Publishing electronic images

Mon Dec 3 09:20:00 EST 1990

My lab uses a high resolution CCD camera to capture grey scale
images for analysis. Mostly, we do desitometric scans of
gel-based electrophoretic assays, but we also measure densities
and positions off of ethidium bromide-stained gels, Southerns, etc.

We can also capture the images and edit them with appropriate
software. Lanes can be cut out, rearranged and marked, and the
output can be sent to a service bureau for near-photographic

My problem is that such output appears to be unacceptable to
most journals. When we recently submitted images treated in the
above manner to a journal we were told that only photographs
are appropriate. I am told that digitized images when subjected
to the processes that printers ordinarily use to put grey scale
pictures into journals produce moire patterns.

I have several questions. First of all, is it true that most (all?)
journals adhere to this policy? Second, if so, are there any efforts
being mounted to change it? In particular, in light of the increased
talk of electronic publications and the fact that many journals take
text electronically, isn't there a need for scientists and publishers
to get together to work out ways to solve problems like this one? 
Finally, are there other people out there who have encountered similar
problems and have solved them (without having to go back to 
photography, darkrooms, scissors and paste)?

Bill Sofer
Waksman Institute
Rutgers University
Sofer at

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