Monday, April 28, 2008

How do you cite Flickr images?


Joe Pemberton's photostream on Flickr

In an effort to make my blog more visually appealing, I've been trying to use images to spice up the page a bit. I use the advanced search option on Flickr and search for images that have Creative Commons licenses. The Flock browser provides the option of blogging the image I find. This allows me to copy it onto my blog page and automatically links the picture to the Flickr page where I found it.

I've been wondering for a while how to properly cite these images. Is there a proper format? Who is the author? Is the link enough or do I need to include more? I've been doing it a variety of ways - sometimes including the citation, sometimes just a link to the Flickr page.

In an effort to find an answer, I searched "How to cite images on Flickr?" and this is what I found:

I also went to my favorite personal learning network - Twitter. I got a variety of responses. You can see them below. The common thread among the responses is yes, you should cite them. The question of how to do it seems up in the air. I particularly like the idea of including a comment on the Flickr page when you do use an image. I'm going to do that from now on.

What do you think? How do you cite Flickr images?

Elizabeth Davis lizbdavis Copyright Question: If I use a Creative Commons image from flickr on my blog, and link to the flikr page, should I also cite the source?
Andrea Hernandez edtechworkshop @lizbdavis I meant to say I notice that I usually give a longer, more detailed image credit than I usually see. I don't know what is proper.

Andrea Hernandez edtechworkshop @lizbdavis I use as the model for how I cite images.clik on pic, gives bibliography. is more than most ppl use

Ann Oro njtechteacher @lizbdavis This is how I've been citing them: But there was some discussion that I should show CC license too.

kevin oshea kevinoshea @lizbdavis CC is a different beast in that there is a tiered system of usability. - Look at those and see which fits

Peter Bihr thewavingcat @lizbdavis if you link to the author or image itself, it should be fine. the more reference you put in, the better, of course!

TWalk TWalk @lizbdavis Not sure I'm doing it *exactly* right, but I've had good reactions from the way I cite Flickr pics on my blog:

Scott Elias ScottElias @lizbdavis That's what I do. Link and cite.

Linda Hartley lindiop @lizbdavis otherwise just use their name and link to their flickr profile. It's the Flickr T&C that mean you need to link back to the photo

mrplough07 mrplough07 @lizbdavis - Flickr user: name .....under the is link if you want to see....

Linda Hartley lindiop @lizbdavis check the person's profile page to see if the have a pref

davideisert davideisert @lizbdavis CC allows you to use the image with a link back. My understanding is citation matters most for plagiarism concerns.

Jeff O'Hara zemote @lizbdavis It is good practice to site the source and give credit for CC work

Linda Hartley lindiop @lizbdavis CC needs attribution as well as link. It's nice to leave them a comment too :-)

mrplough07 mrplough07 @lizbdavis - In my latest blog post I began putting a credit line under the photo to the flickr user. just to make attribution more open

Stephanie Anderson Stephieand @lizbdavis yes. It's the right thing to do.

joepemberton. "Creative Commons = Creative Confusion?" 25 September 2007. Online image. Flickr. 28 March 2008. []


Anonymous said...


I linked one picture to the page it appeared on and the author wanted me to supply the link to his main Flickr page.

I think as long as you're giving the credit to the creator, you're fine.

Cheri (drctedd)

Lesley Edwards said...

I too wondered about how to attribute a photo correctly and contacted the folks at Behold (search engine that looks for Flickr creative commons images). I posted the resulting dialogue in my blog
I think as long as we make a reasonable and honest effort it should be O.K. Kristen Hokanson recently blogged about a dilemma she faced
which makes for very interesting reading.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for providing this discussion (and I love your use of Twitter in doing so). I have also been using Advanced Search to find only share-alike photos and I always link back to the Flickr page in a "Photo Credit" section at the bottom of my blog.

Anonymous said...

I suggest you read this post a bloggers reaction to a person who used their photo by linking to their Flickr page and not providing attribution. You will notice now on The Edublogger I'm using attribution because technically speaking when you use creative commons you are meant to use the same license.

Phil Miller said...

thanks. I have been doing it all wrong. I will change it now.

Anonymous said...


I like Alan's idea of Lintribution:

Shelley said...

Liz, this is great stuff.

Although the link to Flickr's own info on the topic ( isn't clicking through correctly from your post (for me).

In peace,
Shelley @butwait

Ann Oro said...

I just found these two articles today: How to Attribute a Creative Commons Licensed Work and How to Attribute a Photoon a website called WikiHow - The How To Manual You Can Edit.