3 Tips for writing an effective figure caption

Research with figureIn a recent post on constructing effective tables and figures, I noted the need for figures to include captions that “succinctly describe the accompanying content.” In this post, we will discuss the purpose of captions and how to write one that is effective.

It is important to remember that figures should be clearly understood, even in isolation from the rest of the manuscript. The caption provides an opportunity for the author to provide context and connection to the rest of the article, as it relates to the visual element. [Read more…]

Consequences of not following third party photo usage restrictions

Stephen Gillen

Stephen Gillen

Q: What happens if, notwithstanding your best intentions, a 3rd party photo usage restriction escapes your notice and your lapse is detected by the photographer or stock agency?

A: Steve Gillen, lawyer and partner in the intellectual property firm of Wood Herron & Evans:

“Well, about the best you could expect is that you will be deemed in breach of your contractual commitment and held to account for what you should have paid for the uses you actually made. More likely, however, is a claim that you have made an unauthorized and infringing use of a copyrighted work outside the scope of any license you might have had. In this event, the copyright owner has some very potent strategic advantages and remedies at his/her disposal: [Read more…]

Images are an integral part of your book, but how do you find an artist for creating them?

Q: “How do you find an artist for images in a text or trade book? Who pays? At what point is the art done? If the images are an integral part of the book, how does all of this work?”

A: Paul Siegel, Ph. D., Professor of Communication, University of Hartford, TAA President:

“I am not sure if my own experience is relevant to your situation, but here goes… The kind of ‘art’ I tend to use a lot of in my textbook is cartoons. I got tired of paying for permission to reprint cartoons (political cartoons, or funny pages cartoons), knowing I would have to track down the cartoonist or the syndicate for each edition.

So I instead hired a cartooning student at my university’s Art School. Functioning as a kind of theatre director, I worked with her to create the kinds of images and narratives I sought to emphasize or satirize key points in my textbook. [The subject is communication law, so the opportunities for humor are many].” [Read more…]