Field of Science

Permission granted to go crazy

The worst part of writing a well-illustrated book is seeking and obtaining permissions to use various figures and images. It's a nightmare of details and paperwork. Scientific colleagues are the most cooperative, although there will be some drinks to buy. For profit scientific journals are the worst. To use one little figure from a paper published in a well known journal would cost me $93.75, which is $93.75 more than my entire illustration budget. There is such a thing as "fair usage" which is a wonderful morass for the ethically challenged. Looking at whole arrays of images accessible on line is such an amazing convenience, although you do get surprised sometime as the Phactor pointed out some time back. Then it was holly; today it was moss. But then you find the perfect image, and can't find the owner to ask their permission. The Wikimedia Creative Commons is proving a life-saver; good thing they aren't asking for drinks. Or you try to track down who owns the rights to something published 50 or more years ago, following the lineage of acquisitions, only to run into a dead end. So the day was spent redoing several figures to use alternative images from authors who provided them for my use. Oh, thank you! Progress is being made, but still many to go, lots of emails sent, awaiting many replies, and most of the remaining problems are more difficult. Need to get this done, but need some time off too. Getting to the point where fewer illustrations is looking better except then everything down stream would have to be renumbered. Ahhhhh! Time for a cocktail hour.

No comments: