The scientific image: definitions, special issues and questions

Since the invention of photography, scientists have understood the significance of this new technique. Can the scientific image be manipulated as a tool for observation, for inventory, or for popularisation? Its beauty sometimes reduces it to a decorative role when it can join beauty to understanding. In the era of everything digital, where it is easy to manipulate the image directly, the role of the information manager becomes more important. Photographic research libraries and their staff have to adapt themselves to new types of images, while still holding on to their initial role. The scientific image gets its value from the accumulation of images and from the text. When it is produced and transmitted, in quantity and in an uncoordinated way, safeguards and concern for reliable indexing therefore remain relevant.