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Guidelines For Authors: Photographs and Illustrations

We invite life science educators with photographs and illustrations that can be used to teach life science concepts to submit them for inclusion in LifeDiscoveryEd Digital Library.

Image subjects sought include:

  • Noteworthy organisms, communities, and ecosystems.
  • Ecological/Botanical/Economic Botany/Evolutionary interactions.
  • Human impacts on plant communities, including management and restoration.
  • Research methods and techniques (field or lab).

Collections of Photographs

If you have numerous photographs you would like to submit, we ask that you select a few and write those up for submission. Author expertise is a more limiting factor for submissions than the availability of photographs. We would really appreciate any time you can put into writing up a few photographs and submitting them to us, especially if the photographs represent a part of a discipline you're particularly familiar with. If you would like assistance with writing descriptions for a series of photographs to create an image collection or narrative within Life DiscoveryEdDL, please contact us.

Writing up Photographs

We would also welcome any life scientists willing to write up photograph descriptions to help us build up our catalog of images that can be used in life science classes. Your time and knowledge make you our most valuable resource! Please contact us and let us know if you're considering writing up certain image subjects, since we can direct you toward some public domain image sources and let you know what the library already has in development for that subject area.


We are currently accepting files in JPG format with a maximum width of 800 pixels.

Review Criteria

Photographs and illustrations do not undergo peer review, but are are subject to the approval of Life DiscoveryEd editors based on scientific accuracy, instructional value, and visual quality. The review criteria for Photographs and Illustrations are intended for submitter reference only. The information provided with each submission is important for educators searching for resources and deciding how to use them effectively in their courses. Therefore, both the image and its corresponding descriptions are required for a submission to be complete.

Only submissions that meet all of the following criteria will be included in LifeDiscoveryEd Digital Library:

  • Quality, clarity, and appeal.
    Does the submission meet the visual standards of the collection? Is the subject easily detected in the submission? Can this image and its underlying concept be described in terms familiar to a layperson?
  • Scientific accuracy.
    Is the science presented in the figure or table accurate?
  • Instructional value.
    Does the submission help foster understanding of concepts/techniques related to ecology, plant biology, evolution, or economic botany? Is this submission and its underlying concept described in terms familiar to a faculty member?
  • Adherence to the field relevant to a partner society.
    Does this image fit within the discipline of ecology, plant biology, evolution, or economic botany?
  • Description of classroom use. Note: this is optional information for photographs/illustrations.
    Has the author included guidance for applying the image to education related to ecology, plant biology, evolution, or economic botany? What should students know and be able to do after seeing and discussing the image?

Submitters may use this rubric as a reference to guide the process of selecting images and writing accompanying descriptions.