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Using visual resources in theses: Home

About the guide

This guide is based on ImagOA - Open Science and Use of Images guide found on https://libguides.aalto.fi/imagoa.

This guide aims to inform how to reference pictures in your work and lists different free photo bank services available on the Internet.


ImagOA text is by Jenni Mikkonen, Mari Pesola, Maria Rehbinder, Marika Sarvilahti and visual design is by Metropolia, Valovirta Design, Jorgos Hatzikelis, Ulla Timonen ja Mikko Multanen. ImagOA guide is lisenced with Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY).

About the use of pictures in thesis

Pictures, figures and tables in thesis

You can use different kind of graphs, tables and pictures in your thesis. They should be informative and serve their purpose. The content must be clear enough to allow them to be viewed and understood without seeing the actual text. The pictures and figures must be numbered and titled. The titles of figures and pictures is marked after the picture when the titles of tables is marked before them. 

The original sources must always be mentioned in all images, figures and tables. If you have edited an image, a figure or a table, you must indicate this while citing the source using the text "adapted from".

You must reference in your actual text to any picture, figure or a table before they occur at least once. 

To ensure accessibility of your work, every picture should have so called alt-text, that different kinds of voice readers can read.


References in APA6

Author, A. (Date). Title of work or image [Format]. Availability

Viipurinkatu at night.

Picture 1. Hakulinen, V.O. (1965). Öinen näkymä pitkin Viipurinkatua länteen [Photograph]. Helsingin kaupunginmuseo. Accessed 07.04.2022. Retrieved from https://www.helsinkikuvia.fi/search/details/?image_id=hkm.HKMS000005:km0000pdp0

How to insert pictures in theses

The most up to date information on how to insert pictures to your thesis you will find in our thesis guide

About citation right in theses

Theses can use images to some extent without permission as allowed by the so-called fair-use principle. The fair-use principle means that academic works may cite published works when the image is closely related to the subject matter discussed in the work. A portion of an image or an entire image can only be used to the extent necessary to investigate the subject. When an image is used in a thesis following the fair-use principle, the image must also be discussed in the text itself. The use is justified when it clarifies and illustrates your own presentation. When using images, you should always remember the related citation policies. Indicate the publisher’s or photographer’s name as the source of the image.

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