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InfoSkills4: Referencing

Referencing for PowerPoints


Do I have to reference the images that I use in my PowerPoint assignments?

Your lecturer may say they do not want you to reference the images in your PowerPoints but to be on the safe side always assume that you have to reference all the images unless your lecturer has specifically told you not to.

Depending on what your lecturer wants, the reference list could go either:

  • A the bottom of the slide that contains the image, or
  • On a separate slide at the end.


What about images that are copyright free or in the Public domain? Do I still have to reference them?

There are some images that you do not legally have to attribute (see the Public Domain tab above) but that doesn't necessarily mean that you don't have to reference them for your assignment. If your lecturer wants you to reference images in your PowerPoints then reference all of them including those in the public domain i.e. images without copyright protection.

If an image is in the Public Domain, does that mean I don't have to reference it?

Kind of... but you should reference them anyway...

Search for some images in Creative Commons -  click on the 'Licenses' link on the left to see different kinds of image licenses. Note that the two at the top - 'CC0' and 'Public Domain Mark' -  say you do not have to attribute them...


You are not legally obliged to acknowledge images that contain one of these licenses:

  • Creative Commons CC0 license (Creative Commons Zero or "no copyright reserved") or a
  • CC PDM (Creative Commons Public Domain Mark).

Creative Commons Image search


Creative Commons Zero license

Creative Commons icon   

Public Domain Mark  

Creative Commons icon Public Domain Mark icon 

  • However, just because you are not legally obliged to acknowledge an image, it doesn't mean that you don't have to reference it to fulfill the requirements of your assignment.
  • If your lecturer wants you to reference images in your PowerPoints then reference all of them, including those without copyright/in the Public Domain.
  • In addition it is common practice to show respect to others by providing attribution even when using material from the public domain. 

What about the clip art that comes in applications like Word etc?

  • There is an exception mentioned in the APA 7th manual that says that you do not have to cite (reference) the clip art that comes with Word or PowerPoint (APA, 2019, p. 346). However newer versions of Word and PowerPoint no longer come with clip art installed anyway. Instead when you click Insert > Online Pictures it takes you to a Bing search box and most of the images you find through Bing you will need to reference.

Basically, unless specifically told otherwise, reference all images you use in your assignments.

How to reference images for assignments


Reference the source where the image was obtained from, so if you got the image from a book, reference the book. More often than not students get images for assignments from the web. See the Referencing Guide for more examples of how to reference images from different sources.

Here's an example using APA 7th

Clip art Image from the web

Figure 1

Stylized Mona Lisa.

Note. Source: (Wikimedia Foundation, 2010).

Figure 2

 Portrait of a woman by Raphael, 1505-1506.

Portrait of a woman by Raphael

Note. Source: (Wikimedia Commons, 2011).

Reference list entry

Wikimedia Foundation. (2009). Stylized Mona Lisa [Clipart]. Wikimedia Commons.

Reference list entry

Raphael. (2011). Portrait of a woman [Online image]. Wikimedia Commons.

InfoSkills Toolkit

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Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) 4.0 International License. Content from this Guide should be attributed to James Cook University Library. This does not apply to images, third party material (seek permission from the original owner) or any logos or insignia belonging to JCU or other bodies, which remain All Rights Reserved.