APA 7th edition style guidelines for images

Image reproduced in a document

According to APA style, when any kind of visual display (other than a table) is reproduced in a work, it should be treated as a figure. This includes photographs, drawings, bar graphs, infographics and other illustrations. The reference details are displayed with the figure and also included in the reference list.

Please note: 

  1. Authors intending to publish their work (including theses) must, before publication, obtain permission from the copyright owner or comply with any stated licencing conditions (such as a Creative Commons licence). 

  2. Students using images in assignments submitted as part of their course do not need to ask permission from the copyright owner under Fair Dealing for Research or Study in Australian copyright law. However, “fair dealing” does not apply if the images are made available to anyone outside the course of study. This includes sharing your work (if the images are included) online or with potential employers. Otherwise you will need to obtain the copyright owner’s permission or omit the images.


For example:

Figure 1 shows the highly ornate…

Figure 1

Springthorpe Memorial

Note. From Cemetery Architecture of Australia by D. Eade, 2020, p.18. Copyright by Art Architecture Books. 


This is an example of how to reference an image when permission to reproduce it has been obtained from the copyright holder.

For example:

The ceiling of the Springthorpe Memorial, as seen in Figure 2, provides a colourful contrast to the sober, neoclassical elements of the building.

Figure 2

Stained glass ceiling, Springthorpe Memorial

Note. Reprinted from "Stained Glass Ceilings in Australian Architecture," by A. B. Light, 2018, (http://ahas.org.au/stainedglassceilings_image1).
Copyright 2020 by Australian Historic Architecture Society.
Reprinted with permission


For further information, go to the Academic Writer database and look at Figure components or Sample figures, or check out APA’s webpage, Figure setup.


Image not reproduced in your work 

When you refer to an image without including a copy of it in your work, include it in the reference list and insert an in-text citation.


In-text citation

Images of Cathy Freeman’s distinctive, green and gold, running suit (Munday 2000), worn at the Sydney Olympics in 2000…


Reference list

Munday, S. (2000). [Photograph of Cathy Freeman at the Olympic Games Sydney 2000]. International Olympic Committee. https://stillmed.olympic.org/media/Images/OlympicOrg/News/2018/08/15/2018-08-15-Freeman-thumbnail.jpg


For further examples, go to Sample references in the Academic Writer database and select 'Audiovisual material', or check out APA’s webpage, Audiovisual media


Swinburne Design students

In some Design units the preference is for the figure number and reference details to be displayed below the figure and also in the reference list.

For example:

As demonstrated in Figure 1, cemetery architecture at that time…

Figure 1. Syme Memorial. Reprinted from “Edwardian Melbourne and Cemetery Architecture,” by J. J. Lintel, A. Corbel, and P. T. Rafter, 2019, Cemetery Art and Architecture, 20(1), p.5 (https://doi.org/10.1030/yho0000359). Copyright 2019 by Doodle, Quiff & Co.

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