Source acknowledgement: personality rights and attribution

Make sure to include a source acknowledgement every time you use someone's materials.


Note. Icones taken from the Word Icons collection in Microsoft 365.


The Copyright Act (Section 16) specifies that the name of the creator must be clearly stated (at minimum).

However, a full acknowledgement of sources is preferable. This will serve to clearly identify the source of your materials and ensure that you always know where you found them.


To do so, you must list a number of key details, such as:

  • the name of the author
  • title
  • year of publication
  • publisher
  • the website URL and date of access (in the case of digital sources)

See the examples further down on this page or use the 'Scroll to' menu to make your choice (the right-hand side of the screen).


Explanation: why acknowledge your sources?


They are also referred to as 'moral' rights. Personality rights are always retained by the creator, even if the exploitation rights to a particular work have been transferred to another party (employer or publisher). However, creators can choose to partially or fully waive their personality rights.


Attribution is an aspect of the personality rights vested in the creator of a work under the Copyright Act. You are obliged to mention the name of the creator of a work. Otherwise, you will be committing plagiarism.

Where do I place the source acknowledgement?



When posting an image in the LMS, you can paste the source reference in the 'Long description' text field. Check out the manual below.



When you add a file to the LMS using the 'Item' option, you can paste the source reference into the text field. Check out the manual below.

  • For each photo or image used in a PowerPoint or Prezi presentation, cite the source.

  • The source must at least include the name of the creator, and preferably also the location where the image was found.

  • You can place the source directly next to the picture or put it on a separate slide at the end of the presentation. Please note: do not use the notes field in the PowerPoint presentation for acknowledgement; the texts in notes are not visible during the presentation.




Image with CC licence:

The title contains a link to the source, the CC license links to the license terms (mandatory in digital documents)

"Writing Exams" by ccarlstead is licensed under CC BY 2.0


If you don't link to the source in the title, use "Retrieved on..., from..." to indicate the source.

Lava [Image], by Denali National Park and Preserve, 2013, Flickr. Retrieved on July 7, 2021, from CC BY 2.0.


Image from a copyrighted source

This image is retrieved from an e-book, please include the title of the image and a creator if possible and then the location: the source (book, article, etc.) where the image came from.

Coca-Cola in Chinese script [Image]. From Van den Broek, J., Koetsenruijter, W., & Jong, J. D. (2012). Visual language : Perspectives for both makers and users, p. 26. Eleven International Publishing. Retrieved on July 7, 2021, from 

Examples of source acknowledgement

Here are example source references for the most commonly used types of materials on the LMS or in presentations:

These source citations are prepared according to APA guidelines (7th edition).

For an overview of other reference styles see here.


For complete overview of APA style rules and examples of source citation for other types of materials, please check the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association: The Official Guide to the APA Style (2020).


A source reference always consists following components:



Journal article

  • scientific journal article in print

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Publication date). Article title. Journal Title, volume(number), pages.

McCauley, S. M., & Christiansen, M. H. (2019). Language learning as language use: A cross-linguistic model of child language development. Psychological review126(1), 1.

Parenthetical citation: (McCauley & Christiansen, 2019)

Narrative citation: McCauley and Christiansen (2019)

  • scientific journal article electronic with DOI

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Publication date). Article title. Journal Title, volume(number), pages.

Lachner, A., Backfisch, I., Hoogerheide, V., Van Gog, T., & Renkl, A. (2020). Timing matters! Explaining between study phases enhances students’ learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 112(4), 841–853.

Parenthetical citation: (Lachner et al., 2020)

Narrative citation: Lachner et al. (2020) 

  • journal article electronic without DOI

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Publication date). Article title. Journal Title, volume(number), pages. Retrieved Month day, year, from http(s)://xxxx 

Stegmeir, M. (2016). Climate change: New discipline practices promote college access. The Journal of College Admission, (231), 44–47. Retrieved January 25, 2022, from

Parenthetical citation: (Stegmeir, 2016)

Narrative citation: Stegmeir (2016)


Chapter in a book

If you have consulted a chapter from a book that was compiled by one or more editors, refer to that chapter.

The source reference contains information about both the chapter and the book.  It works as follows:


Author, A. (Publication date). Chapter title: Subtitle. In A. Editor(Ed.), Book title: Subtitle (pp. xx-xx). Publisher.


