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Communication LibGuide: Creative Commons A/V


Click image for the full infographic!

Creative commons infographic thumbnail

Creative Commons: Free Photos for Bloggers by (CC BY-SA)

Additional museums, galleries, and organizations with digitized collections under Creative Commons:

Finding images on Google Images

  1. Go to Google Images & enter your search terms
  2. On the results page, click the "Tools" option in the menu bar
  3. On the menu that opens up, click "Usage Rights"
  4. Select the option that's best for your use (labeled for reuse, labeled for reuse with modification, labeled for noncommercial reuse, labeled for non commercial reuse with modification)
  5. Remember: You still have to cite these images ("Google" should not be who you list as the photographer or URL)! Click the thumbnail and then click "Visit Page" to go to the website that hosts this image so you can gather your citation data.

Finding images on the Wikimedia Commons

  1. Go to the Wikimedia Commons & enter your search terms
  2. Click on the thumbnail of the image you want to use
  3.  Click the "More Details" button for specifics on how you can use this image, its citation data, and high quality downloads 

Finding images on the Flickr Creative Commons

  1. Log in or create an account - this has a huge impact on the results you get
  2. Go to the Flickr Creative Commons main page for a great explanation of the different types of CC licenses
  3. Enter your search terms in the box at the top
  4. In the results page you can click the Any license dropdown menu to filter the results
  5. Click the image you want for information on how you can download, use, and cite it.
  6. Remember: you still have to cite these images! ("Flickr" should not be who you list as the photographer!)

Basic Format for an Electronic Image
Author (Role of Author). (Year image was created). Title of work [Type of work], Retrieved from URL (address of web site)

Branson, Bill (Photographer). (1988). Nurse with patient [Color photograph], Retrieved from

In-text citation:
(Branson, 1988)

Basic Format for an Electronic Image (No Author) 
Title of work [Type of work]. (Year image was created). Retrieved from URL (address of web site)

Gatsby's wheels [Photograph]. (n.d.). Retrieved from

In-text citation:
(Gatsby's wheels, n.d.)

Basic Format for an Electronic Image (No Author, No Title, No Date)
[Subject and type of work]. Retrieved from URL (address of web site)

[Autism awareness ribbon illustration]. Retrieved from

In-text citation:
(Autism awareness ribbon illustration)

NOTE: Many images found on the web fall under this category but it is still your responsibility to look for the information to fill in gaps if possible. Sometimes a reverse Google image search can help you find the original source (in Chrome, right click an image and select "Search Google for this image")


Did you know it's copyright infringement to use a licensed song in your YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook video? Not only that, but different social media platforms are getting better about recognizing copyrighted audio material in the videos its users upload. If you're lucky, they'll just remove the video, but the consequences could be worse.

Put your mind at ease and try these creative commons audio resources (remember: you still have to cite the artist!):

As a general guideline, use this format for audio citations:

Songwriter Last Name, First Name. (Date of copyright). Title of song [Recorded by artist if different from song writer]. On Title of album [Medium of recording]. Location: Label. (Recording date if different from copyright date).

*Example (Song on a CD):
Taupin, B. (1975). Someone saved my life tonight [Recorded by Elton John]. On Captain fantastic and the brown dirt cowboy [CD]. London, England: Big Pig Music Limited.

In-text citation:
(Taupin, 1975)

*This example is from Purdue OWL's section on music recordings

Example (Song on a CD, no "recorded by" artist):
Brown, J. (2005). Try me. On James Brown: Live! [CD]. Cincinnati, OH: King Records.

In-text citation:
(Brown, 2005)

Example (Streaming a song from a database):
Brown, J. (2005). Try me. On James Brown: Live! [Streaming Audio]. Cincinnati, OH: King Records. Retrieved May 9, 2016, from Music Online: American Song.

In-text citation:
(Brown, 2005)


These sites are excellent resources when trying to find video clips to include in a class or presentation. Remember - you still have to cite them!

Include as much of this information as possible - this might involve some legwork!

Format for a YouTube (or similar platform) video:
Author, A. A. [screen name]. (Date). Title of video. Retrieved from http://url

Claiborne, J. [SweetPotatoSoul]. (2016, July 11). What I eat in a day | Vegan breakfast all day. Retrieved from

(Claiborne, 2016)

Format for a YouTube (or similar platform) video with screen name but no author/creator:
Screen name. (Date). Title of video. Retrieved from

Veritasium. (2016, November 28). What the Fahrenheit?! Retrieved from

(Veritasium, 2016)

*Make sure you can't actually find the creator's name, do a little clicking around before you decide to exclude it.

Basic Format for a Motion Picture:
Producer, P. P. (Producer), & Director, D. D. (Director). (Date). Title of motion picture [Motion picture]. Country of origin: Studio or distributor

Kurtz, G. (Producer), & Lucas, G. (Director). (1977). Star wars: Episode IV - A new hope [Motion picture]. United States: 20th Century Fox.

(Kurtz & Lucas, 1977)

Basic Format for a Motion Picture with Multiple Producers:
Producer, P. P., & Producer2, P2. P2. (Producers), Director, D. D. (Director). (Date). Title of motion picture [Motion picture]. Country of origin: Studio or distributor

Romanski, A., Gardner, D., & Kleiner, J. (Producers), Jenkins, B. (Director). (2016). Moonlight [Motion picture]. United States: A24.

(Romanski, Gardner, Kleiner, & Jenkins, 2016)

*For examples of television series, individual television episodes,general television broadcasts, etc. please check Purdue OWL's page (scroll to the bottom):

Citing in APA

NoodleTools helps create accurate citations, reference lists, and annotated bibliographies. For best results, we recommend that you use it in conjugation with the APA manual or Purdue’s Online Writing Lab (OWL).

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Need more resources? Visit the library's Citing Sources LibGuide.

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