Tips for ethical and legal use of images in science presentations and other science communication (Using Images-A Best Practices Primer, Part 1)

When you are looking for great images to communicate about science, the internet is a treasure trove. But it is easy to overstep legal and ethical boundaries.

20161029_bgm-drawing-hare-specimens_v1_rs
Where your images come from, and how you get them, matters. (Sketching jackrabbit specimens, ©2017)

This article is the first in a series aimed at helping you enhance your #scicomm and #sciart by avoiding #visualplagiarism. It will do so by laying out some best practices for dealing with images (which are, by their nature) visual intellectual property protected by copyrights.

NOTE: I am not a lawyer, and no part of this article or series should be construed as legal advice. 

Please chime in, in the comments or by contacting me, if you have suggestions for how to enhance this article or the series.


DEFINITIONS & TIPS FOR ETHICAL AND LEGAL IMAGE USE

Images are a crucial element of compelling science communication.

After all, something like 50% of our brains are keyed in to visual stimuli. And, more than ever, compelling images are easy to find on the internet. That makes the internet a powerful #VisualSciComm tool.

However, like most tools, how you use the internet to source images can have serious implications — in this case for your outreach, reputation, and efficacy. Continue reading Tips for ethical and legal use of images in science presentations and other science communication (Using Images-A Best Practices Primer, Part 1)

Sketching Tip: Solvent Transfers

Reproducing or presenting an image in an artistic way can help you catch the attention of a wider or different-from-usual audience.

One such method is the packing tape sticker I mentioned in my October 2016 newsletter. If you want to create something more permanent, though, you might try solvent transfers.

Continue reading Sketching Tip: Solvent Transfers

Dear Digit: Is saying “Photo by Google” good enough?

Dear Digit sketch_5

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Dear Digit, I am not an artist or photographer, but I need attractive images for my communications. Since there are lots of images on the internet, I can usually find what I need. I want to do the right thing, so I usually write “photo by Google.” That’s good enough, right?”

Considering how many images are available on the internet today, we have a wealth of options one right-click away. But, there’s a catch.

All images are owned by someone, and it is legally and ethically important to verify you have their permission to use the image prior to using it. In some cases, reproducing and modifying images without the right to do so can actually have serious financial and legal consequences.

So, what’s a communicator to do? Continue reading Dear Digit: Is saying “Photo by Google” good enough?