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October 13, 1989

Illustrating Science: Standards for Publication

JAMA. 1989;262(14):2022-2023. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430140140045

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Many busy professionals will glimpse only the charts, graphs, and photographs in this issue of The Journal.

How much significant information will they retain? Has the presentation of the epidemiologic data, the chest film, the stain been executed in a way that leaves no doubt the authors (and the editors) have communicated their message? That Chinese sage might rather have proclaimed—when referring to today's art of scientific and biomedical illustration—that "One picture is worth more than a thousand lives."

A panel of distinguished committee members of the Council of Biology Editors, aided by numerous expert consultants and reviewers, as well as the CBE membership, have collaborated to enumerate specific standards and guidelines for presenting clear, concise information through the important yet perhaps unappreciated medium of scientific illustration. Illustrating Science is a welcome, long-overdue, A-to-Z compilation that defines criteria for judging whether an illustration is not only of high quality but