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Dermatology Online Journal

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The Photoessay. A new form of scientific communication.

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(2) The Photoessay, a new form of scientific communication


Arthur Huntley M.D.

Dermatology Online Journal, December 1995
Volume 1, Number 2

Part of the mission of Dermatology Online Journal is to experiment with the paradigm of WWW publishing. The current issue introduces the photoessay as a new form of scientific communication. This type of information sharing is made possible by using WWW rather than paper print media. The photoessay on diabetes contains 104 color images (each in 3 resolutions according to the needs of the viewer). The current cost of "publishing" these images, the cost of space on the hard disc, is about one-and-a-half cents apiece. The cost of using the same images in a print publication would run into thousands of dollars.

The structure of the photoessay here resembles a lecture, with images and text flowing in (hopefully) a logical progression reviewing the topic. Image enrichment might be used to advantage in many other types of traditional articles. In any case, the author is no longer bound by the budget constraints traditionally associated with illustration.

The Journal is slated to demonstrate other alternatives in information presentation in the coming issues. And, depending on the feedback from this issue, additional photoessays may be in the offing. In any case, the reader can look forward to additional image enrichment in future Journal articles. If images serve to clarify ideas, then the Web currently seems to be the best bet for the future of sharing scientific information.

All contents copyright © 1995.
Dermatology Online Journal
University of California Davis