Finding Images

Apr 19, 2021 19:11 · 4103 words · 20 minute read

Hi everybody, welcome to today’s webinar on images. My name is Nicole, I’m one of the librarians with the WRHA Virtual Library and I’ll be delivering this session. This session will be recorded and the slides and the recording will be shared with you afterwards so no need to write down the URLs that we’ll be sharing. That will probably take a day or two depending on how long it takes to get the video uploaded but that will be sent out to you by email afterwards.

If you have any questions during the webinar the chat function is available in GoToWebinar for you to ask questions. There will also be time at the end for any additional questions that we may not have gotten to during the presentation. I would also like to preface this by saying that I am not a lawyer and although we’re going to be talking a little bit about copyright law, it’s not legal advice so if there is an issue of concern to you with regards to copyright I would suggest taking that up with either your institution or a publisher if you’re interested in using images in publication, but we are going to be providing an overview of some of the copyright issues that surround using images as well as attributing images and how to find images.

So with that in mind let’s get started. So first off for those of you who may not yet be familiar with us, the WRHA virtual library is a library service that provides electronic resources and library services for WRHA staff, eligible community health agencies and eligible personal care homes. We have a very extensive list of electronic resources that are available to you. We also have services including literature searches, so we’ll actually do research on your behalf, document delivery for anything that you might need that we don’t happen to subscribe to, education and training including webinars like this one, and research services.

01:53 - So for today’s session we’re going to be focusing on using images. We’re going to talk a little bit about the copyright considerations, we’re going to talk about attributing images and finally we’re going to spend some time discussing where you can look to find images that will be relevant for your practice or for your educational needs or what have you. So to start off: copyright. I know copyright can be intimidating for some people but the thing to keep in mind is, assume everything is copyrighted even if it doesn’t actually say so.

So it’s not actually a requirement that something be registered or have the little c symbol on it in order to be copyrighted; anything that has been fixed in a medium, which means it’s either published or it’s set in a way that can’t be altered, is automatically protected by copyright. Now there are some exceptions to this rule and one of the big ones is US federal government works - and that means federal, the national level not the state level. There’s no automatic exception for Canadian government works, so keep that in mind that even if it’s from the government, if it’s Canadian it’s probably still protected by copyright.

So with that in mind then, how can you use images? Well there’s a few different ways. First off if it’s possible you can take or make an image yourself. Of course this can be complicated depending on what exactly you need to have pictured and you’ll also want to be cognizant of potential privacy concerns as well as the policies of either your institution or the publisher if you’re looking to publish something. You can ask for permission or pay for permission to use a particular image.

You can use it under fair dealing principles. You can use images that are in the public domain whereas the copyright has expired or it was never applied, or you can use images that are available under a Creative Commons or other free license. So we’re going to be talking a little bit more about each of these different options for you.

03:54 - So first of all permissions: permissions doesn’t necessarily mean you have to pay, it depends on what you’re looking to use the image for and where you’re getting it from. What you see on your screen here is an example from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. They have an automated form that you can fill out to request permission to use an image for a particular purpose. As you can see here in this case I requested an image to make classroom photocopies for academic and non-commercial use and they actually didn’t charge me anything for that.

So it doesn’t automatically mean you have to pay, it will depend - in some cases you might, in some cases you might not. Something to keep in mind with regards to asking permission: some sites will have a blanket ‘you’re allowed to do this permission’ note, which is great, that means you can use it as long as you’re using it for the purposes that they define. Other sites you may have to ask somebody. You want to make sure that you’re asking the person who is actually the copyright holder - that might be the person who actually created the image or it might be the publisher and figuring that out can be a little bit complicated but generally the publisher is good starting point and they can let you know from there whether there’s someone else you might need to talk to.

05:05 - Moving on now to the question of fair dealing: so essentially what fair dealing is is it’s an exception or a provision of the Copyright Act that allows you to use a work for free without getting permission as long as it’s for the purposes of research, private study, education, satire, parody, criticism, review or news reporting, and the use is fair. So what it means by fair is that’s a legal assessment that determines to what extent you’re using it for a purpose that is reasonable and that does not replace the purpose of the work and that respects as much as possible the copyright of the copyright holder.

