Being able to communicate our research clearly and succinctly is essential to our training and success as graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.
Today, we spend innumerable amounts of time collecting and developing figures of our data. Yet, there is much less emphasis and training for graphics which display conceptional ideas, background information, and diagrams of methods. These types of figures are key for communicating the context or ‘big picture’ of our work and what it means to others.
Other programs programs such as Adobe Illustrator and BioRender, while excellent at helping fill this gap, are expensive for the user. Seriously.
However, with some key tips, tricks, and training, anyone can make professional, publish ready graphics using the free, open-source software Inkscape.
The initial learning curve with vector-based software can feel steep without any guidance. My goal is to flatten this curve, making figure design and implementation accessible to anyone.
I am a fourth year Ph.D. Candidate in the Integrative Genetics and Genomics Program at UC Davis. I am also a 2021 Professor For the Future Fellow, of which this project is supported by. If you are interested to learn more about this program, check out this link. We are supported by UC Davis Graduate Studies and the GradPathways Institute for Professional Development.