Web resources

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Morning seminar: 11am-12am

Afternoon seminar 1pm-3pm

Morning Seminar

At the morning seminar you will be given access to three images, one of which you will choose for your Research Methods assessment. There will be time to look closely at the images, decide which one you want to work on, and spend some time with your chosen image. We will discuss the practicalities of the assignment.

Afternoon seminar

Required reading

JISC Digital Media [1]for advice on how to create, use and manage digital media.

The Handbook on the Preservation of Web Resources [2]: Commissioned by the JISC from UKOLN and ULCC's Digital Archives is full of useful information, including strategies which help you decide what to keep, how to keep it and how to ensure ongoing access to it for future generations.

UKOLN Cultural Heritage Web Site [3]: for guidance on metadata and digital preservation. See their guidance papers.

Creative Commons [4]: Creative Commons provides free tools that let authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry.

The American Society of Picture Professionals (ASPP) for "Best Practices for Locating Copyright Owners of Photographic and Visual Art" [5]


In this session we explore published electronic research resources:

  • What does delivering digital resources entail when it concerns your own research?
  • How can you maximise the chances that the resources you have created will be found and used?

There are quite a few different types of digital resource that we might consider: video, audio, animation, virtual reality, text, etc. Since this course is about photography, the focus of the module will be on photographic images and associated text.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this session you will be able to:

  • List the different categories of image formats available and explain their relative properties.
  • Use advanced features of Google to look for resources.
  • Describe the primary ways in which people find information and the corresponding ways in which information can be organised and presented.
  • Explain the difference between copyright and IPR and define "fair use".
  • Know how to research copyright ownership and select appropriate copyright statements for your own work.
  • Explain the purpose and value of metadata and list some of the main metadata schema relevant to this field.

Activity: Finding digital resources

Pair up with someone different and then use your wiki pages to document your activity:

Go to the UK Google homepage and enter a search for Paul Hill, photography. How many pages were returned in total? Take a quick look at the first few websites that are returned.

Compile two lists:

1) The positive things about using Google to find information about Paul Hill.

2) Any negative aspects of searching for useful information in this way.

How effective do you think Google is for finding information? What could you do to improve it?

Using Google more effectively

There are some tricks you can use to narrow down searches using Google:

1) Add more words to your search.

2) Put double quotes around any "exact phrases" that you would like Google to search for, or use the Advanced Search page

3) Put a minus sign directly in front of any words that you would like Google to leave out of the search.

4) Restrict it to "UK only", "US only", "Germany only" if the search information is nationally oriented.

Imagine you are particlarly interested in Paul Hill, the photographer who runs the MA Photography at DMU as opposed to Paul Hill the amateur photographer living in South Wales. Try using the tricks above (either on their own or in combination) to improve your search. Keep a log of your attempts in your "web search" notes, noting how many results Google returns each time.

Reflections on this activity

Which method is the most effective?


Not searching but browsing

There are two main ways of looking for things on the web. One involves putting keywords into boxes (searching), the other involves clicking on links and moving from page to page (browsing). Which do you prefer?

To find out: take a look at the image on this page from the BBC Lifestyle website is about modernist interior design (of the "instant makeover" variety...). In another browser window, visit www.bbc.co.uk and try and find this page.


How did you go about finding it? Did you click on links or use the search box? Or maybe a combination of both? Whichever tactic you tried to find the page with, go back to the BBC website [6] and try it another way. Make some notes about the advantages and disadvantages of searching and browsing as you go along.

Reflections on this activity

What are the main ways in which people discover (ie find) information?

What implications does this have for the way in which information should be presented?

Activity: Copyright and IPR

Is it legal to copy resources from the Internet or elesewhere and use them in your own work?

Read the New York Times article [7] about street artist Shepard Fairey's lawsuit against the Associated Press, asking a federal judge to declare that he is protected from copyright infringement claims in his use of an AP news photograph as the basis for a campaign poster image of President Obama. The photograph was taken by freelance photographer Mannie Garcia. According to the suit, A.P. officials demanded payment for the use of the photo and a portion of the money Fairey makes from it. Mr Fairey's lawyers, including Anthony T. Falzone, the executive director of the Fair Use Project [8] and a law lecturer at Stanford University, contend that Fairey used the photograph only as a reference, transforming it from the shot taken by Mannie Garcia. Just to complicate matters, Mr Garcia claims that he owns the original copyright.

