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Fair Use and Copyright

Fair Use and Public Domain

You are welcome to use materials that are in the public domain and to make fair use of copyrighted materials as defined by copyright law. However, you are solely responsible for determining whether your use is fair and for responding to any claims that may arise from your use.

Public Domain
You do not need to obtain permission to use materials that are in the public domain. However, you are responsible for determining what is or isn’t public domain material.
Cornell University publishes a chart that may help you to identify what is and is not public domain material in the United States.

Fair Use
The United States copyright law contains an exception for fair use of copyrighted materials, which includes the use of protected materials for teaching, scholarship, research, criticism, commentary, and news reporting. For guidelines on the fair use exception, please refer to the Website of the United States Copyright Office.


Image Citation Guidelines

This guide describes the image citation process for PowerPoint presentations at Montclair State University. There are no standard rules on how to cite images in PowerPoint, however this guide provides some recommendations on how to properly cite images from the course design perspective.

For more information about citing source materials not covered in this guide, please contact the Sprague library or refer to the style guide related to your discipline.

There are three major reasons to include image citations in your PowerPoint presentations:

  • To give credit to the author(s) of the source materials.
  • To enable readers to research the source materials.
  • To demonstrate the PowerPoint document is well-researched and properly cited.

General Format

The citation for the source of the image is included as a footnote in the figure caption on the lower left, underneath the image. We encourage the additional use of a reference slide at the end of the presentation. Images, charts, tables, and other graphical elements should include the figure number and a description:

  • Source name, title of work (Type of work & year image was created)

Examples from the 2016 Harvard business School Citation Guide :

  • Data excerpted from Michael Y. Yoshino and Thomas B. Lifson, The Invisible Link (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1986), p. 78, Table 4.3.
  • Michael E. Porter, Competitive Strategy (New York: The Free Press, 1998), p. 73, Figure 3-4. Used with permission from The Free Press.

An Image from a Website or Database

If the image is retrieved from the internet, the general format would be as follows:

  • Figure #. Name of the image. From Title of Image, by Author, Year, Retrieved from URL (address of website).
  • Author’s last name, first initial. Date of creation. Title of image. (Type of work). Retrieved from (database name).

Data in Tables

If you include a table with data, you should provide a reference:

  • Format: Table # Author and Date

Full reference should include: Author, date, title, format, publisher, viewed date and URL

An Original Work of an Image

To cite an original work of an image should follow the following format:

  • Author’s last name, first name. Title of the image. Year. Medium. Name of institution/private collection of the image/artwork, city where the private collection is located.

An Image from a Printed Source

A citation for an image from a source published in print, the general format would be:

  • Author’s last name, first name. Title of the image. Year of publication. Article title. Journal Title, Volume number(issue number), pages.

Citation Examples

ITDS has compiled examples for all of these types of citations into an Image Citation Guidelines PDF which includes both short citations and full citations and a detailed view.