So again, not a lawyer, so this is going to vary a little bit from case to case, but you want to think about things like how much of the work you’re using, how many different non-free works you’re using, whether there are any free alternatives available to you, things like that. So for example using a single image from a work in a presentation to your colleagues is probably going to be more fair of a use than reprinting an entire textbook and selling it for your own profits, for example.

So the former would probably fall under fair dealing and the latter almost certainly would not.

06:24 - As I said it is a judgment call and hopefully you will never run into a situation where that judgment comes before the courts, but you want to keep in mind that the more that you can rely on free alternatives the better off you will be, but this provision is available for you if it’s something that you need to make use of because there just isn’t a free alternative available or because you don’t have the budget to make one, whatever the case may be, this is an option for you.

06:54 - Next we come to images that are in the public domain and what public domain means, it’s not just that it’s public - because as I mentioned earlier you have to assume that an image is copyrighted unless you can determine otherwise - but public domain means free of copyright either because the copyright has expired or because there was never copyright applied to the work in the first place. So the rules for what is in the public domain and when vary from country to country.

Generally in Canada it is applied to the life of the author plus 50 years ,  meaning that if somebody made a photograph or a painting or whatever and then died and then 50 years have passed since their death, that image is now in the public domain, meaning you can use it without requiring any sort of permission or anything. As I said it varies from country to country, so the US has slightly different rules, so if you’re going to be relying on public domain you want to keep that in mind as well.

Another issue that can arise is that some things are too simple to get copyright protection - for example I’ve got my little smiley face here, I picked this image from the internet, it is in fact an image but it’s not copyright protected just because it doesn’t reach the threshold of originality with regards to the creativity required to make this image and you can apply that as well to things like letters, things like simple shapes, all of those will generally not be copyright protected.

As I mentioned earlier most US federal government works will not be copyright protected, they’ll be in the public domain. And also there’s the option that something can be released by the copyright holder into the public domain - so you could make an image and decide that you want to just declare it to be public domain without having to make people wait until 50 years after your death, that is an option as well. Finally we have the licensing option: so Creative Commons is probably the most common licensing option you will see in this area but there are other ones out there such as open government licenses, there’s a few different ones that you might see.

Creative Commons is definitely the most common and essentially what a license is in this context, it is a set of fixed terms that define how and under what conditions you can use a particular work. So if you look at this chart here you can see the different levels of Creative Commons license from most permissive at the top which is the public domain declaration down to CC BY-NC-ND at the bottom. So what those different letters and the associated symbols mean is they define what are the requirements for being able to use a particular work.

So BY which is that person image means that attribution is required, so when you use an image under this license or any of the licenses that include this provision you have to give credit for that work. NC which is that dollar sign with a slash through it refers to non-commercial use, so images with this licensing requirement you can use for non-commercial purposes like teaching but you can’t use them in something that’s going to be sold.

09:56 - The SA which is that arrow, circular arrow type thing is the change a license so SA  basically means ‘share alike’ - you can only use it under the same or equivalent license. And then finally we have the ND which is that equal sign that refers to no derivatives. So any of the other licenses that don’t have that requirement you can make a derivative work - for example you could mesh two images together, you could make edits or alterations to the image you could translate any text that’s available - but the ND requirement prevents you from doing any of that, so you can’t modify or adapt the work in any way, you can just release, you can just use it and display it under the exact same conditions in which it was created.

10:39 - So that was a whirlwind introduction to copyright. Now just to mention attribution: you want to be able to check the licensing requirements to make sure first of all that you’re required to attribute an image - public domain images, generally you’re not required to attribute them although it’s generally a good idea - and certain permission uses may have specific attribution requirements that differ from the ones you see on this screen, so if you use a work from a published source they might dictate a specific attribution statement that you must include with that work.

