My Information Skills

Self-paced tutorials on research and study skills for TAFE SA students

Examples - online images, graphs and tables

It will quite often be useful and easy to copy images, graphs, tables or graphics that you obtained online into your assignments.

Be aware that copying an entire source is generally a breach of copyright, and while there may be exemptions that allow you to use sources this way as part of your study, it could be illegal to do so in your workplace.

Generally your safest option is to search for images or graphs that are clear about whether the author has given permission for you to reuse their work. The short video Copyright: Creative Commons and Attribution explains how to search for images that creators are willing to share, and explains the Creative Commons licencing system.

The graph in our example below came from a website called GRID-Arendal, a research centre set up by the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP). This site specifically stated that "GRID-Arendal photos, videos, graphics and reference material are free for attributed use. Please link the source to our site, credit the author, year and GRID-Arendal."

Atmospheric concentration of CO2


To create an end-text reference in the Harvard style for an online image, we need to follow the following formatting pattern:


The Harvard end-text reference for this image will be:

UNEP/GRID-Arendal 2005, Atmospheric concentration of CO2, table, viewed 3 February 2012, <>.


The in-text reference will generally be in the form of a caption below or to the side of your image. Your image caption and in-text reference would look like this:

Atmospheric concentration of CO2 (UNEP/GRID-Arendal 2005)



  • If you cannot locate a date, you can use the abbreviation n.d. (no date).
  • If there is no obvious title, you can provide a short description.
  • Ensure your title is a title (or description) of the image, rather than the name of the website.
  • Include a description of the source type after the title. 
    e.g. online image, graph, table
  • Use the URL for the website where the image is located, rather than linking directly to the file or image itself.
  • When using an image you found using Google Images, do not reference Google, but the site where the image originates from. You can find this by clicking on the image you found, then click the 'Visit' button to be taken to the original website.