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  How to contribute

We welcome contributions from anyone creating interesting scientific imagery. We are interested in receiving material that is:

  • scientifically interesting and meaningful
  • of high visual quality
  • well annotated with descriptive information
  • useful for research, educational and/or commercial purposes

Why should you contribute your work?

The library offers a good way for you to make your important work available to the academic community. By bringing together material from a wide range of sources we are creating a useful resource for researchers and teachers and we hope you will want to contribute to this. There are modest subscription charges to access the library and we will be sharing 10% of the subscription income with our image providers as a royalty. You can also choose to let us sell commercial use rights to your work, for which you will receive 50% of any income.

Can you contribute previously published material?

The Biology Image Library is happy to receive previously published material providing you still retain the right to contribute that work to the library. If you have included an image in a journal research article, you may have given the copyright to the journal publisher. In this case, you could secure permission from the publisher to include the image, or contribute a similar image to the library. If you are unsure if you have the right to contribute any particular material, please contact us before submitting it.

Where you no longer retain the copyright for published images, it is unlikely that you will be granted permission to submit the image to us for commercial use. We recommend you avoid submitting published work for commercial use.

Publishing rights we require from you

We ask simply for non-exclusive rights to publish your work in the library and to allow others to download and use the material for either their own, non-commercial purposes or for commercial purposes. When you submit material, we will ask you to sign our license agreement. This does not limit your future use of your work in any way. If anyone wants to use your non-commercial images for commercial purposes, we will direct them to you to obtain permission. You can, however, choose to let us sell commercial use rights on your behalf. Currently we deal with commercial requests on a case-by-case basis and will contact you as and when there is interest in your image(s).

What are the requirements for images submitted to the image library?

Minimum file requirements depend on whether you are submitting files for non-commercial use or for commercial use. Please see the relevant pages:

  1. contributing images for non-commercial use
  2. contributing images for commercial use

How do we review your contribution?

We have a large board of academic editors who help us to evaluate contributions before we accept them into the library. They evaluate the quality of each image, the accuracy and completeness of the descriptive information, and whether the image is of sufficient scientific and/or educational value to be included in the library. We will inform you if we are unable to accept your material, and we might request amendments or corrections from you.

For commercial images there is more focus on the image itself meeting the minimum file and quality requirements. Initial in-house image checks include checking for dust, scratches and other artefacts, checking for banding/patchy areas of color and pixilation.

How to send us your files

We are currently developing an online image submission system. For now, we prefer to receive your images and annotations by:

  • CD/DVD
  • FTP (please contact us if you'd like to send files by FTP)
  • File transfer service (e.g. www.yousendit.com)

The easiest way for us to receive your annotations is in a text or spreadsheet file, and we have a template Excel spreadsheet that we recommend you to use. We can readily accept other Microsoft Office and Access files, as well as tab- or comma-delimited text files. Please contact us if you want to send us annotations in another way.

Send your CD or DVD of files to:

Biology Image Library
BioMed Central Ltd
Floor 6 236 Gray's Inn Road
London WC1X 8HL
United Kingdom
or email us at info@biologyimagelibrary.com for further information, including access to our FTP site.
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