I'm working on a project report which we plan to publish as a research paper later after some more work. In my report I have used some images from the Wikimedia Commons and Wikipedia. They all are either in the public domain or licensed under the Creative Commons license.

I would like to provide attribution to the media source in the report and the paper. I have googled it but could not find a source which explains it with an example.

  • Is there a standard way of providing attribution in a report/paper?
  • Can I provide attribution in the bibliography along with the cited papers?
  • I'm using bibtex for references. Is it possible to handle the media attribution using bibtex?
  • Does anyone know of a published paper which provides attribution to the media sources so that I can have a look?


Does anyone know of a proper way to provide attribution in captions because I think attribution in captions will reduce readability.

enter image description here

  • Here is a paper that uses CC images: perso.crans.org/frenoy/matlab2012/seamcarving.pdf - Perhaps the same style of assigning attribution (in the acknowledgments) is suitable for you as well?
    – DCTLib
    Jun 24, 2015 at 14:14
  • Using the acknowledgements works well (though the vague reference to CC in the example @DCTLib provides isn't perfect - it would be better if it named the specific license). Another good approach is to provide attribution in the image captions, and this may scale better if you have very many images. I don't have a good example to hand, though. Jun 24, 2015 at 14:17
  • 1
    @Andrew I agree that it would be better if I'm able to name the specific license, I think providing attribution in the image captions will reduce their readability, especially if I'm writing something like this Wii Remote (By Greyson Orlando (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons) in the captions. Is there something else that can be done?
    – lakshayg
    Jun 24, 2015 at 14:20
  • @LakshayGarg For a report with many images, I'd be tempted to include a short appendix listing sources of all images. For a journal article, I'd consult their style guide and/or query it with the editor. In either case, listing it in the main bibliography would probably be confusing & is best avoided. Jun 24, 2015 at 15:34
  • Another option might be to move such attribution statements to footnotes. Jun 24, 2015 at 15:43

2 Answers 2


Why don't you provide a list of media sources in the appendix similar to the obligatory literature list. You number the images anyway inside the paper, so you can easily reference them in an appendix. Depending on your textprocessing tool you also can generate backlinks to the images for hypertext reading.

This could look like this:

Apendix C...

sources of media used in this paper

For detailed Information on Licences see [Link... creative commons, gnu, whatever...]

  • Figure 1 (p. 42) Apples, Takeaway (Own work) via Wikimedia, Licence CC-BY-SA 4.0
  • Figure 2 (p. 69) Oranges, Finsh, Ellen Levy (own work) via Wikimedia, Licence CC-BY-SA 3.0
  • Figure 2 (p. 104) Tree, Gimmel, Benjamin (own work) via Wikimedia, Licence CC-BY-SA 3.0

First, if you take public domain or CC-0 images you're not forced to provide attribution.

But to answer your question: you can trim most of the string that Wikimedia Commons suggests, it's just a concatenation of all the data we have to be safe. In particular:

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .