I am writing my thesis and use images that were created by a company. These images are not available online, they were handed to me.

How would I properly give them credit for their images? If it is relevant, I have to use IEEE citation style.

  • 1
    The answer to "How do I cite X?" is always "Clearly and honestly." in this case, I'd suggest something like "Images provided by Yoyodyne, Inc. (personal communication)."
    – JeffE
    Dec 20, 2016 at 14:05
  • @JeffE and where would you put that information, in the description of every image or in the information sources?
    – John
    Dec 20, 2016 at 15:25
  • (shrug) Either in an explict acknowledgement at the end of the paper, in the bibliograhpy as a normal citation, or in each caption. Whatever works.
    – JeffE
    Dec 20, 2016 at 15:35

1 Answer 1


The most important function of a citation is to inform readers where they can find the information you are citing. If the information you are using was provided for your privately, then your source is “personal communication”, meaning that the information cannot be found in any published literature, but only through personal contacts.

In this case, I would do the following: In figure captions and/or the body text discussing the figures, make an explicit statement that you received the images from the company involved. One statement may be sufficient (something of the form: “Figures 3–6 were provided by Prescott Pharmaceuticals,” when you are discussing figure 3). For each figure, also provide a citation in the caption to “Prescott Pharmaceuticals, private communication” (or however private communications are formatted with the citation system you are using).

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