Questions tagged [graphics]

Queries related to graphical representations in academic publications, documents, or websites.

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70 votes
4 answers
79k views

I'd like to use a figure from a paper; what's the best way to do this?

So, I've seen a really nice figure in a paper; what's the best way to 'get a copy'? Will it be on the publisher's website? Do I need to draw my own version? Email the author? And, finally, how does ...
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  • 2,142
122 votes
15 answers
119k views

Software to draw illustrative figures in papers

I would like to have suggestions of good software for drawing illustrations in research papers. I already know about Xfig, but this works only on Linux and is at times, clunky when it comes to text. ...
92 votes
7 answers
19k views

Are there good reasons to avoid using color in research papers?

I do scientific research, and I noticed for a lot of plots, the different curves are represented with different styles, but they are all black. For instance, one curve may be a solid line, one may be ...
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  • 4,563
80 votes
9 answers
112k views

Can I use images showing up in Google search for my presentation slides without violating any copyright?

I am teaching a freshman science course for the first time and I am doing also outreach activities in high schools. To be able to attract the young generation to science one has to connect the ...
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31 votes
4 answers
28k views

Are there any guidelines for labeling axes in plots/graphs?

What are best practices (if any exist) for labeling axes in plots/graphs for academic documents, such as theses, publications, or presentations? Possible options are to use the variable, spell out ...
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  • 641
28 votes
4 answers
4k views

What should I do when images in a publication appear to have been faked?

I just came across a paper published in a journal (IF < 2), which has used a couple of images without mentioning the source. This itself is not necessarily a problem. But they seem to be from a ...
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54 votes
6 answers
39k views

Software for extracting data from a graph without having to click on every single point?

There are many times when I am faced with the task of extracting data from a published graph (usually a bitmap image in an paper). For example, a scatter plot from which I would like to get a list of ...
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22 votes
4 answers
6k views

In what situations would it be appropriate to include one's photograph in a CV?

I think I have only seen one CV where a photograph of the CV owner was included. I personally wouldn't want to put my photograph in my CV, but I was wondering, in what situations would including a ...
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  • 3,048
63 votes
5 answers
10k views

Should I include funny pictures in my slides?

I am preparing slides for a short (10min) talk at the group meeting. The talk is about a fairly serious piece of (pure) mathematics, and it so happens that there is a very relevant one-panel webcomic. ...
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24 votes
2 answers
7k views

How much do figures need to differ to avoid copyright claims?

It sometimes arise that I need to use, for an article, a book chapter or any other written work, figures that I have already published (not figures published by others). These are usually schematic ...
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  • 71.2k
15 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to legally re-use images in paper and still continue to use and distribute them in slides?

I have created several figures that are a part of presentation slides. As usual for presentation slides, those were not published in any official proceedings (just the underlying paper, that didn't ...
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  • 18.1k
17 votes
3 answers
9k views

Recreating images from a source

In the field I work in, it is customary to use a graphical representation of some mathematical concepts. For my thesis, I have been creating a batch of figures containing these representations. These ...
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  • 467
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

How to use copyrighted images in an article?

I have developed an educational software in which I make use of some copyrighted images, for example from Disney, and am now writing an article about it. How should I reference or cite that those ...
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  • 8,675
17 votes
2 answers
3k views

How does copyright work on screen captures?

I am writing an article comparing three pieces of software. I have taken screen shots of all of them and would like to use them in a non-open access article. Given the intended journal, there is a ...
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  • 103k
16 votes
4 answers
5k views

Does copying the book's figure for my dissertation fit the copyright?

I'm writing my dissertation and I have drawn a diagram explaining how a algorithm works. Recently, I've found an ebook, legally obtained, illustrating the same algorithm, but with more details and ...
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  • 555
23 votes
2 answers
3k views

Visualization tool for paper citations

Does anyone know if there is a tool that takes a paper (pdf) and is able to produce a directed graph of the citations, and if possible take the papers that are cited and use the citations of those ...
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36 votes
2 answers
4k views

Is copying an image from a previous paper of mine and citing its source considered self-plagiarism or unprofessional?

