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Finding Images for Research

Finding images for your research can be tricky. This guide has links to resources that will help you navigate sites that have images you can use.

Using this Guide

Students in the Young Astronaut program, NASA.Using images can greatly enhance your research, poster, or presentation. However it can be confusing to know exactly where to find images and if you need permission to legally use it. This guide has been created for the purpose of helping you find and use images for educational purposes. 



A few pointers to keep in mind:

  1. Images and photographs are protected by copyright.  It is your responsibility to obtain permission to use images or find copyright friendly images. 
  2. Image quality: make sure you choose a photo that has good pixilation and can withstand being enlarged if needed.
  3. Search or keyword terms: Search engines rely on the description of the image in order to locate results. Images that are not correctly named or poorly named may be difficult to find.  If you are having difficulties try brainstorming for other keywords.
  4. Brainstorming Keywords:  Consider people, location, title, subject matter, time period, artist, or materials.  Try using synonyms or variant spellings to expand your search. 
  5. Try searching in more than one database or search engine.  Not all images are located in one database.
  6. For further assistance you can always Ask a Librarian!


Image credit: Young Astronaut Day, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA ID: GRC-2015-C-07332

Guide credits

Grateful acknowledgement is given to California State University Northridge for allowing us to reuse the content on their Finding and Using Images Guide.