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Leeward Community College

Finding and Using Images from Online Resources


Five Tips to Support Your Search Process


alt="OER LibGuide web page showing in the right column the location of the Images content box."
Open Educational Resources LibGuide: Guides, Repositories & Collections Tab


  1. There are many types of image repositories available online. Here’s a list of repositories (“Images” box) on our OER LibGuide to find images that are openly licensed or in the public domain. For a wide variety of photos and graphics, image banks like Unsplash and Pixabay contain openly licensed content that may be edited and reused for commercial and noncommercial purposes.
  2. Creative Commons (CC) is the most popular open license. There are six CC licenses with different sets of rights. It’s helpful to understand the rights granted by each license so that your use of an image doesn’t contradict the permission granted by the image creator. All CC licenses require attribution. Here’s a quick primer on CC licenses.
  3. Google’s Advanced Image Search and Openverse are search engines that allow you to filter your search for CC licensed images. While these powerful search tools are able to locate images, they do not verify license accuracy. Due diligence to review usage rights is your responsibility. 
  4. Always review the terms of use of the image repositories you use. Some repositories license the images they own (The Metropolitan Museum of Art) while others include images uploaded by individuals or organizations (Flickr Commons). In both cases, look for reputable organizations (who often own the copyright), or contact the individual to verify ownership and terms of use.
  5. Consider learning more about openly licensed images, CC licenses, and image attribution by signing up for the OER 101 Asynchronous Online Course.                         


    alt="Six Creative Commons license marks."

Please contact a librarian if you have any questions about Creative Commons licenses, image repositories, or reusing images. Or, bring your inquiries to an upcoming UHCC OER Office Hours. We’re happy to help!


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