Last year, I wrote a paper and it got accepted and was presented at a conference. This year, I am writing a more in-depth paper about a similar subject; but since one of the figures in my first paper ...
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  • 486
17 votes
2 answers
3k views

Using images with CC-BY-SA license in slides or a thesis

If I am using images with a copyleft license (e.g. CC-BY-SA), each of them as a separate, properly attributed piece, does it mean that the whole work (be it slides, a thesis or a book) need to be ...
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  • 25.6k
9 votes
3 answers
5k views

What is the legal status of using copyrighted images in academic/conference talks?

I am told that we can use copyrighted images in our lectures to students now as they are for purely educational purposes, as long as we correctly attribute them. That is to say there is no need to ask ...
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  • 3,061
16 votes
3 answers
3k views

Monochrome vs grayscale in scientific journals?

Many scientific journals accept only black & white articles. Does this mean that only monochrome (black and white only) articles or also grayscale (gray is OK) article are OK? The same question ...
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  • 1,995
8 votes
2 answers
364 views

What figure formatting can, should, or will be done by a publisher?

Background When preparing a final version of a figure, it appears that some changes could be more easily made in a graphics software (gimp, inkscape, scribus, adobe) as opposed to R. Such changes ...
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3 votes
3 answers
404 views

Is increasing the DPI of a low resolution image a good idea?

Today after a paper of mine got accepted I received this from the publisher (Elsevier): We have received the above article for publication, unfortunately figures x1, x2 and x3 are of low ...
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  • 131
1 vote
3 answers
520 views

Why are "Graphical abstracts" advantageous?

Although it is optional, many publishers recommend creating a graphical abstract. According to some, this can provide greater exposure of your article: its use is encouraged as it draws more ...
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  • 3,649
1 vote
1 answer
6k views

Using IEEE Citation style, how should I Cite a Figure, that was based on one in a text?

In a lecture I watched, I found a very good diagram that explains a concept I am trying to explain. I couldn't get hold of the original image, so I recreated it in Tikz -- with a few changes to make ...
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25 votes
5 answers
2k views

What are good principles for creating figures?

This thought came into mind when I was reading Points of view: Elements of visual style. While there are a lot of questions on software and strategies to make and edit figures, I am more curious ...
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  • 4,745
29 votes
7 answers
10k views

Clear colormap for figures when printed?

I often produce figures with a surface with quantitative data attached, plotted in a heatmap type style (see figure). Previously, I've used the default matlab colormap for this but I recently noticed ...
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  • 3,552
14 votes
9 answers
3k views

Recommended tools for graphs and charts

I have seen a couple of images in several papers like those attached below. These images are really expressive also nice i.e. look very scientific. I have no idea how to generate such images since I ...
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  • 465
14 votes
4 answers
712 views

Book recommendations for information visualization?

When writing papers, one specific problem is how to effectively organize the data we want to present so as to enable the audience and readers to quickly understand what we want to demonstrate. I've ...
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  • 253
25 votes
5 answers
3k views

Does careful selection of graph colors in a manuscript have any positive impact on reviewers?

I have just completed an article in which results are interpreted by means of 3D-plots; there are almost 15 plots in my article. Since plots could have a major impact on the reviewers’ decision, I am ...
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  • 2,304
47 votes
12 answers
14k views

Referee wants me to add a plot – because the paper has none

Referee comments for my paper have just arrived: while one makes some circumstantial and useful observations, the other asks me to add a plot: The paper still does not contain a single plot. I ...
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  • 685
25 votes
2 answers
2k views

Reproducing figures in blog/SE posts

Sometimes when I am writing a review blog post (or an answer on SE), it is convenient to include a figure from the original paper. Some journals (say PNAS) have policies that explicitly allow non-...
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13 votes
2 answers
1k views

How to learn commenting on graphs and tables the right way?

I have attended many presentation where the presenter will show a graph/table in one of his/her slides, but they struggle to explain the semantics of the graph/table/results. I think there is much ...
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  • 2,996
20 votes
3 answers
68k views

Should a figure/table go before or after the first paragraph that references it?

Should a figure/table go before or after the first paragraph that references it in an academic paper? I cannot find a definitive answer on this. The general advice is to place the figure/table as ...
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  • 401
14 votes
1 answer
2k views

Can images with a "noncommercial use only" licence be used in teaching and academic presentations?

