Scientific Figure Design

Online Course

Oct 28, 2019 – Nov 17, 2019

Scientific Figure Design

Scientific illustrations are at the heart of the presentation of research results. However, it can be challenging to create figures that are correct, appealing and meaningful. The second online course of the PLANT 2030 ACADEMY was dedicated to this topic.

The course was structured in three weeks. The 38 participants could watch the videos and do the tasks in a self-paced manner within the weeks. The time required was approximately 2 to 3 hours per week.

The theory part (week 1) contained the basics of design, image integrity and visually encoding data:

  • Ten simple rules for better figures
  • Good scientific practice, image integrity and copyright
  • Reasonable use of colours
  • Turning data into figures

The practical part (week 2) focused on using a vector graphic program to edit scientific figures:

  • Introduction to Inkscape
  • How to create vector graphics for scientific purposes
  • How to edit graphs
  • How to annotate images
  • How to assemble complex figures   

In week 3, all participants had the opportunity to create illustrations themselves and receive constructive feedback.




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