Medical Illustration FAQ for Authors

For certain article types, you may be asked to work with the AGA Medical Illustration Team on your figures. This FAQ document can assist you in getting started. If you have additional questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us ([email protected]). Thank you!


What is the best way for me to submit my initial figure ideas to you?
What is the best way for me to send you my edits/revisions?
Why is it necessary for my illustrations and figures to be redrawn?
We would like to have you redraw our figures from other sources; will we need to get permission to use the original figures?
I have my own medical illustrator that I would like to use to complete my illustrations. Is this acceptable?
Can I submit my figures in color?
Is there a cost for your services?
Should I wait until my final redrawn illustrations are complete before submitting my article?
Will I get to see a proof before my figures are published? Will I have a chance to modify our figures after the initial proof stage?
How many figure revisions can I make?
How long will it take for you to complete the illustrations for my manuscript?
Will you redraw my tables and graphs in addition to my illustrations?
Will you redraw my graphical abstract?
Am I responsible for submitting the final artwork to the publisher? How large will the file[s] be?
Once you have sent me the completed illustration file, can I use it for other things (presentations, publications, etc.)?
Which software packages do you use to create the illustrations?
What kind of science and art training do you have?
What can I do if my question wasn't answered here?

What is the best way for me to submit my initial figure ideas to you?

You can send a scanned or photographed rough sketch, PowerPoint slide[s], an illustration from another source that you would like me to modify, an Illustrator or other graphic file, or any combination of these. It is also very helpful to have the figure legend(s) and, if possible, at least a rough draft or outline of your manuscript.

Please submit the materials for your figures electronically to our team:

Sunni Losito, Junior Medical Illustrator/Animator
Sarah L. Williamson, Senior Art Director, Medical Journals
[email protected]

What is the best way for me to send you my edits/revisions?

You are welcome to send us your corrections digitally via email. Many authors find it convenient to draw their edits directly on the figure proof, and then send it back. However, some prefer to call and explain their changes, or describe them in writing. Any of these methods is fine; whatever works best for you.

Why is it necessary for my illustrations and figures to be redrawn?

The AGA strives to maintain a consistent style and look for Gastroenterology, Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology (CGH), and Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology (CMGH), throughout each issue and among all issues. To that end, all illustrations are assessed for quality and style, and redrawn as needed according to the style of the journals.

We would like to have you redraw our figures from other sources; will we need to get permission to use the original figures?

Yes, you must obtain permission, even if you are submitting figures (whole or in part) to be redrawn and/or modified. We will include a line in the figure legend stating that the figures have been modified.

I have my own medical illustrator that I would like to use to complete my illustrations. Is this acceptable?

Our journals adhere to a specific figure style. For this reason, we discourage authors from using outside illustrators. However, you may be able to use your own figures as-is, provided they are high quality and adhere to our style. You should contact us in advance to discuss this and provide the figures so we can evaluate them.

Can I submit my figures in color?

If you are publishing a review article in Gastroenterology, you are strongly encouraged to publish 4–6 color figures. For articles to be published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology (CGH), you may include up to 2 color figures, with any additional figures printed in black and white and shown in color online. For review articles published in Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology (CMGH), all figures should be in color. We can work with you to add color to your illustrations, if your original sketches are in black and white.

Is there a charge for your services?

No, we do not charge for our illustration services.

Should I wait until my final redrawn illustrations are complete before submitting my article?

In many cases, due to workload and timing, review illustrations and figures may still be in progress during the peer review stage. Therefore, we encourage you to go ahead and submit your article with your original rough draft illustrations, as long as they are legible and convey the necessary information. Once the final redrawn illustrations are ready, you may add them to your manuscript. br/>

Will I get to see a proof before my figures are published? Will I have a chance to modify our figures after the initial proof stage?

Yes, we will work with you to ensure that you are happy with your final illustrations. We will email you a jpeg version of each figure to review. After each round of revision, you will see the modified figures, and you will have a chance to send us your comments and edits.

How many figure revisions can I make?

As our illustration resources are limited, you are strongly urged to coordinate with any co-authors and consolidate all your figure revisions as much as possible to make good use of our time together. Though we will do our best to accommodate as many revisions as possible, we reserve the right to decline any figure modifications after three rounds of edits.

How long will it take for you to complete the illustrations for my manuscript?

Priority is given to articles that are scheduled for earlier publication. Turnaround time for preliminary drafts ranges from a few days to several months depending upon workload, complexity of the manuscript, and other factors. Of course, we always appreciate as much lead time as possible to complete your illustration[s].

Will you redraw my tables and graphs in addition to my illustrations?

Incoming line art is reviewed by the redraw team and may be redrawn and/or reformatted for style consistency. In addition, you may be asked to make style modifications to your figures. The journals' publisher, Elsevier, will also reformat any tables you submit. For additional information on this topic, please see our Line Art FAQ and watch this short animated video.

Will you redraw my graphical abstract?

We currently do not offer our medical illustration services for graphical abstracts. However, we highly suggest using our PowerPoint template to assist in the creation of your graphical abstract. You can download the template and view additional resources by visiting the Graphical Abstract webpage, found under the journal's 'For Author' tab. Illustrations provided for use in the graphical abstract PowerPoint template are the property of AGA and are only for use within the graphical abstract.

Am I responsible for submitting the final artwork to the publisher? How large will the file[s] be?

We send the final artwork to the publisher for you when it is complete. You will also receive a digital copy of the illustration(s) for your files. The final file format is jpeg, so although the images are high resolution and excellent print quality, they generally will not be more than 5 MB in size.

Once you have sent me the completed illustration file, can I use it for other things (presentations, publications, etc.)?

For Gastroenterology and CGH, you must receive permission to reuse the illustrations, as the journals' parent society (AGA) owns the copyright to the content. To request permission please contact our publisher's permissions office at [email protected] or go to www.elsevier.com/permissions. For CMGH figures, the authors own the content and it is published under a CC BY-NC-ND license, which means the content can be used by the authors and general public without requesting permission.

Which software packages do you use to create the illustrations?

Our illustrations are created using digital media. We work in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. We use Illustrator to create the basic shapes, lines, and labels in the illustrations, usually followed by Photoshop to add the highlights, shadows, and fine details when we finalize the figures. The final images are exported as jpeg files for publication.

What kind of science and art training do you have?

Before completing a Master of Arts in medical illustration from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Sarah Williamson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology/anthropology from Western Washington University, and studied fine art (Seattle Academy of Fine Art, now called the Gage Academy) and scientific illustration (University of Washington).

After completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in scientific illustration from the University of Georgia, Sunni Losito earned her Master of Science degree in medical illustration at Augusta University.

Graduate-level medical illustrator training includes courses in anatomy, histology, pathology, surgery, cellular and molecular biology, and as well as traditional and digital illustration techniques.

For more information on the field of medical illustration and specific training programs:
http://www.ami.org/
https://medicalart.johnshopkins.edu
https://www.augusta.edu/alliedhealth/medicalillustration/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_illustrator

What can I do if my question wasn't answered here?

Please feel free to reach out to us, and we will be happy to answer any additional questions:

Sunni Losito, Junior Medical Illustrator/Animator
[email protected]

Sarah Williamson, Senior Art Director, Medical Journals
[email protected]

Shared mailbox:
[email protected]

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