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Image Usage

Images included in the Bugwood Network Image Archives (,,, and are made available under a Creative Commons license. Individual photographers retain all rights to images included in the archive. The Creative Commons licenses and number of images under that license is listed below:

Creative Commons License Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. 71,964 images
Creative Commons License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License. 82,686 images

Creative Commons Definitions:

Attribution  You must attribute the work in the manner specified (but not in any way that suggests endorsement).
NonCommerical  You may not use this work for commercial purposes unless permission is granted by the photographer or copyright owner.

Requesting and using images from the Bugwood Network

The Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health divides image use into 3 categories: Personal, Educational, and Commercial.

Personal Usage

Personal use refers to using images where they will not be put on display for public education, advertising, amusement, or other purpose. Examples of this include a private collection of images for your screen saver, a print for decoration in your own house, or creating a decal for a t-shirt that you plan to wear.

Educational/Non-Commercial Usage

Educational/Non-Commercial use is most often associated with non-profit organizations. To qualify, the end product must be distributed free of charge. Also, the product must be used to educate the public and may not be used to advertise a company, services, or products.

Educational/Non-Commercial use also includes using images to accompany one-time articles in a daily/weekly periodical (newspaper/magazine) since the article is not used to increase circulation, but is used to better illustrate a subject while providing information to the public.

A commercial company may qualify for Educational/Non-Commercial usage when hired by a non-profit organization to produce educational materials that are distributed free of charge. An example of this is a publishing company being hired by a city to produce pamphlets on an exotic pest when they will be available to the public free of charge.

If you are not 100% sure that the use is purely Educational/Non-Commercial, it is best to make a commercial request.

When used for an Educational/Non-Commercial purpose, all of the images may be used as long as the image is properly cited. The citation is present at the bottom of each image page. When using the "light box" to batch download images, the citation information should also be downloaded.

Commercial Usage

If you plan to use the images commercially, you must request permission. Commercial use includes any product that is not distributed free of charge. This includes products by non-profit organizations that are sold at cost or used to raise funds even if the product is meant to provide education. It also includes advertisements or materials used to market products or services.

Bugwood archives contain images from a wide variety of contributors. Each photographer retains all rights to their pictures. Consequently, it is necessary to request permission to use each image for commercial purposes. It is the photographer's decision to charge a fee or allow free use of the image for commercial purposes.

If permission is granted, it still must be properly cited when it is used. Please see the next section on how to request permission to use an image using our "Light Box".

Citation Guidelines

Anytime an image from the Bugwood Network image archive is used, IT MUST BE CITED. The citation format is:

Photographer's Name and Organization,


  • Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series,
  • Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University,
  • Andrej Kunca, National Forest Centre - Slovakia,
  • Joseph O'Brien, USDA Forest Service,
  • Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources - Forestry Archives,

Depending on the photographer, this may make for a long citation that is difficult to fit in the limited space provided for image citations. This page is meant to provide guidelines for reducing the length of a citation while ensuring that the proper citation is used. We have a simple rationale for why we cite images the way we do.

It is extremely important to give credit to the photographer. Without them, the Bugwood Image archive would not exist. In all cases, the photographer must be included in the image citation

Many of these photographers took the images as part of their daily work. These organizations are important in supporting the generation and collection of educational resources. Without them, the photographers may not have had the opportunities to take the images. Where possible, these organizations should be given credit for supporting the photographer's efforts.

A lot of work has gone into creating this image archive and making high-quality, high-resolution images easily available. This has been accomplished through cooperative agreements with various agencies, organizations, and individuals. In order to keep funding and thus the availabilty of these images, it is essential to credit the archive that delivered the image.

Also, if more information is needed to understand what the photographer was trying to show, the link back to the image archive must be maintained. To ensure that this link is maintained, the image archive must be cited.

The photographer's name and organization may be abbreviated. If an organization is abbreviated, be sure the abbreviation is a standard abbreviation. Typing the abbreviation into a web search often helps in checking to see if the abbreviation is widely used.

Examples of abbreviated citations:

  • Clemson Univ./USDA CES,
  • W. Cranshaw, CSU,
  • A. Kunca, National Forest Centre - Slovakia,
  • J. O'Brien, USFS,
  • PA-DCNR - Forestry Archives,