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Cite right - concerning academic integrity

A self-study guide from the University Library

Citing images

Always refer to images, figures or tables that you use for your own text. An image or figure that you reproduce in your essay is a source in the same way that a text is a source. Therefore always make a citation (reference) to the image or figure. In the reference it should be clear that you have obtained permission to reproduce the image or figure, should such permission be required. Figures are referred to in the text fully and direct according to APA standard and also in the reference list.


In-text reference for an image or figure (APA)

If you are referring to an image, figure or table in your text, state the name of the creator or author, and the date of the publication or creation. If the image or figure is a part of another work you can, if appropriate, include page, figure, table or paragraph number.

Image or figure from a book (example): described by Bettany-Saltikov, a mind map can be a useful tool for planning a systematic review (2012, figure 3.2)...

Image found online (example):

...the fashion of the late 1900th century is well captured in the painting A Parisian Lady (Manet, 1876)...


Full reference for an image or figure (APA)

All images, referred to or reproduced in your essay, assignment or presentation, must be cited both in-text and included in your reference list.

Image or figure from a book

If the image or figure is part of another source, for example a book or a journal, its reference in your reference list should be formatted in the same way as a reference to the book or article would be. No details about the image or figure are needed in your reference list. You are however always required to obtain permission to reproduce the image or figure. When permission has been granted you add a permission statement at the end of the image’s or figure’s reference in your reference list. 


Bettany-Saltikov, J. (2012). How to do a systematic literature review in nursing : a step-by-step guide. Maidenhead: Open University Press. Återgiven med tillstånd.


Image found on the Internet

The following format is used when you use a figure or image from an online source: 

Name of creator. (Year). Title [type of medium]. URL. Licence


Monfils, L. (2008). X-ray of the heelbone with plantar fasciitis. [fotografi].  (CC BY SA 3.0).


Where to place the figures in your essay (APA)

You can choose to either collect your figures or images, each one on its own page, as an appendix at the end of your essay (after the reference list). Or, you can choose to embed them in your text. If you embed them you need to make an in-text reference to the page in your text where the figure is placed e.g. (Manet, fig. 2, p. 34). You will also need to give a full reference in the reference list.

The figure embedded in the essay

Image depicting a full figure image of a woman in clothes from the late nineteenth century. The painting is called "A Parisian Lady" and is an oil painting by the artist Edouard Manet. The painting belongs to the National Museum in Stockholm.

The full reference

Manet, E. (1876). A Parisian Lady. Wikimedia Commons. CC Public domain.

The licence CC Public domain and more

Although an image is free to use, that is no permission is required, it is good practice to state any license statements. In the reference above, the CC Public domain license is specified. You can read more about it under the link below.