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BIS 331: Journalism and Media History (Hsu): Cite Images

Why Cite Images?

There are many important reasons to cite images you use:

  • Give credit to the creator of the image.
  • Provide information so others can find and reuse the image
  • Participate in ongoing scholarly conversations about images

MLA Style (Eighth Edition, 2016)

Works Cited List

General Format:

Previously, researchers made citations by following the MLA’s instructions for the source’s publication format (book, DVD, Web page, etc.). Now, there is one standard, universal format that researchers can use to create their citations:

Author. Title of source. Title of container, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location.

Note: Containers are the elements that “hold” the source. For example, if a photo is posted on Flickr, Flickr is the container. Sometimes a source is nested inside of two separate containers, like an image found in a book read on an ebook platform like Ebook Library (EBL). Both the title of the source and its container (or multiple containers) are included in a citation.


Image Found on the Web
Euloth, Glenn. Sleepy Kitty, Purr, Purr, Purr. Flickr, 2012, Accessed 11 August 2016.

Image from a Database
Amero, Emilio. Fiesta. 1951. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Artstor, Accessed 11 August 2016.

Image from a Book
O’Keeffe, Georgia. Alligator Pears in a Basket. 1923. Writing about Art by Henry M. Sayre, 6th ed., Pearson Prentice Hall, 2009, p. 39.

Image from a Museum or Archive Website
Lawrence, Jacob. The Studio. 1977. Seattle Art Museum, Seattle. Seattle Art Museum, Accessed 11 August 2016.

Image in a Museum
Mirra, Helen. Standard Incomparable. 2016, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA.

In-text citations

(Creator Last Name, Page Number)

If there is no creator, use (“Title", Page Number)

For images found online, do not list a page number.


Figure Captions

General Format:

Fig 1. Ann Author, Title of Work, Museum and/or Publication information.


Fig 1. Emilio Amero, Fiesta, National Gallery of Art, 1951, Washington, D.C.