Can I use images with a "noncommercial use only" license (such as CC-BY-NC) in my slides, both for teaching and conference talks?
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6 votes
3 answers
2k views

Surface plots vs. colour maps

There are essentially two ways for plotting three-dimensional data: Colour maps (or heat maps)¹: Surface plots: While surface plots are quite nice to visualise data if you can interactively move ...
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  • 51.3k
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

Scientific paper with 3D scatterplot in supplementary information; I can add a video but how to let readers rotate/zoom interactively?

When publishing in the physical sciences the main paper is usually something 2D, you can read it online or print it. Many journals support supplementary data in the form of pdf files and videos. It is ...
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  • 1,367
7 votes
2 answers
822 views

How to reuse a figure from a patent? Is it free to reuse?

I recently came across a journal article that included and referenced a figure (photograph) from a US patent. I found the patent, and I would like to use the same figure, and I'm wondering who the ...
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6 votes
1 answer
95 views

Suitable avenues (repositories) for self-publishing own figures (illustrations) under CC-BY-NC-ND prior to journal's final acceptance

My colleague and I are planning to submit a manuscript to an academic journal. As per the journal's policy, the publisher retains the copyright for all content. However, the journal is happy to ...
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6 votes
1 answer
5k views

Can I copy an image from another paper (that I am citing)?

I am in the process of writing a paper on the results I have obtained recently. One of the steps where I have innovated is extracted from a paper published some years ago. My idea for the paper was ...
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  • 769
6 votes
3 answers
329 views

How to present data in a paper in terms of style

I have previously been involved in a course, where we (the students) were supposed to use a specific style, when presenting our graphical data. By style I mean the size/color of legends, thickness of ...
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  • 965
5 votes
1 answer
457 views

Reuse published images

I recently wrote an invited book chapter containing figures from different of my own papers that were previously published at ACM conferences. Can I reuse them (with citations to the original papers) ...
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  • 1,729
4 votes
1 answer
4k views

Caption for a figure reproduced from a CC-licensed document

In a research paper for a journal, which uses Science magazine publication style, I'm reproducing a diagram from a document, which has a Creative Commons (CC)-based open document license. The diagram (...
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4 votes
2 answers
356 views

Can I use data and images found online in my project report, under the fair use clause in copyright law?

I am a mechanical engineering graduate student, and am working on my final project. I am doing a finite element analysis of a particular phenomenon. I was hoping to find test data of that particular ...
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  • 41
3 votes
2 answers
465 views

Why do some publication venues prefer TIFF over some vector formats?

Why do some publication venues prefer TIFF over some vector formats? Example: Most figure file formats are acceptable, although TIFF is preferable.
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3 votes
1 answer
207 views

Creating a schematic figure based on an existing one

In the context material chapter of my masters dissertation, between other things, I must write about the state of the art on the thematic presented. There are some very expressive and simple schemes ...
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  • 131
10 votes
4 answers
5k views

Using a software screenshot in a paper

When writing a paper which, as an aside, talks about the design of a user interface on a particular piece of software, can one insert a (correctly labeled and referenced) screenshot of the software to ...
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  • 361
10 votes
2 answers
4k views

How to cite a rebuilt graphic

I'm going to have my first presentation in some weeks. Therefore I read some papers and now I'm building the presentation with LaTeX. In the papers, I found some very useful graphics. But for quality ...
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  • 203
8 votes
2 answers
3k views

Can I cite in a caption?

I am using an image from a users’ manual of a piece of software, and I was wondering if I can put a citation in the caption of the image. For example: Figure 1.3 Illustration of WonderSoft’s ...
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  • 311
7 votes
2 answers
475 views

Do I need to search citation sources for a rather generic graphic that I have drawn myself?

I'm about to write up my PhD thesis at the moment and for the theoretical part I have drawn some graphics that are of rather generic type -- crystal structures, crystal lattices and the like, similar ...
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6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Do I need to cite an artwork? How would I do it? Is permission needed?

In my academic paper, I have well over 100 figures, and would like to use an artwork I found online in one of my figures - it is not published in any book, it is just something they made and posted ...
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  • 181