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Google for Researchers

Image Searching: Basic and Advanced

Going to Google Images will take you to a basic search bar where you can search for images. Like Google's Advanced Search, you need to perform a basic image search before you can access advanced image searching options. Once you perform the basic search, click on "Settings," then again on "Advanced Search." This will take you to a screen that will break down many search options.

Some advanced search options when searching for images include searching by color, image size, and aspect ratio. An advanced image search is great for finding an image you have seen before or being more specific with your image search.

Search by Image

Have you ever found an image online and wondered where it came from? You can either drag and drop an image, browse for one on your computer, or use the URL of one already on the web in Google's Image Search. This is great for finding images similar to yours or finding citation information for one you've already found. This feature only works on the Google Images homepage. For a quick tutorial on how this works, check out the video below.

Usage Rights

It is a violation of University of Tennessee policy to use someone else's work without attribution, but it's not always easy to attribute images you've found online. Google has options for you to filter images by Usage Rights, so you can determine whether or not an image is available for use. The different types of usage rights Google has to sort through includes

  • Not filtered by license
  • Labeled for reuse with modification
  • Labeled for reuse
  • Labeled for noncommercial reuse with modification
  • Labeled for noncommercial reuse

These labels roughly match up with Creative Commons licenses and the public domain. That means the images may be used without explicit permission, but they must be cited. Before reusing content, always check that its license is legitimate and check the exact terms of reuse, because Google does not always get it right.

Click through the following links for additional information about Creative Commons and the Public Domain. The Library also has a guide on Copyright and Fair Use

Our library also has access to images in ClinicalKey and AccessMedicine. These images are available for our users for educational purposes. You can get access to these images from the Library Homepage or from ClinicalKey and AccessMedicine sites.