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I'm working on an illustration related to citizen science and would like to include the concept of social media in that graphic.

The most well known social media brands (as of now) are arguably Facebook and Twitter. According to their guidelines (Facebook, Twitter) it is perfectly fine to use their brand identity in form of a non-altered logo. I do not want to refer to anything specific on these platforms, merely use their logo to symbolize "social media".

However I'm not really sure if this is appropriate for an academic publication for a number of reasons: a) it may be considered a promotion or endowment of mentioned brands. b) it may be considered unprofessional. c) it may loose relevance with time.

  • Not really sure about the tags. If anyone has a better idea, please correct! – Stockfisch Jul 7 '16 at 20:18
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I guess the answer subjective but as far as I'm concerned it's totally fine to use logos. I've done it myself*. In the caption you can make it clear they are just examples. Of course there are some exceptions.


Regarding your concerns:

it may be considered a promotion or endowment of mentioned brands.

It's fine you take well-known brands.

it may be considered unprofessional.

No (at least not in my research community)

it may loose relevance with time

That's life. The entire paper is likely to lose relevance as well.


*Example:

enter image description here

  • 1
    I agree with Frank. I think most of my publications and slides have at least one, if not more, logos in them. – Ric Jul 8 '16 at 0:07

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