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Images will be used for two parts of this project: species pages (for eMonocot and Encyclopedia of Life) and illustrating identification features in the keys (in the Keys to Nature Project).


What do we want images of?

We are interested in photos or drawings that range from the whole plant to macrophotos or photomicrographs of any plant parts important for identifying species, sections, subgenera, genera, and major clades.

Format and resolution

We want any good images of Carex that you have, in JPG (also JPEG) or TIF (also TIFF) format. High resolution images are very welcome because this will allow us to crop out parts of the image of particular emphasis in the keys or species pages. The best size of images for the keys is 400 pixels wide, but we can resize images for you. Images smaller than 200 pixels on a side may not be useful unless they clearly show plant parts of interest. When in doubt, send your images and we should be able to make them work. We'll do the cropping and resizing in the workgroups before and during the workshop. If you have any questions about format and resolution, or need help with conversions, don't hesitate to contact Bil Alverson (

Where will photos reside?

From now until October 2011, the images you contribute will be housed on a desktop computer at The Morton Arboretum, with local backup to an external hard-drive. During the summer, we will do as much as we can to organize these photos and their cropped/resized derivatives for your use in species descriptions and keys. Workgroups will have access to these images before the September workshop, to get a head start on species pages and keys. Ultimately, the cropped and resized project images (with attribution as to the source) will reside on the e-Monocot project servers and/or the Encyclopedia of Life servers.

During the workshop, we will discuss whether it makes sense for us to archive images permanently in the NSF-funded Morphbank, where they would be permanently available to the scientific and conservation communities under reasonable license restrictions (see below).

Naming and metadata

We want this process to be as easy as possible for you and so require only three elements for each image name: an arbitrary identifying name (could be species, locality, or a collector number); photographer first initial and last name; and a format suffix (e.g. 'jpg', 'tif'). It would be preferable if images followed the following format:


An example would be Carex-scoparia-var-tessellata-AHipp-EagleHill2010.jpg

In any case, all of your file names must be unique. (We also will check when we compile them to be sure that there's no overlap between contributors.) If you have a small or moderate number of images to contribute, please consider be sure to add your last name in the image name before sending them to us. If you have a large number of images (say, over 100), please contact us and we'll work out a way to add your name to the file names with a batch process.

Your images must be accompanied by a file that provides the following information for each image (as far as it is available):

  1. Full name of the digital image (required)
  2. Species of Carex in the image (required)
  3. Subspecific rank and epithet, if applicable (required)
  4. Photographer full name (required)
  5. Photographer address (required)
  6. Photographer email (required)
  7. Photographer phone number (required)
  8. Country of origin for the image (required)
  9. Subcountry (e.g., state and county, province, prefecture; required)
  10. Additional locality information (optional)
  11. Geographic coordinates: latitude (optional)
  12. Geographic coordinates: longitude (optional)
  13. Habitat (desirable, but optional)
  14. Parts of plant illustrated (desirable, but optional: whole plant/growth form (incl. rhizomes), culm, leaf blades, staminate spike(s), pistillate spikes, pistillate scales, perigynia, or other.
  15. Collector name (if vouchered)
  16. Collector number (if vouchered)
  17. Herbarium acronym (if vouchered)
  18. Comments or suggestions (optional)

You can download an excel template here (we need to update template).

How to get your images to us

Unless you have very few images, your files will likely be too large for emailing. We can either provide you with an FTP site, or you can mail a CD of DVD to us. Please contact Bil or Andrew to discuss which mechanism will be easiest for you, and we'll set it up right away.

Licenses and permissions

Only submit to us images that can be used online for eMonocot, Encyclopedia of Life, keys to sedges, and any other subsidiary web projects that may arise from them. You will retain all rights to use these images in the future in any way you like. Others who view them online will only be able to utilize them in non-commercial settings with proper attribution to you as the photographer.

As a default, we will utilize the "Attribution - Non-commercial - Share alike" creative commons license (BY-NC-SA, at, which "lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms." This is the most restrictive license permitted by LifeDesks, and it closely fits our interests in balancing your needs for use of your photos in any future commercial endeavors with our goal of making the photos available for non-commercial projects by others, with attribution. As we migrate to Scratchpad, the same licensing will be available (you can read an article on this item by Vince Smith, one of the lead developers for Scratchpad at During the meeting we will discuss, with any of you who are interested, the option of moving your photos into a less restrictive category, "Attribution - Share alike," which also would allow use of your images on Wikipedia. We will discuss licenses and permissions again during the workshop and ask you to sign permission letters to allow only the kinds of uses of your images that are comfortable to you.

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