By the NICHD Bioviz Team
Today, visual communications are an important facet of scientific research. Graphs, diagrams, posters, videos, and animations help communicate scientific findings and their significance. Clear, concise, and professional images can make a huge difference when presenting your research, submitting an article, or trying to land a new position.
Becoming competent with graphic editing programs will allow you to make and modify your own research graphics. Services exist to create visual communications for scientists, but starting with rough concept images often improves the final products.
The intention of this new column is to help you create excellent scientific graphics. NICHD’s Biovisualization group will deconstruct the graphics we’ve produced in the past as a means to share tips and tricks for creating compelling and informative images. We’ll share resources for elevating your design quality, as well as facilitate your access to computers and software.
In addition to this column, we will conduct workshops to introduce you to graphics editing tools like Photoshop and Illustrator, as well as more specialized software like Imaris and Matlab. These workshops will be an opportunity for you to come with any questions you may have about the creation of scientific graphics and to receive hands-on support and advice.
This month, we want to highlight a valuable resource for learning about visual presentation: the “Points of View” column in Nature Methods, where expert contributors share short articles on varying topics, including composition, layout, color, figure elements, figure clarity, multidimensional data, and data exploration. A complete compilation of “Points of View” articles to date can be found at http://blogs.nature.com/methagora/2013/07/data-visualization-points-of-view.html.