How to write a proper reference for an image I'm going to use for my thesis?

This image is a screenshot of a software installed on my own PC and I am the one who took it myself. It's not from another website.

  • 1
    Why would you need a reference for your own image?
    – lakshayg
    Jun 24, 2015 at 16:36
  • Wait, I actually don't need to put the reference? Because the examiner wrote to put a reference to it on revision.
    – Skyvory
    Jun 24, 2015 at 16:43
  • 2
    You may want to check with the creators of the software and see what they have to say about this: just because you took the screenshot yourself doesn't mean you can do whatever you want with the image.
    – Mad Jack
    Jun 24, 2015 at 17:25
  • 2
    The reviewer doesn't know that you took it yourself. Perhaps put something like: (Source: Screenshot by author).
    – mkennedy
    Jun 24, 2015 at 18:09
  • 3
    I know the math software Sage has a page devoted to citations, referencing works citing Sage, and some information on how to cite Sage. You really should check to see if your software has something similar; it could even be a symbiotic relationship, as that website shows (you cite them, they put your work on a fairly small list).
    – pjs36
    Jun 24, 2015 at 19:11

3 Answers 3


You don't need a citation if it's your own creation like the rest of the thesis.

However, per your comment, it sounds like you included an image but then never referred to it in the text (no e.g. "As shown in Figure 1,"), and the reviewer might want you to fix that. The image must be relevant to some part of the text. Otherwise, you either have an irrelevant image or the text is missing something important.

You might also want to be sure you describe what the image is, what the name of the software shown in that screenshot is (and if appropriate, any citation to the software).

Did you use the figure in a publication (e.g. conference paper)? If so, you do need to include a citation to that paper.

If none of those things are what the reviewer is referring to, it may be the reviewer thinks you're using somebody else's image and you can just respond to say it's a screenshot you took. This might prompt an alternative explanation of what they're looking for.

  • It's confirmed each of my images is referred in the text. Perhaps examiner thought I'm a careless one and forgot to put it. I did have a lot (really a lot) of spell errors and incomplete bibliography after all. Thanks for the clarification.
    – Skyvory
    Jun 24, 2015 at 17:01

I would include the name, version number and citation to the software you've taken a screenshot of, e.g.:

Results of a photon analysis in Glomer 2.4 (Tur et al., 2014) are shown in figure 1.

That way, your reader can replicate your screenshot easily -- if they read your thesis years later, Glomer 4.0's interface might be very different, but they should be able to hunt down a copy of Glomer 2.4 and use that instead. The citation might be a publication describing the software or the citation of a website describing it.

Of course, if Glomer is something you've produced as part of your thesis, this is unnecessary (e.g. "I created Glomer 1.0, a software application to ... Figure 1 displays its main menu, where ...").


When referencing a screenshot, just write below or above it like; Fig. 1: Adopted from (Source)

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