Generally speaking if there’s no specific attribution requirement the ideal is the TASL and that stands for title (where there is one, not all images will have one but the ones that you do you want to list it), author (so who created the image), source (that can be a link to an online version of the image or it can be a citation to a print copy) and then license. You want to indicate what license terms the image is available under whether that’s the Creative Commons licenses that we’ve already listed or whether that’s used with permission note in the case that you’ve obtained permission to use the image, etc.

I’ve included a link here to an open attribution builder: this is a tool that will help you automatically create an attribution statement based on the inputs that you provide, so you provide link where you got the image, you provide the licensing of the image etc, and it’ll actually build an attribution statement that you can then copy and paste into whatever format you’re using.

12:13 - Now let’s talk a little bit about how to actually find images. I’ve developed four different general categories of locating images here. The first is in the publications - keep in mind that the license of the publication may not be the same as the license of the image, you might see places where they’ve used an image under permission from the author in which case you might end up needing to go back to the original author to figure out what the permission requirements are.

We’ve got the general image search and we’ll go through a few examples of that. We’ve got our subscription resources that are available through the WRHA virtual library and then finally I’m going to walk you through a number of free health-specific resources that will help you find images in your area of practice.

13:04 - So first off let’s talk a little bit about general image searching. So the screenshots that you see here are from Google images, it’s the Google image search. There’s plenty of other general options out there, I’ve listed a few at the bottom of the screen there - Pixabay, Flickr, Unsplash etc - but I’ve chosen the Google search because it has a couple of cool options I wanted to show you. First off if you’re doing a Google search under the tools option you can limit by size, by colour, by type of image, by how long ago it was created, but you also have this option for Creative Commons license.

Now, whenever you’re using a general image search you’re going to want to double check that the licensing listed is appropriate, because it can happen sometimes that it ends up in a Creative Commons search but it’s not actually Creative Commons license, so it’s always good to verify this declaration but generally what this search filter is going to be doing is it’s going to be limiting your search to images that have a Creative Commons license which means that you should be able to use it within the terms of that license without having to ask permission.

14:10 - The other cool thing about Google images, down at the bottom here, if you click on that camera icon in the search bar, this is what you come up with. So this actually allows you to reverse search an image. This can be really useful if you’ve grabbed an image from off the web somewhere and you just can’t remember where you got it from, you can either paste in the URL or actually upload an image into the search and it will search based on that image. So if for example I had grabbed that Bengal cat image and I’m like, ‘oh dear, I got this from somewhere, I don’t remember where it’s from’, I can upload it into the search box and it’ll search for that image and it’ll come up with the source that it has for that image on the web.

This can also be really helpful where you see a website that has an image that they didn’t create, they just got it from somewhere else - it can help you to track down the original source and therefore whoever you may need to request permission from.

15:05 - Another general image searching option for you is the Creative Commons search. So again this search box is ideally limited to Creative Commons licensed images and it allows you to use those check boxes under the search bar to limit your search to specific licensing options, so for example if you needed an image that you were able to use commercially you could use that checkbox, if you needed an image that you were able to adapt or edit you could use that checkbox in order to limit your search to those options.

This is a really helpful search box I have found for places where I need an image and I’m able to use it under the licensing terms of Creative Commons.

15:50 - Now we get into our subscription resources and I will mention here that these tend not to be freely licensed so it really depends what use you need whether you’ll be able to use these or not, but you also know on here that compared to a general search these are going to be generally high quality images and these are generally going to be very reliable. If you’re doing a general image search you might not get get the best content coming back to you, you might find that there are graphs or diagrams with errors for example, things that are mislabeled, that kind of thing.

These ones are going to be much higher quality in terms of their reliability and in terms of their quality of the images. So just something to keep in mind when you’re looking at a general versus a subscription image search. So I’ve highlighted here three different options that we have available to you: we have UpToDate which has its graphic search option, we have ClinicalKey which has multimedia from the drop down there and we have AccessMedicine which also includes the multimedia drop down.

