Schnitz: Publisher’s Comment
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Publisher's Comment

Welcome to the Journal of Biocommunication’s issue 40-1. With this issue we begin our Volume 40 publishing year. The Editors and the JBC Management Board have assembled an exemplary selection of articles, columns, and other features for your appraisal.

This issue serves as a landmark publication for the Journal of Biocommunication, in that it is our first issue designed for a mixed publishing format. This issue combines traditionally licensed/copyrighted content with content published under open-access (OA) Creative Commons licensing. By definition, open-access literature is online, digital, and is free of charge. This new publishing model supports those authors and content creators, who wish to retain traditional copyright. However, this new publishing model also supports OA articles written by authors performing grant-funded research. Many of these funding sources, government agencies, universities, and foundations now require their supported research to be published in open-access, peer-reviewed journals. The open- access goal is to ensure that grant dollars can go further and that the research becomes more impactful.

The JBC supports this growing movement in academic publishing. We have partnered with the University of Illinois Library’s Open Journal System in this publication, and we will continue this beneficial arrangement going forward.

Issue 40-1 features three columns and four diverse articles representing topics of interest. Articles include creating 3D models, 3D printing, scientific imaging, and molecular illustration. This issue offers something for everyone, and we hope that you enjoy the content and imagery showcased in this issue.

Tonya Hines has crafted an informative and well-written article about Open Access publishing. Tonya’s “Viewpoint” presents timely information for us, as JBC Issue 40-1 includes this Open Access/Creative Commons licensing option for authors who are required to publish in a journal that supports Open Access licensing. While the JBC supports this OA publishing option, our mixed-publishing environment also supports those authors and content creators who wish to retain full copyright protection for their work and publish their traditionally licensed/copyrighted content.

Our retrospective Column, "25 years Ago in the JBP/JBPA" looks back at Dr. Leon Le Beau's beautiful work from the early 1990s. His macrophotographic techniques are still applicable for us in this digital age.

Authors Adam Gardner and Arthur Olson present “3D Printing of Molecular Models.” The authors state that physical models are able to convey spatial relationships and mechanisms in ways that images alone cannot. Physical models have a power and presence that is sometimes lacking in still images, animations, and even interactive computer graphics. The field of 3D printing is still in its infancy, with new types of printers, materials, and capabilities changing rapidly. The authors conclude that biomedical visualization, via 3D printing, brings us closer to the molecular world in which we live. A review of popular 3D printers is included in this article, offering insight into both consumer and professional models.

We also include “An Easy To Build Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) System” written by Ted Kinsman. The article discusses the construction a simple reflectance transformation imaging setup, incorporating an Adurino microprocessor and a 3D printer. The author states that by using reflectance transformation imaging techniques, researchers are better able to enhance an object’s individual topography, texture, and color.

“Cellular Landscapes in Watercolor” by David Goodsell is this issue’s third article. Dr. Goodsell states that the molecular structure of cells is currently not accessible with most experimental techniques, but an accurate view may be synthesized from data on molecular structure and cellular ultrastructure. This article describes the process of creating a painting showing the molecular environment of a living cell. Samples of the author’s work are included.

JBC 40-1 also features “Construction of a 3D Model of Epitympanic Folds and Spaces” written by Murugan Kutty Gopalan and Unnikrishnan K. Menon from Amrita University in Kerala, India. This article reports the technique of making a 3D model of the epitympanic folds and spaces in the human middle ear. These models serve as teaching tools for both undergraduate and post-graduate medical students. We think that you will enjoy this unique and informative article.

Our JBC Gallery features the award winning images exhibited in BCA’s BioImages exhibition at their 2015 annual meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Please take a look at this extraordinary imagery submitted in the BioImages categories of Still, Graphics, and Motion. Winners of the BioImages competition were announced during BCA’s Opening Reception at the Santa Fe meeting.

This issue also features a JBC Showcase that we call “The Imaginative Work of Tim Hengst.” Tim was the recipient of AMI’s 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award. This Award is the highest honor bestowed by the Association of Medical Illustrators, and it serves to recognize the member for his or her life’s work. In presenting this Award, the AMI recognizes a special person who has enriched our lives and has advanced 
the profession. This image-rich Showcase provides a beautiful sampling of Tim’s medical illustration.

In “25 Years Ago in JBPA/JBP” we review Dr. Leon Le Beau’s article that appeared in the Journal of Biological Photography (JBP) Vol. 59, No. 2 (1991). This JBP article represented his ninth article in his series about small object photography. While our friend Leon is no longer with us, his innovative and informative article is just as informative and relevant today as it was a quarter-century ago. 

 While at UIC, Dr. Le Beau was the Associate Dean of International Studies and the Director of the UIC Medical Center’s Clinical Microbiology Laboratory. Leon also enjoyed a faculty appointment in UIC’s Department of Biomedical Visualization. We think that Leon would be proud to see his beloved Journal partner with the UIC’s Open Journal System.

The Journal Management Board wishes to thank Sandy De Groote, Professor & Scholarly Communications Librarian, at the University of Illinois at Chicago for her administrative assistance with this publication. We also wish to thank Kushagra Thapar for his help with the Journal CSS programming.

We rely on our readership for feedback about the Journal, and we invite you to share your thoughts with us about our columns and articles. We always appreciate your suggestions for improvement.

My best.


Gary Schnitz, MA, CMI, FAMI Acting Chair, Journal Management Board


Author: Gary Schnitz is Past President and Past Chair of the Board of the Association of Medical Illustrators. He is a recipient of AMI’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and is a Past President of the Vesalius Trust. He is a board certified medical illustrator in Carmel, Indiana.

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