate Park, San Francisco], [Online Image]. Retrieved October 15, 2007, from Liam Quinn’s Home Page.
http://htmlhelp.com/~liam/California/SanFrancisco/GoldenGatePark/

An image from a website (artist and date unknown)

Caption Example:
Figure 4. The Conservatory of Flowers at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco (n.d.).     Source: SFTravel.com.

Bibliographic Citation Example:
Conservatory of Flowers – Golden Gate Park [Online Image]. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2007, from SFTravel.com. http://www.sftravel.com/ggpark.html

An image from a book – give the image a caption, & cite the book in which the image appears

Caption Example:
Figure 5. Golden Gate Park. Source: Harnik, p. 17 (2000).

Bibliographic Citation Example:
Harnik, P. (2000). Inside city parks. Washington, DC: Urban Land Institute.

An image from a journal article – give the image a caption, & cite the article in which the image appears

Caption Example:
Figure 6. Site plan of the De Young Museum, in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, showing formal gardens (scale approx 1:2500). Source: Gregory, p. 47 (2005).

Bibliographic Citation Example:
Gregory, R. (2005). Full metal jacket: the de Young Museum may appear tough and impenetrable, but in reality exploring its interiors is a delight; just like a wall in the park. The Architectural Review, 218(1304), 46-61.