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Library Research Tutorial: Adapted from Canvas Course

This Research Guide runs through the same information as the Library Tutorial course in Canvas. Use this guide to quickly access that information without needing to log into Canvas, and use it as a refresher for the main points in the Canvas tutorial.

Citing Multimedia Items

Just because a media file (image, video, or audio) is posted on the Internet does not mean it's free to reuse or modify. Many media files are copyrighted and require their creator's permission if you want to use or modify them. A work doesn't need to have a copyright symbol to be copyrighted.

The good news is that "Fair Use" Law often allows educational uses of copyrighted content. Such educational uses need to credit the original creator(s) of the media file, and they can't significantly diminish "the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work."1

If you did not create the media file, you still need to cite it!
Most citation styles (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) provide a format for citing online content or software files. While these formats vary slightly, these elements are often necessary for a complete citation:

  • The title of the media file
  • The name(s) of the file's creator(s)
  • The date on which the media file was created, posted online, and/or accessed
  • The URL or web address of the media file

Also consider using (and citing!) these sources when looking for reusable media files:


1. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use, 17 U.S.C. § 107 (2010), accessed August 22, 2015,