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Succeeding in postgraduate study
Succeeding in postgraduate study

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3.4.1 Finding images using search engines

Potentially thousands of images can be returned from a search carried out using a search engine such as Google. Copyright information for all of these results cannot be quickly or easily found, and you would need to investigate each image source individually to get the information you need – unfortunately, the information given is generally poor or non-existent. In Google, you can refine your search by using ‘search tools’, selecting ‘usage rights’ and then selecting images that are ‘labeled for reuse’ options. The number of returns is significantly less, and these images are all under a copyright usage licence, allowing the public to reuse the images as long as they are attributed correctly. However, it is still important to check the image details closely. People can, and do, upload images that they do not own the copyright to and make them available under various copyright licences.

Google image search is a quick and easy way to find lots of images, but a lot of time and effort can be wasted in determining the copyright owner and gaining permission to legally use these images. Other issues to be aware of are the variations of image quality and file size.