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Images: Reverse Image Searching

Best Practices: Reverse Image Searching

  • Always credit images you use by linking to the original source. Be aware of copyright.
  • Don't use images from Google Images. Instead, click through to the web page where the original image resides and determine if this is in fact the original source (or if someone else is using an original image without giving proper credit).
  • Avoid any source links that do not appear to be legitimate; this will help you avoid malicious links.
  • Review your image and test the link immediately.
  • Check shortened source link URLs using a URL expander, like LongURL.org or URlex.org to locate an actual source link URL.
  • Do a Creative Commons search for images that are licensed for your particular use.

Images Handout

Reverse Image Searching - How To's

What it is:   Check for the original source of an image you have

What it does:   Looks on webpages for the same image you have

Here are the basics of doing a reverse image search:

  • Log into the reverse image search engine or RISE (see sites to the right)
  • Most RISEs will allow you to search in one or more of these ways:  

                1) paste the image URL,

                2) upload an image, or

                3) drag an image to the search box.

  • The reverse search image tells you where the image was found on web pages.
  • You may or may not be able to determine the source of the image. 
  • Before using an image that you have found, check to see if the original creator has granted license for its use in the manner you wish to use it.
  • You may need to contact the original creator to seek permission or license to use an image.

When you have determined that an image is licensed for use, remember to give credit to the creator of that licensed image. 

Reverse Image Search Engines

Try multiple Reverse Image Search Engines.
Check for browser extensions or apps available for these Reverse Image Search Engines. Most extensions or apps allow you to right click on an image you want to research and then choose the reverse search engine from the list that appears to try to locate your image on the web.