Managing Author-Supplied Digital Art Eric J. Pesanelli Editorial Art Manager
APS Art Department deals with 30,000± digitalfigure files per year spread over 14 peer-review journals At any given time, 25-50% may fail
Main Challenges Figure Quality Figure ManipulationHow to Get the Word Out
Figure Quality- Figure Quality has always been the most difficult issue to resolve with our journal production - Art department staff must pull articles from production and contact authors for new files - This can take hours to weeks depending on authors availability and/or ability
Getting What You Need- What File Type Works for You?- What We Used To Ask For And Why- Problems Encountered- What We Learned- Solution
TIFF (Tagged Image File Format)- Raster-based image composed of pixels- Commonly used for photographic images. Raster graphics are resolution-dependent (DISADVANTAGE) Since resolution has an effect on the total number ofpixels that are available within an image, the dimensions ofthese images cannot be increased without degrading thequality of the image.Popular examples of raster programs: Adobe Photoshop, CorelPhoto PaintAlso: JPEG, GIF, BMP
EPS (Encapsulated PostScript)-Vector graphics define each and every element in the image throughmathematical code (postscript). -They are composed of geometric and color information.-Vector Graphics are resolution-independent (ADVANTAGE). -This means that the image quality will remain consistent no matter how large or small the figure is sized - This also makes EPS (vector-based) files the better choice for our workflow Produced by applications such as: Adobe Illustrator Macromedia Freehand, Corel Draw, PowerPoint, Deneba Canvas
Problems We Encountered with Author-Supplied TIFF and EPSProblems with EPS - Almost non-existent - Most authors don’ know what they are t - Non-vector (raster) images saved as EPSProblems with TIFF - Typically (mainly) created at the wrong resolution - Created with programs that write poor TIFF files
What is Failing and Why?In a Nutshell… .RASTER images i.e. TIFF (most common) - Created and submitted at the wrong resolution - Created at the wrong resolution, then resolution increased - Pieces pulled from several different programs - Not a bad format, just poorly executed
What We Learned- Authors often create figures in vector-based applications- When given more information or more options they suppliedbetter files- Some Figures give away their origin in just their appearance
Our SolutionAdded Adobe Acrobat PDF as a Preferred file formatWe will still take TIFF, EPS, PPT and others.The “nature”of PDF files increases the probability that submitted files willbe publication-ready at submission.
Why PDF?- Universal file format that preserves all the fonts, formatting,graphics, and color of any source document- Eliminates software and hardware incompatibility issues betweenAuthors and APS- Maintains design integrity to ensure what is sentis what is received- Better results in both print and online publicationwhen created properly- Smaller files that are easier to pass betweenauthor and publisher
Benefits- One file can satisfy both Submission and Production- Better, consistent results- Increase in vector-based files submitted- Fast way to check figure quality
Other Challenges Answered Along the Way- When to ask for Publication-Quality Files?- Digital Proof?- RGB or CMYK?
When to Ask for Publication-Quality FiguresIn the Past APS waited until Acceptance - Author non-compliance - Papers held up in Peer ReviewNow at time of submission - Early Concerns - Files sizes - Upload times - Results - Less articles held in Peer Review - Files available for production immediately
- Moved to Electronic Proof (PDF)- this was a first step toward resolving quality and colorissues - not that we immediately realized it-PDF Proof was a gateway for improved workflows and file-type options
RGB to CMYK conversion complaints- Reproducing author’ color images has been a long- sterm issue - even before digital files - multiple proof per image - time and expense
RGB to CMYK Conversion Solutions- Moved to an RGB workflow - Offered by our print provider - Images seen “ created”throughout the as publication process - no more complaints regarding color at proof stage (or print) - Seamless workflow change - actually saved us a step - Published an Editorial regarding change in all journals
Figure ManipulationThe ability to adjust or modify digital images using applications, suchas Photoshop, has been available for many years, but in the past,paper workflows made it difficult to discover unethical figuremanipulation.Now, digital workflows make the files accessible to more investigators,who armed with the same tools, can reveal manipulations once hiddenin paper figures.
How Do We Prevent it?- Define a Policy- Education
Define a PolicySince this issue has come to the foreground over the last few years,most STM publishers have adopted similar policies regarding ethicalmanipulation of figures. Once established, this information had to bepassed on to the authors.Many are doing this in the form of Editorials and additions to the“Information for Authors”sections of their websites.
What is unacceptable figure manipulation? Many scientific publishers are adopting similar guidelines to define what constitutes “unacceptable figure manipulation” The . guidelines seem to breakdown into three categories:1. Improper Editing2. Improper Grouping3. Improper Adjustment
Improper EditingAuthors should not:• Move• Remove• Introduce• Obscure• Enhance any specific feature within a image. Images should appear as captured in the lab.
Improper GroupingIf parts of different gels, fields, or exposures are grouped orrearranged, then dividing lines must be used to indicate thesechanges, and disclosure of the arrangement must be added inthe figure legend. Even if the arrangement is from the samecapture, the rearrangement or deletion of lanes, fields, etc, isdiscouraged, but if there is any such deletion or rearrangement,it must be disclosed in the legend
Improper AdjustmentAuthors should not adjust:• Contrast• Color balance• Brightnessunless applied to the entire figure and the adjustment doesnot obscure, eliminate or misrepresent the originally-capturedinformation. Adjustments should be disclosed in the figure legend.
If Manipulation is suspectedAny question of improper manipulation raised during the review orediting process is brought to the Editor and Publications CommitteeChair for review.If called into question, authors should be prepared to provide thefollowing information:Make and model of microscopeType, magnification and numerical aperture of objective lensesFluorochromesImaging mediumTemperatureCamera make and modelAcquisition softwareSubsequent software used for image processing, as well as details regardingthe operations performed
Educating Authors and Future AuthorsSTM Authors should understand what is acceptable and unacceptablewhen it comes the handling of images for scientific publication andpassing that information on to those in their labs and classrooms.In principle, the ethics of presenting true data should be a part ofscientific training.
How Do I Find It?Forensically, you can only "de-authenticate" anImage (show that it has discrepancies)Authentication of a scientific image requiresaccess to the original data.The identification of a discrepancy is only theallegation, and it does not by itself demonstratean intentional falsification of data.The interpretation as to whether any imagemanipulation is serious requires familiarity withthe experiment and imaging instruments.
How Do I Find It?For now:The Office of Research Integrity offers free tools that can beused to scrutinize questionable raster images in Photoshop.http://ori.dhhs.gov/tools/data_imaging.shtmlThese are Photoshop actions can and may reveal impropermanipulations.ORI provides some sample images that you can use to test thetools.
Figure InstructionsToo Little or Too Much?- It can be quite a balancing act - Too Little and you get what you asked for (too little) - Too Much and authors will get overwhelmed - They will “ shut down”and do it their own wayLiving Document - Every breakthrough in your process needs to be reflected in your instructions - Let authors know that this information will evolve