Using our content

We have produced ‘Big Picture’ in the hope that teachers and students will use our content to promote learning – be it in the classroom, for revision, to aid an independent research project or in an educational publication.

‘Big Picture’ is an open access publication and website, and, with the exception of some images and illustrations – see below for details – the content may be reproduced free of charge in any format or medium.


All of our articles are published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence (CC BY 4.0), which means that the text can be adapted and republished without asking us for permission. It’s a licence that makes it easy for someone to copy the articles to use in the classroom, to put articles on their own website or blog, to translate it into another language, or to abridge text to fit an available print space (so long as the fact that changes have been made to the original is acknowledged).

The only conditions are:

  • ‘Big Picture’ must be attributed as the original author, with a link if republishing online, and the title of the document must be specified in the attribution.
  • The content must not be used in a misleading context.

Images and illustrations

All images, unless otherwise indicated, are from Wellcome Images.

Contemporary images are free to use for educational purposes (they have a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No derivatives licence). Please make sure you credit them as we have done on the site; the format is ‘Creator’s name/Wellcome Images’.

Historical images have a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence: they’re free to use in any way as long as they’re credited to ‘Wellcome Library, London’.

Cartoon illustrations are © Glen McBeth. We commission Glen to produce these illustrations for ‘Big Picture’. He is happy for teachers and students to use his illustrations in a classroom setting, but for other uses, permission must be sought.

We source other images from photo libraries such as Science Photo Library, Corbis and iStock and will acknowledge in an image’s credit if this is the case. We do not hold the rights to these images, so if you would like to reproduce them, you will need to contact the photo library directly.

If you’re unsure about whether you can use or republish a piece of content, just get in touch with us at