Help: Image description page

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Each uploaded file has an associated image description page. This term is also applied in the case of other file types, such as sound and multimedia files.

The image description page of any image on DCCWiki may be accessed by simply clicking on the image. The image description page of a sound file may be linked from an article; if not put 'Image:desoldering.jpg' in the search window and press Go.

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

The description page consists of four parts:

  • In the case of an image, the image itself
  • Description of the image or sound
  • "Image history", see page history
  • "Image links", a list of pages that link to the image/sound (not including the rare case of an uploaded html file linking to it)

The description part has also an edit history; it is labelled, somewhat confusingly, Image:xxx Revision history. It should not be confused with the Image history.

What follows refers to the description part, and is in particular about images. For sound, see also Help:Sound.

What to include on an image description page

The image description page is the appropriate place to put information about:

  • The author and immediate source of the image
  • The copyright status of the image
  • General descriptive details
  • Technical details about the image
  • Helpful links

Some image file formats allow the information to be "embedded" in the image itself. Most DCCWiki readers won't be able to or won't know how to access this information, so you should duplicate it on the image description page.

Most articles that use images will have a caption, but this will likely be shorter than the image's full description, and more closely related to the text of the article.

Keep in mind that people who see this image in an article and click on it for more information (or to enlarge it) will arrive at the image description page.

Source and author

If you downloaded this image from the web, you should give the URL. Example:

Source: Downloaded from

If you got the image from an offline source, you should specify. For example:

Source: Scanned from public record #5253 on file with Anytown, Somestate public surveyor

It is important that you list the author of the image (especially if different from the source), which is important both for copyright and for informational purposes. Some copyright licenses require that the original author receive credit for their work. Examples:

Author: The British Broadcasting Corporation
Photographer: User:JS (Jane Smith)
Author: 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica

See also Help:Cite your sources.

Copyright status

You should choose the most appropriate tag from Help:Image copyright tags. Please be aware that the copyright holder (the original creator of the image, their employer, or an official designee), not the uploader, decides on the licensing for the image.

Please read Help:Copyrights, Help:Image use policy, and Help:Image copyright tags for information about what images are acceptable to upload. In general, it is strongly preferred that DCCWiki uses public domain or free-license images (such as those using the GFDL or Creative Commons licenses that do not restrict commercial use), but fair use images are also acceptable (see below).

If the copyright status is unknown, or if you are uncertain what licensing your image is qualified for, document everything you know about the source, author, and dating of the image, and use one of the copyright status tags that flags it for attention. This will help others use the image and to reduce the chance of its deletion as a possible copyright infringement. Such images are generally problematic, so please try to determine the copyright status or the year the image was originally created if at all possible, since you're likely to know more about the image and subject than those who end up having to try to work out if it's infringing with little or no information about it. If the image is a photograph or scan of a work of art, building, statue, illustration, old book or something else which predated the image, please give some information about the subject as well, since the effective date of copyright is often that of the subject, not of the image itself.

Adding explicit copyright information helps make DCCWiki 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).

Editors do make an effort to address non-free images, either by obtaining new licensing terms from the original copyright holders, or by uploading a substitute image which is more freely licensed.

Fair use rationale

There are a number of tags that are appropriate for fair use images. See Help:Image_copyright_tags#Fair_use for a list.

Not all inclusions of fair use material may violate the GFDL; if there is a significant reason to include the image and no permission can be obtained it may still be allowable under the GFDL — a justification may be necessary. If you are claiming "fair use" it will help later users under the GFDL to determine if the "fair use" is broad (for further encyclopedia use) or perhaps not even applicable to DCCWiki. It will help if the basis of the "fair use" is explained (briefly). See the DCCWiki article on fair use for an explanation of the topic.

This should be done in two places. Firstly, add the following hidden text in the article:

<!-- FAIR USE of IMAGENAME.jpg: see image description page at for rationale -->

Secondly, add rationale text to the image description page, beyond the information mentioned above. This fair use rationale text can be in the following format (the following are just basic examples, you must write your own specific text, do not copy this text for that purpose):

CD album cover art

== Fair use for [[ARTICLE NAME]] ==
This image, picture-fair-use.jpg, is being linked here; though the picture is subject to copyright I (~~~) feel it is covered by the U.S. fair use laws because:
# it is a low resolution copy of a CD album cover;
# it does not limit the copyright owner's rights to sell the CD album in any way;
# copies could not be used to make illegal copies of the album artwork on another CD;
# the image on the cover is significant because it was made by a famous artist, [[name]].

Historical photographs

== Fair use for [[ARTICLE NAME]] ==
The image linked here is claimed to be used under fair use as:
# it is a historically significant photo of a famous individual;
# it is of much lower resolution than the original (copies made from it will be of very inferior quality)
# the photo is only being used for informational purposes.
# Its inclusion in the article adds significantly to the article because it shows the subject of this article and how the event depicted was very historically significant to the general public. ~~~~

The above are only general examples; for what information to be included in this entry you can review the description of fair use and access the ten-point review process used in making a decision about whether it could possibly be applied in DCCWiki media here. The information should be as specific as possible, i.e. why you need to use the image as part of the article. Remember to put any information about the copyright owner on the image page after you upload the image and mark it "fair use." The rationale text should be mentioned in the actual article so that it is part of the article and anyone editing the article can see it but it is in the text not the talk page. It can also be mentioned on the talk page for a discussion with other DCCWiki contributors). Adding this information is no guarantee that the image will not be later removed, but it will demonstrate a rationale to others that you may have a valid justification for including "fair use" materials that can be used under the GFDL.

Remember there is no "general rule" about fair use, each "fair use" must be explained and a rationale must be established for that specific use (i.e. every page that uses the image will have a distinct rationale for using the image on that page even though fair use is claimed on the image page).

Description of the image

This should not be alternate text (see Help:Alternative text for images), but rather a full description. This is useful for users who do not have direct access to the image.

If you made the image yourself, there are certain questions which only you can answer. Because you may not be around to answer those questions later, you should include this information in the description page when you upload the image. This will help other editors to make better use of the image, and it will be more informative for readers.

For pictures:

  • Where was the picture taken?
  • When was the picture taken?
  • What are the names of all the people and notable objects visible in the picture?
  • What is happening in the picture?

For synthetic pictures:

  • Diagrams and markings should be explained as completely as possible.
  • If necessary, a legend or key should be provided.

Technical information for pictures:

  • What model camera was used, and lenses? (Digital or analog?)
  • Who was the photographer?
  • What were the exposure settings?
  • What post-production modifications where made? (adjustments to color, contrast etc.)

Technical information for synthetic images:

  • What software was used to create or edit the image?
  • What pre-existing sources (free images, photos, etc) were used as inputs?

General technical information:

  • Resolution
  • Image size
  • Color space

General information:

  • What is the picture intended to illustrate?
  • Were there any interesting circumstances surrounding the creation of the image worth noting?

Relevant links (internal)


Uploading original images

If you have created an image yourself, and you have a higher-quality source file in a format such as Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), Draw, GIMP, Adobe Illustrator, or Adobe Photoshop, you may want to consider uploading that source file so that other DCCWikipedians can more easily modify it if the need arises. Link the source file from the image description page, and add a link to Help:Image source files. If the source file is too large to upload, you may be able to compress it using a utility such as [inZip or gzip.

What happens when you upload

The description text you supply during the upload process becomes the initial text of the image description page. (It also becomes the edit summary for the initial version of the file.)