Dillard, J. P. (2020). Currents in the study of persuasion. In M. B. Oliver, A. A. Raney, & J. Bryant (Eds.), Media effects: Advances in theory and research (4th ed., pp. 115–129). Routledge.

Parenthetical citation: (Dillard, 2020)

Narrative citation: Dillard (2020)

  • for an e-book chapter, you also mention the URL or

Zeleke, W. A., Hughes, T. L., & Drozda, N. (2020). Home–school collaboration to promote mind–body health. In C. Maykel & M. A. Bray (Eds.), Promoting mind–body health in schools: Interventions for mental health professionals (pp. 11–26). American Psychological Association.

Parenthetical citation: (Zeleke et al., 2020)

Narrative citation: Zeleke et al. (2020) 

Reports & brochures (gray literature)

  • Additional information such as edition, volume, issue or volume number may be included between the round brackets for identification.
  • If necessary, a description for identification may be given in square brackets for less common informal publications, such as brochures, policy papers, press releases, etc.


  • printed

Author, A. (Publication date). Title (Issue number or volume). Publisher


The Council of Europe Youth Sector. (n.d.). Youth for Democracy: The Councile of Europe Youth for Democracy Programme [Brochure]. The Council of Europe.

Parenthetical citation: (The Council of Europe Youth Sector, n.d.)
Narrative citation: The Council of Europe Youth Sector (n.d.)


  • online: add 'Retrieved on..., from http(s)//:xxxx ' or DOI

Author, A. (Publication date). Title (issue number or volume). Publisher. Retrieved Month day, year, from http://xxxx or https://xxxx


Boone, J. (2020). Pricing above value: Selling to an adverse selection market (Discussion paper 2020-023). Tilburg University. Retrieved January 15, 2021, from

Parenthetical citation: (Boone, 2020)

Narrative citation: Boone (2020)

Images as an illustration

In addition to using images (tables, figures, photographs, etc.) as explanatory material for the text, it is also possible to include an image for illustrative purposes only, for example on the front cover of a report. Whether and how this is referred to depends on the origin of the image.

  • Own image

For a photograph, painting, drawing or other image which the author of the text has made himself, the same rule applies as for the text: it is his own work and does not need to be mentioned, neither in the text nor in the reference list.


  • Received image

An image may have been created by a classmate, family member or colleague. An image may also have been made available by the institution where the internship was done. Also for these images applies that no separate reference is included. It is of course permitted, for example in a word of thanks, to thank the maker or owner of the image for making it available. Also, if an institution has given permission for the use of the logo, a separate reference is not necessary.


  • Image from the Internet

If an image is used only as an illustration, it is advisable to read the conditions for reuse beforehand. If the report is published, for example on the HBO Knowledge Bank, this is regarded as re-publication of the photo and it is important that the owner of the photo agrees. If so, write 'Reproduced with permission'.

If an image is used only as an illustration, there is no reference in the text. No extended reference is placed under the image. Instead, note only:


Author, year or n.d. Copyright year, name copyright holder. (or CC-license or 'In the public domain').


  • Image from a web page

IsaacMao. (2005,  June 14). Brain [Image]. Flickr. Retrieved February 17, 2021, from


Because there is no reference to the image in the report, the short reference (author's last name, year) is placed under the image, similar to a reference in the text. You may also place the reference on the next page by writing 'Cover photo: last name author, year'.


  • Creative Commons licence image

Because the image is used as an illustration, it is important to check beforehand whether the copyright holder (usually the creator) of the image gives permission for this. Sometimes this is the case if the image has a Creative Commons license, a condition under which the image may be reused.

If the image is not or no longer covered by copyright, write 'In the public domain'.



Author, A. (Year, Month Day). Title [Description]. Name website. Retrieved Month day, year, from http(s)://xxxx

  • image under a CC license

In this example, the photographer offers a photo on Flickr with a CC license: the photo may be reused with acknowledgement of the source, not for commercial purposes, and the photo may not be distributed if it has been edited. The source attribution looks as follows:


Herrmann, R. (2013, November 2). Ciha Fen Tree [Photo]. Flickr. Retrieved April 22, 2015, from https://


The CC license requires that in addition to the name of the creator, the link be included that refers to explanations of reuse. This link is displayed in the source citation:

Citation for a document on paper: Cover photo: Herrmann, 2013.

Citation for an electronic document: Cover photo: Herrmann, 2013. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.


See more information on images section Tables & Figures