Finding and Citing Images for Your Presentation

Google Image Search and other image search engines and repositories have become a very powerful and popular tools for finding pictures, illustrations, and diagrams for presentations. While many of these images are great to use you must take care when selecting and citing the images you choose for your presentation.

Selecting an Image

Open Google Image Search or and other image search or repository and perform a search using keywords just like any other database. Look at the Biology Subject Guide Images listing to find links to image repositories selected to be useful in this project.

GIS-basic search.png

Use the results page to help you select an image you are interested in but DON'T STOP THERE!

Ask yourself the following questions:

Is this website one I feel comfortable including in my presentation?

If you are not in an image repository than you will need to look at where the image that appears in your search comes from.

Click on the image itself to see it in context of the original website. Once again you will be evaluating this website as a source of information. Since you are only looking for a picture to back up data you have already confirmed you can use less reputable web pages but try to avoid the following:

  • Personal blogs and websites
  • Websites that lack identifying information or seem very generic
  • Websites where the description or caption does not match the image

Remember: when you cite something you are essentially saying "I believe what this says and so should you." 

Is this image large enough to be clear in my presentation?

Notice under each picture there are little numbers like "400 x 320"? These number represent the number of pixels that make up each dimension of the original image in width x height. If you don't know the image dimensions and need to check, you can right click on most images on the web, then choose "Properties" or "Show Image Info" and see some information about the image, including its dimensions.

These dimensions can help you decide how big the image will appear in your presentation.

Here's a handy guide to choosing the right size image. Judge by the smallest dimension.

If your image is smaller than:   It should take up no more than _________ of a slide.
1024 x 768 All (100%)
512 x 348 Half (50%)
342 x 256 One Third (33%)
256 x 192 One Quarter (25%)

For example, the following picture is 250 x 138.


The smallest dimension is 138 so looking at our chart we should be sure that it will take up no more than one quarter of the space on a slide. If we made the picture any larger it would appear fuzzy in the presentation and be hard to read the text and see detail.

Is this image the best illustration of this concept?

Don't use the first image that appears in a search. Because images searches are not ranked sometimes the best image will appear on the last page of results. Take your time when selecting images and don't be afraid to collect several images that illustrate the same concept and choose from among them later with your group.

Remember: the Internet is not the only place to find images you can use!

If you have an image from one of your other sources such as an article or book that you would like to use in your presentation we have full color scanners at the Library for you to use. If you have any question about using a scanner or manipulating an image you have scanned just ask your librarian, instructor, or TA for help.

Citing Images in Your Presentation

When you cite an image you used in your presentation you must cite its original source. You cannot simply cite Google Images as your source just as you cannot cite PubMed as the source for the article you use.

If the image comes from a website, book, journal, newspaper, or magazine cite the source normally as if you were citing a quote. For the sake of clarity, cite your images on a separate slide after your other citations entitled "Images Used" (or something similar).

If you found your image elsewhere or are unsure how to cite it, consult with your librarian, instructor or TA.

Zotero has a Reference type called "Artwork" that should be used for images used in your presentation.