What is Visual Editing (beta)?

Science Craft is currently testing a “visual editing” service for figures (plots of quantitative data) and scientific illustrations (diagrams and drawings). Scientists with access to our beta service can submit raw data and draft illustrations for the production of publication-quality images.

The visual editing service is currently in beta testing, we invite our students and collaborators to submit material via our file submission form (see below for registration and submission process).


What services are included in visual editing?

For figures, we provide the following services:

  • Suggesting the most appropriate plot type depending on the data and main results.
  • Summarizing group values in large data sets.
  • Merging several (dozens to hundreds) of files for compiled plots.
  • Retouching plots in Adobe Illustrator.
  • Assembling plots and images into compiled figures.
  • Removing outliers and contaminants as identified by the client upon submission.

  • Choosing and performing statistical tests.
  • Identifying outliers and contaminants.
  • Analysing and interpreting raw data output, e.g. next-generation sequencing, FACS, Mass Spectrometry, etc.
  • Generating data bases.

For illustrations, we provide the following services:

  • Suggesting the most appropriate illustration style, layout and colour scheme for your diagrams and drawings.
  • one-on-one discussions to develop a communications strategy for you specific purposes.
  • Finished illustrations in a easy to use format (.esp, pdf).
  • Illustrations as a whole composition or as individual components, e.g. to be used throughout presentations.


Who owns the images?

Images can be circulated to other members in a laboratory, used in multiple publications, presentations and posters and modified in any way. Science Craft takes no responsibility for modified figures. R code, Adobe Illustrator and other specific file types are available on request. On occasion we may request permission to use figures for teaching purposes. Your data and images will never be shared without your explicit consent!


What can you submit for Visual Editing (beta)?

You must submit all the raw data and a description sheet. The cleaner your data is and the clearer your description is, the smoother the visual editing process will be.

Raw data

Simple tab-delimited or comma-separated text files are the preferred choice. Please specify any peculiarities of the data set. For example,

  • What is the numerical decimal separator (“.” or “,”)?
  • Is there a header row?
  • Are missing values explicitly and consistently labelled?
  • Did you manually compile the data or is it machine-generated?
  • Is the data in a proprietary format?
  • Is the data the result of an analysis from raw material done with another program (e.g. entire spectra series analysed with MaxQuant)?

If you submit Excel files, do not encode information using cell or text colour (either manually or with conditional formatting). Create a new column and annotate your observations using appropriate and consistent labels.

If you have a key for observation code names, ensure that the column names are consistent across tables.

Do not include meta-data in your data tables if you can help it. If you are automatically-generated files, additional information for the file’s data structure may be necessary.

If multiple files are to be compiled for a single analysis, ensure that they conform to a common naming convention.

Description Sheet

There are two items of primary importance. First, for each figure you require, describe what data-set should be used and how you envision the figure. You can include preparatory visualisations or sketches. Also, be sure to highlight intersections across data-sets. For example, is a sub-set of the data in one figure taken for further investigation in later experiments? Are observations in different data-sets from the same individual?

Second, For each figure you require, describe what the “take-home message” is. What is the point of each figure. Why are you including this in your manuscript/presentation/poster. What should the audience take away form this figure? If you have a specific purpose in mind, then specify also who the audience will be.

Include a legend describing all relevant columns in your data table.

If replicates are reported, explicitly state if they are technical replicates or biological replicates.


Please include some example of the kind of illustration you are interested in. For example, images from published manuscripts or sketches/slides that you have made. On the file submission form, use the data link to upload this content.

Description Sheet

Also include a short description of what you want to highlight with the diagram/illustration and what purpose you will use it for.


How can you submit work for Visual Editing (beta)?

Once you have prepared your raw data (or example for diagrams/illustrations) and description sheet, you must create a user account (at right) to access the file submission form and our internal messaging system.

On the file submission form you will be asked for information regarding your needs and given links to upload your data.

Following review of your submission, a quote will be generated and made available on a download folder (The link will be given to you via our internal messaging system). We may contact you via our internal messaging system or by phone to discuss the details of your project.

Once the quote has been approved we will proceed with the visual editing. The editing process includes at least one round of revisions. Therefore, once the visuals are completed you will be invited to give the editors your opinion and ask for adjustments.



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