Biology Image Library – scientific stock photography?

22 Oct

(via The Biotech Weblog) BioMed Central has launched the Biology Image Library – online collection of scientifically interesting and meaningful images across biology and biomedicine.

Most of the images at BIL are available free of charge for non-commercial purposes (like teaching), but buying commercial-use rights is also possible. I don’t really agree that the library is aimed at students (teachers, lecturers – maybe), since personal subscriptions are $293 per annum and I could imagine that institute subscriptions are not cheaper. UPDATE: See comments below. To me a corporate client is a main target of this initiative, but I may agree that relatively high subscription rates may be dictated by the nature of the images – most of them come from experiments (almost no computer generated illustrations).

Microstock photography sites hold quite a lot of science-related images, however their scientific value is very often zero (as an example, search for DNA). It is overall nice idea to have a scientific equivalent of a microstock, but I would rather leave the subscriptions out and release low quality (for web/computer screen use) material under non-commercial Creative Commons license.

clipped from

What is the Biology Image Library?

The library is a collection of images, illustrations, movies and animations that are useful for research and education. It is also a new, easy way to share your work with others without losing any rights to it or limiting how you use it in the future.

Who publishes the library?

The library is published by BioMed Central, an independent publishing house that offers a wide variety of journals and other online services. BioMed Central is committed to providing immediate open access to peer-reviewed biomedical research. We also publish a number of “value-added” subscription databases and information services, of which the Biology Image Library is an example. Please see for more information about our activities.

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Posted by on October 22, 2007 in Clipped, open-science, Services


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4 responses to “Biology Image Library – scientific stock photography?

  1. Matthew Cockerill

    October 30, 2007 at 14:01

    Re: the comment: “I don’t really agree that the library is aimed at students (teachers, lecturers – maybe), since personal subscriptions are $293 per annum”

    As with most online journal and databases, the primary model for student access is insitutional subscription. For a few thousand dollars an institution can provide access to Biology Image Library for all of its faculty and many thousands of students.

    See for institutional pricing information.

  2. freesci

    October 30, 2007 at 21:56

    I couldn’t find institutional pricing previously – it looks fair enough, although still I would love to see it freely available 🙂 .

    I admit I didn’t think about, let’s say, university providing access to BIL for all its faculty and students.

  3. Shutterstock

    May 14, 2010 at 16:02

    thank u. subscribed to your RSS.

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