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Wikipedia:Image description page

The image description page of any image on Wikipedia may be accessed by simply clicking on the image.

To make a link to an image without including the actual image, use a link like: [[:Image:an_image.jpg]]. The leading colon prevents the image being embedded in the article, and instead makes an ordinary link.

Table of contents

What to include on an image description page

Each uploaded file has an associated description page into which you can put text, and which shows the image's history and usage. This page should ideally include all of the following information, but if you don't know something, just put whatever you can.

Note that this information should generally not go in articles that use the image, and not embedded as graphical text on the image itself. However, the image file may contain embedded comments - in particular a copyright notice and statement of license under the GFDL would be good to include.

Source of image

See cite your sources

Eg: "Photograph taken on 3 March 2003", "Taken from the BBS News website", "Scanned from copy of 1911 encyclopedia". Also include the author of the image and any other credits.

This is just giving credit where credit is due.

Copyright status

See Wikipedia:copyrights and the "Copyright" section of image use policy for more.

Adding explicit copyright information helps make Wikipedia more useful for third parties who wish to reuse our content, just as many people reuse our text. It also allows users to edit images in greater confidence that their work will not be wasted if we subsequently discover that an image is copyrighted and not licensed under the GFDL (or a similarly open license).

  • public domain: copyright expired
  • public domain: copyright disclaimed
  • copyright Jeremiah. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify under the GFDL, version 1.2 any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
  • released under the GFDL - in response to the boilerplate request for permission, Fred Jones said "That'd be fine"
  • copyright status unknown - I have no reason to believe that this image is copyrighted, but I've not checked. (
  • copyrighted image - the author has given Wikipedia permission to use this image, but third parties may not use it without permission
  • copyrighted image - may only be used under "fair use" rules

Images in these last two categories cannot be distributed under the GFDL license and as such their inclusion in Wikipedia is extremely dubious. It is recommended that you instead link to a page with the image hosted on another server if you cannot obtain explicit permission to redistribute it a GFDL-compatible license. If you do upload "fair use" images here, keep in mind that they may all be removed at some point if the project gets a clear legal opinion on the matter.

Description of the image

Eg: "Image of a goldfish in a small tank". This should not be alternate text (see alternate text for images), but rather a description. This is useful for users who do not have direct access to the image, and is a temporary substitute for a proper longdesc tag.

You could also include the proportions of the image, in pixels.

Other versions

If other versions (especially a larger version) of the same image exists, link to them.

  • [[Media:Goldfish-in-tank-large.jpg|larger version]] ([[:Image:Goldfish-in-tank-large.jpg|info]])
  • [[Media:Goldfish-in-tank2.jpg|different camera angle]] ([[:Image:Goldfish-in-tank2.jpg|info]])
  • [[Media:Goldfish-in-tank-textfree.jpg|textfree version]] ([[:Image:Goldfish-in-tank-textfree.jpg|info]])

Textfree versions are useful for our fellows using other language versions.

Relevant links (internal and external)

Please avoid adding a description in a language other than English. Instead, use interlanguage links to link to the image description page on the appropriate-language wiki, where you should upload a second copy of the image for local use.

Images on image description pages

You can include images on image description pages. This is someimes done when:

  • making a photo montage
  • embedding a larger version on the image description page
  • embedding an image on its own image description page

meta:image pages includes a proposal to do the last one automatically. In the other two cases, some Wikipedians prefer other alternatives, such as good use of media: links.



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