Reasonable use of images and media in teaching, course papers and theses is generally covered by fair use. Researchers are expected to document each image (including their own) and its provenance/source to the best of their abilities. When possible, it is advisable to contact the owner or creator.
The Visual Resource Assocation (VRA) in its statement on fair use of images for teaching, research and study notes that use of images in scholarship is fundamental to the advancement of collective knowledge. The VRA suggests that researchers are best positioned to assert fair use if:
Generally, images copied from other sources may not be made available for any commercial purposes, including publishing. Whitman requires that college honors theses be deposited into the Institutional Repository, a form of scholarly publishing. Someone else's images, just like someone else's ideas, works or music, must be identified and cited. Waivers or permissions from the copyright holder(s) of the image(s) may need to be obtained.
Depending upon the information available, these elements should be used to identify and cite an image:
See Style and Citation Guides for additional information regarding documenting sources.
U.S. Federal Government: Photos taken by U.S. government employees are in the public domain. Exceptions include works produced by the Smithsonian Institution, the National Gallery of Art and stamps issued by the U.S. Postal Service after 1978.
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