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  About the library

What is the Biology Image Library?

The Biology Image Library is an online collection of images, movies, illustrations and animations across biology and biomedicine. We cover Developmental Biology, Histology & Pathology, Immunology, Microbiology & Parasitology, Molecular & Cellular Biology, Neuroscience and Plant Biology, including images from BioMed Central's journals. All content is available to our subscribers for non-commercial use, and some images are also available for commercial use. Material is peer-reviewed by our expert panel of academic editors before being accepted for publication and contributors retain the copyright for their work.

Who publishes the library?

The library is published by BioMed Central, an independent publishing house that offers a wide variety of journals and other online services. BioMed Central is committed to providing immediate open access to peer-reviewed biomedical research. We also publish a number of “value-added” subscription databases and information services, of which the Biology Image Library is an example. Please see www.biomedcentral.com for more information about our activities.

Who is the library aimed at?

The library is aimed at lecturers and teachers, researchers and students. It should also be useful to members of media organizations looking for visually striking and scientifically reliable material.

How can I use material in the library?

You can download as much material as you want for non-commercial purposes, such as for use in lectures or seminars. For more details, see our user's agreement. Some images in the library are in the public domain and you are free to use this material as you wish. In other cases, the Biology Image Library may be able to sell you commercial use rights to an image or direct you to the copyright holder to obtain these rights. Please contact us for more information.

Contribute your own work

We welcome contributions of biological and medical material that is visually striking and/or scientifically meaningful or insightful. The work can illustrate cutting edge research or it can be of historical interest. See how to contribute for more information about what we are looking for and how you can send us your work.


You can use slidesets to:

  • group collections of images and movies and to customize the annotations associated with each item
  • download all the graphics files and associated annotations individually or as a batch (you will receive ZIP archive containing a PowerPoint presentation and the original image and movie files)

What are the benefits of registering with the library?

When you register with the library you will be able to receive email alerts about new developments. You will also be able to re-use your past searches and view full size images that are in the public domain. In time, registered users will be able to contribute to the library by uploading their own work online.

What are the benefits of subscribing to the library?

To view movies and full size images and to create or download slidesets, you or your institution must subscribe to the Biology Image Library. Non-subscribers can, however, browse and search the library, view thumbnail images and see annotations associated with each item. Please see how to subscribe for more information about this.

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