Multimedia, just so you’re aware, includes not only images but it also includes video and both of those sources have some great video options for you, if that’s something that is of interest to you that’s something to check out. But I wanted to flag for, I want to flag specifically ClinicalKey because what ClinicalKey has, it has a blanket non-commercial licensing option for you, so it’ll say that if you’re using these images for a non-commercial purpose like a presentation or continuing education purposes, it actually has a blanket license that allows you to use it for that purpose without needing to seek further permission.

ClinicalKey actually has what’s called the Presentation Builder so you can actually select images and use them to compile a presentation within ClinicalKey itself. This is really super helpful if you do a lot of presentations, it just requires for you to create a free account within ClinicalKey. So that’s a really cool option for you. I have included at the bottom of our list here a link to our collections list - that’s where you can find the links to access UpToDate, ClinicalKey, AccessMedicine and all of our other resources.

18:03 - Moving on now to our free health images category. So this example here is called Open-i, it’s from the National Library of Medicine in the US. So this search includes everything that you might find on PubMed Central, which is the open access version of PubMed - the version rather that contains all of the open access articles. It also includes images from the National Library of Medicine’s History of Medicine collection, so there’s a very cool extent of historical images in here.

But you can search this particular resource by article type, by image type, by license type, by specialty - it’s a very extensive resource and it’s super helpful for health related images.

18:49 - Next we have Visuals Online - this comes from the National Cancer Institute in the US, so most of the images in here will of course be relevant to cancer but of most of them will also be in the public domain as they are US federal government images so if you need images for a commercial purpose those can be great for that. You do want to double check because there are a few images in here that are not public domain so just make sure you pay attention to any licensing statement that may be on the image itself.

19:19 - Similarly we have PHIL, the Public Health Image Library from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This includes photos and illustrations relevant to various types of public health, such as influenza, such as our now ubiquitous coronavirus image. They have a cool filter that allows you to look for images by specific audience so if you want something for a patient versus a fellow healthcare provider for example, that’s an option. You can’t see it on the screen here but if you scroll down from where this is you can see different collections so you can browse for example through influenza images, through public health emergency images, that sort of thing.

Again, because this is a US federal government work most of the images will be in the public domain which would mean you can use them without any licensing requirements but you will want to double check the particular image you want to use is under those conditions.

20:16 - Next we have MedPix. This is a site that I particularly like, it’s a free open access online database based primarily on patient case scenarios. So this actually allows you to search by patient symptoms and diagnoses as well as the more regular things like keyword and image description. So they have a case of a week feature that shows you a particular case study with the images associated with it - this is a super cool option for continuing education. Now we have at the virtual library our images page which I’ve linked at the top of the screen here.

This provides links to all of the resources that I’ve mentioned today and a number of others that we haven’t gotten time to go through. It also has some different options with regards to helping you out with copyright and attribution - so there’s a help page on are you use legally using images, there’s the attribution builder that I showed you earlier, all kinds of things like that. So this is a great resource if you’re someone who’s going to be regularly needing images - they’ve got a very extensive list of different places to look for images as well as all these helpful tools about copyright and legalities, that sort of thing.

21:33 - So that brings me to the end of my presentation. I hope that was a useful whirlwind tour of copyright and image locating. I’m happy to take questions now if anyone has any or I’ve also provided here my email and our general virtual library email if anyone would like to follow up after the presentation.

21:53 - I’ll just give folks a minute here if you want to type any questions in the chat. If you’d rather not keep in mind we will be sharing the video as well as the presentation slides afterwards by email.

23:08 - All right, I have not seen any questions in the chat, I do see a thank you message so thank you for that and you’re very welcome. Again if you have any questions after the fact, if you’d like to follow up or you’d like any help with literature searching or anything else that might be of interest to you please feel free to follow up with me by email. Thank you all for attending; you will be receiving the slides and video for this presentation as soon as they are available and I hope we will see you again at a future presentation. .