Do you think Fairey's suit should be upheld? Why?

Now watch the video on "Fair Use" [9] and answer these questions:

What is "fair use" and is Shepard Fairey's use of the A.P./Garcia photograph fair use?

What is the difference between copyright and intellectual property rights (IPR) and what rights does Mannie Garcia Have as the original photographer?

One way around copyright issues is to link to someone else's material from your own site rather than downloading it and actually putting it into your own site. This practice is known as "deep linking". Investigate deep linking via the Internet. (Don't rely on just Wikipedia alone). Is deep linking legal? What are the arguments for and against deep linking?

It is customary and good practice to inform site owners if you wish to link to their site from your own. Failure to inform them is not an infringement of copyright, as you are not downloading or storing their information. However you would infringe copyright if you mirrored their site on your server without their permission.

Reflections on this activity

List the main caveats surrounding the use of other people's material in your own Web site.

Some useful further reading can be found at:

The Max Plank Institute offers advice on copyright issues.

The museums copyright blog [10] is for questions and answers about museum related copyright issues.

The digital copyright discussion list [11] is another useful place to raise copyright issues. although it is US based so the views expressed there understandably reflect the US legal position.

Although developed for teachers and students who want to reuse material created by others, the JISC Web2rights diagnostic tool offers guidance on copyright isues. See the explanatory video [12].

The UK Intellectual Property Office offers diagnostic exercises to assess your copyright position http://www.ipo.gov.uk/iphealthcheck [13]

Activity: Finding out if someone has used your images

Pictures posted to popular sites such as Flickr are vulnerable to unauthorised copying and reuse, see for example the story of Danielle and Jeff Smith's familiy photo [14]. But images have also been copied illegally from apparently well protected sites such as museum and galleries. See for example the recent National Portrait Gallery case [15]. The TinEye Websiteallows you to search the Web for particular images by matching the actual image content rather than associated metadata. Try using TinEye to search for copies of images you know.

Reflections on this activity

Does it matter if others use your images without permission?

If public money has been used to digitise an image should that image be freely available to everyone on the Web?

Why do you think Museums and Galleries seek to protect the copyright of high resolution images?

Activity: Finding copyright owners

Suppose you wanted to use a picture for the cover of an exhibition catalogue. Can you find out who owns the copyright?

What if you can't find a copyright owner? Is there such a thing as a best practice copyright disclaimer?

Take a look at the Library of Congress [16] to see how they and Flickr manage this issue.

Activity: Protecting resources

The UK copyright service provides a useful step-by-step guide [17] to creating a copyright statement. If your resource incorporates a database you might want to include in the copyright statement that you hold a database rights ownership in the contents of the database. Some examples of such statements can be found at:


[19] (Broken link - David)

[20]( I've put in www try this Mort)

Alternatively you may be happy to let others use your work. Creative Commons [21] provides free tools for showing the freedoms attached to published creativework. You can use Creative Commons to change your copyright terms from "All Rights Reserved" to "Some rights Reserved".

What copyright or licence statement would you recommend for Photographs Exhibited in Britain 1839-1865 [22] and why?

Reflections on this activity

Do you think material should be automatically copyright or automatically copyright free? Why?

Copyright free sources

There is a growing number of high quality, copyright free, image sources in addition to general public site like Flickr. Some are listed below. If you know of others please add them to this page.

The Victoria & Albert Museum [23] offers free use of its images for personal and educational uses.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in conjunction with ArtSTOR offers publication-quality images free for use by the scholalrly community through the Images for Academic Publishing initiative [24].

Wikimedia Commons [25] is a media file repository making available public domain and freely-licensed educational media content (images, sound and video clips) to all.

Seminar completion

Prepare a brief presentation (maximum 5 wiki pages or Powerpoint slides, not counting references) on what you have done and what you have learned from this session, and how you will apply what you've learned to your Research Methods assessment.

Follow this link to the Research Methods Contents page to get started on the module.

Back to the MA: Photographic History Main Page to return to the Course contents.