Biomedical Images: Finding Images for Lectures and Publications
Whenever you reuse an image or multimedia it is necessary to give attribution to the creator or copyright holder. Some resources provide images that are freely available for noncommericial, education purposes such as a presentation, as long as you attribute the source. These are often under a open copyright Creative Commons license, or are freely available without restrictions in the Public Domain. While other resources require that you ask for permission from the copyright holder. Always check the copyright statement.
How to Give Attribution
Attribution should be used for open-copyright work. Attribution details include:
T - Title of the image
A - Name of creator
S - Source or URL
L - License, type of Creative Commons license. Include a link to the license.
- Example: attribution of Creative Commons licensed imageHow to give attribution
- Creative Commons Best Practices WikiAttribution of images, altered images, multi-media and more.
Images used in a journal or publication, must follow the citation format listed in the publisher's style guide.
When citing restricted work where the copyright holder does not share the rights with the public, check the image's copyright permissions for how the image may be used, and how to obtain permission. The copyright holder may require that certain information be included.
- MLA Style citationEasybib Citation Generator; and examples
- APA Style citationEasybib Citation Generator; and examples
- Citing Medicine: The NLM Style Guide for Authors, Editors, and Publishers. 2nd editionCitation rules with examples for photographs and prints.
- Citation vs AttributionSimilarities and differences
Fair Use & Public Domain
Fair Use permits the use copyrighted material without permission under certain circumstances such as nonprofit, education purposes. Four factors determine Fair Use:
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether use is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use on the potential market for or value of the work.
- Public DomainWork in the Public Domain is free for use for any purpose without restriction.
Online Biomedical Image Resources
Most of the websites below offer freely available, open-copyright images in the Public Domain or under a Creative Commons license. Whenever you reuse an image you should give attribution to the source. Always check the copyright policy before reusing an image.
- Open-iOpen-i is an open-access biomedical image search engine that searches articles from PubMed Central along with several special image collections: MedPix images, the National Library of Medicine’s (NLM’s) History of Medicine digital collection, the Indiana University Chest X-ray collection, and the University of Southern California Orthopaedic Surgical Anatomy collection.
- MedPix®MedPix® is free open-access online database of medical images, teaching cases, and clinical topics. integrating images and textual metadata including over 12,000 patient case scenarios, 9,000 topics, and nearly 59,000 images.
- Wellcome ImagesIncludes over 40,000 high-quality images from the clinical and biomedical sciences, as well as over 90,000 historical images from the Wellcome Library collections.
- Public Health Image Library (PHIL)Created by a Working Group at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the PHIL offers an organized, universal electronic gateway to CDC's pictures. Material can be used for reference, teaching, presentation, and public health messages.
- Visuals OnlineVisuals Online is a set of collections from the National Cancer Institute. Collection topics include Spanish-language images, anatomy, historical images, childhood cancer, and many more. Images and videos are labeled with copyright information, and most are in the public domain.
- National institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Image LibraryThe NIDDK Media Library is a searchable database of images produced by the NIDDK that are available copyright free to the public at no cost. Please credit each image as: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health.
- Visible Human ProjectThe Visible Human Project is a collection of detailed anatomical images of human bodies. Images that are available, which are in the public domain, include cross-sectional cryosections, CT scan images, and MRI images.
History of Medicine
- Mount Sinai Digital ArchiveThousands of photographic images of Mount Sinai and its staff dating from the first hospital building in 1855.
- Images from the History of MedicineA database of images from the National Library of Medicine's History of Medicine Division. Includes portraits, photographs, posters and graphic art illustrating the social and historical aspects of medicine.
- NLM's Digital CollectionsNLM's Digital Collections contain thousands of digitized books, images, videos, maps, and more, sorted into a number of special collections. This is an excellent place to go for someone researching or teaching about the history of a particular condition and its treatment.
Licensed Databases with Biomedical Images
The resources below are licensed by the Levy Library for the Mount Sinai Community. Use of images in these resources is limited to noncommercial, nonprofit, education purposes, such as a presentation. Permission must be obtained from the copyright holder for commercial, print or online use. It is the responsibility of the user to adhere to the copyright terms.
- Bates Visual Guide to Physical ExaminationStreaming video modules demonstrate physical examinations step-by-step with rationales for the clinicians' actions. Contains expanded discussions of health history taking, interviewing, and documenting findings.
- AccessMedicineAccessMedicine is a collection of full text, searchable textbooks covering internal medicine, cardiology, genetics, emergency medicine, ob/gyn, surgery, and more. Contains multi-media and diagnostic images and studies.
- Access Emergency Medicine This link opens in a new windowIntegrates over a dozen emergency medicine textbooks with a large collection of procedural videos, practice guidelines and calculators. Includes video case presentations from the Clinical Pathological Case (CPC) conferences, published in partnership with the Council of Residency Directors (CORD).
CORD cases and images from the textbooks may be saved, printed and/or downloaded for personal and educational (non-commercial) use. Instructions: Adobe Flash Player required to view videos.
- Access Surgery This link opens in a new windowAccessSurgery is an integrated surgical resource organized around the ACGME's mandate for a core curriculum. Content includes: surgical videos and animations; textbooks such as Schwartz's Principles of Surgery, Maingot's Abdominal Operations, and Zollinger's Atlas of Surgical Operations; self-assessment and board review materials and more.
Images from the textbooks may be saved, printed or downloaded for personal and educational (non-commercial) use. Instructions: Video content requires the Adobe Flash player.