May 11, 2019,
Infographics are one of the best ways to visualize and explain data and information.
However, since infographics mostly exist on the internet, there’s always a concern that the information in the image you’re viewing is incorrect or made up.
It’s important therefore to make sure that whenever referencing an infographic in research, you cite it properly, and whenever you create an infographic, you cite the sources for your data.
We couldn’t find any good information about citing infographics when we looked, so we put together this quick, easy guide to help you do so.
First we’ll cover how to cite an infographic in your research, and afterwards we’ll get into how, as a creator, you can make sure your infographics can be cited properly.
Citing Infographics in Research
As a student or researcher, you may come across a great piece of relevant information, but there’s a catch – it’s an image.
You may not already know how to cite an infographic for APA and/or MLA – so how do you cite an image such as an infographic?
Fortunately for you, if the infographic creator followed this guide, all the information you’ll need is already included. However, if that’s not the case, you may need to seek out some additional information to correctly cite your source.
But what information do you need to provide when citing an infographic?
When citing an infographic in your work, here is all the information you should include:
- The name of the infographic creator/author – this should be the name of the person, group or entity that put the infographic together. It could be one person, it could be a group or a company.
- The title of the infographic – this is typically right at the top of the infographic, as most creators will title their work.
- The name of the website the infographic came from – this could be a made up name, or possibly a company name, depending on the subject.
- Any additional contributor names – for example, the infographic you’re referencing, may have used other sources to get their information. If the information you’re citing includes data from other sources, be sure to include them too.
- The version of the infographic – occasionally infographic creators will release different versions of their images. If the data changes annually, perhaps they release an updated version each year, for example.
- Any specific numbers that apply to the infographic – make sure you cite the numbers from the image properly.
- The publisher of the infographic – sometimes infographics will be created by an author, but published elsewhere. Make sure you distinguish between the two in your citation.
- The date which the infographic was created/published on – most sources will post their infographics with some content in a blog post format, and you can usually get the date from that.
- The URL where the infographic can be found – including all of the above information is great, but people will still want to see the original source to verify your citation.
The key here is to be as accurate as possible if you want your citation to stand up. If you can’t find any of the above information, reach out to the infographic author (often they include contact information in the image) or the owner of the website you found it on.
For example, if I wanted to cite one of my own infographics, here is how I could structure it:
Creator/Author Last Name, Their First Name. “The Title of The Infographic.” – Version 10, Name of Source, Additional Contributors, Published January 1st, 2019 on https://examplewebsite/the-URL
Or in the case of my infographic:
Watts, Tom. “Voice Search Stats Of 2019: Turning The Tides Of SEO”, Top Shelf Media published March 21st, 2019 on https://topshelfmedia.ca/blog/seo/turn-tides-seo-voice-search-infographic/
Citing Your Sources On An Infographic
If you’re reading this, you probably skipped over the part above that’s more aimed towards researchers citing infographics.
But what you may not realize, is the text above is the very reason it’s so important to cite sources correctly in your infographics.
In the age of fake news and misleading media, people are skeptical of the information sources they read, and so you need to demonstrate credibility to anyone viewing your creation to make it stand out.
Follow these tips to give your infographic the credibility clout it deserves:
- Write down sources while doing your research. Even if you’re making your first infographic ever, you probably know you’ll have to do some research before getting started. While doing your research, note down any interesting or significant statistics, but also make sure you write down detailed notes about where those details came from. Normally we create a spreadsheet or Word document to help us keep track of everything.
- Check the credibility of the source at the time of research. If you recognize, have heard of or in some other way are familiar with the site providing the data, that’s possibly a good sign of its credibility. If you get your data from a site you’ve never heard of, it may be worth looking around the website to check their other information before picking that data.
- Get specific. Make sure you have really specific and accurate information on your source, enough so that anyone could easily go and find the source of the data in your infographic.
Ok, but what information should be included?
Well, as mentioned above, there’s certain information you should provide on your infographic to give the reader a complete citation.
This should be true for your own information and data, and also any websites that you’ve referenced data or information from in your infographic.
These have already been covered above, so here’s a really quick rundown:
- Your name.
- The infographic title.
- Your website name.
- The names of any additional contributors.
- A version number/reference (if applicable, see above).
- The numbers and data itself in connection to the image.
- The infographic publisher (if not yourself).
- The creation date (although it’s acceptable to use your “posted” date).
- Original URL.
And there we have it!
Including all of this information will allow anyone that comes across your infographic to reference and cite it correctly.
Did I miss anything? Further questions? Let me know in the comments.