Logo Medical Art Library
Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Nucleus Medical Art Library (NMAL)?

The NMAL is a premier database of accurate, high quality medical illustrations and animations from Nucleus Medical Media, the internet's leading creator and licensor of medical media. The collection contains thousands of proprietary, copyrighted images depicting normal anatomy, physiology, and embryology, as well as the Web's largest repository of reference illustrations depicting surgery, trauma, pathology, diseases, and conditions. The NMAL is a unique, educational resource for students, educators, library patrons, and professionals in healthcare.

Read what students, educators and others have to say about the medical illustrations and animations found only on the NMAL.

What's new about the NMAL?

The following enhancements have been made to the NMAL:

  • Responsive Design: Whether using a laptop, tablet, smartphone or desktop computer, the new responsive design interface scales to fit user's screens.
  • Modernized User Interface: The designers have taken cues from the top image and video websites to create a graphically rich, streamlined interface that eliminates clutter and elevates the most used functions such as searching and browsing.
  • Enhanced Thumbnails: After performing a search, users will see larger content thumbnails with more information about the content itself such as the title, description, image ID and content type, which can be viewed by hovering, or touching on a mobile screen.
  • Larger Content Previews: Seeing the images and animations up close no longer requires a magnify tool because the images have been scaled up by as much as 40% in the content preview. This feature eliminates clicks and helps users navigate to their desired images faster.
  • Expanded Browse Collections: Additional collections on medical specialties, diseases and conditions, and procedures are now available on the Browse page to make it easier to find relevant images and animations.
  • Content Type and Language Filters: You can now filter items by content type and language from any search results, browse results, or collections pages.
  • Enhanced Collection Functions: New action toolbar allows you to share collection items with others via email and social media.

Who are the target audiences for the NMAL?

  • College students and educators
  • Healthcare professionals and support staff
  • Public library patrons
  • High school students and educators

How does each target audience use the downloadable images and animations in the NMAL?

  • College students and educators may use the NMAL content for educational, non-commercial purposes such as research, classroom assignments, test preparation, lectures, web-based courseware, lesson plans, and testing.
  • Doctors, allied health professionals, and hospital graphics department staff may use the NMAL content for educational, non-commercial purposes such as research, patient education, and research presentations.
  • Public library patrons may use the NMAL content for educational, non-commercial purposes such as research, scholarship, and educating themselves, friends, family, and associates.
  • High school students and educators may use the NMAL content for educational, non-commercial purposes such as research, classroom assignments, test preparation, lectures, web-based courseware, lesson plans, and testing.

What content is included in the NMAL?

The NMAL contains over 25,000 items, including full-color medical illustrations and medical animations.

Where have I seen these images and animations before?

Nucleus Medical Media is the most popularly referenced resource for medical illustrations and animations on the web based on rankings from Alexa.com, a division of Amazon.com. The company's content is seen online by millions of people daily on clients such as Yahoo!, MSN.com, WebMD, DiscoveryHealth, Healthwise, The Doe Report and hundreds of other web sites, newspapers, broadcasts, books, posters, and other media. Cumulatively, commercial clients spend millions of dollars annually to license Nucleus Medical Media's content.

Are the items in the NMAL available in different languages?

NMAL features its most popular images translated into Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Dutch, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Tagalog (Filipino).

What are your quality control procedures for ensuring medical accuracy?

All new content is created by experienced, highly educated medical illustrators/animators who have earned graduate or undergraduate degrees from one of the following schools:

  • Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • Medical College of Georgia
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • University of Toronto
  • The University of Illinois
  • University of Texas Memorial Research Center

Each institution provides a rigorous core curriculum of anatomy, physiology, histology, embryology, and other life science courses combined with art and visual communications instruction. All new content is peer-reviewed by the Nucleus Internal Review Committee. This committee is comprised of highly experienced medical illustrators and animators. Prior to publication, new animations are reviewed by a recognized Medical Subject Expert.

What is your commitment to 508 compliance for people with disabilities?

At Nucleus Medical Media, we are deeply committed to ensuring accessibility and inclusivity for all individuals, including those with disabilities. We recognize the importance of complying with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which mandates that federal agencies and organizations must make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities.

Our commitment to 508 compliance extends to every aspect of our products, services, and digital platforms. Here are some key points that reflect our dedication to accessibility:

  • Designing Accessible Products: We incorporate accessibility considerations from the early stages of product development. Our design teams work to create interfaces that are user-friendly, easy to navigate, and compatible with assistive technologies.
  • Testing for Accessibility: Prior to launch, we conduct comprehensive accessibility testing to identify and address potential barriers. This testing process involves individuals with disabilities to ensure we receive invaluable feedback.
  • Conformance to Standards: Our development processes align with recognized accessibility standards, such as Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 and 2.1. These standards provide guidelines for creating web content that is more accessible to people with disabilities.
  • Training and Awareness: We invest in training our employees to raise awareness about accessibility requirements and best practices. This empowers our teams to contribute to creating more inclusive products and services.
  • Continuous Improvement: Our commitment to accessibility is an ongoing journey. We regularly review our practices and policies to stay current with emerging accessibility trends and technologies. User feedback plays a significant role in driving improvements.
  • Feedback and Support: We welcome feedback from our users, especially regarding accessibility concerns. If you encounter any issues related to accessibility on our platforms, please don't hesitate to reach out to our support team.

Accessibility Conformance Report

What are my usage rights for the NMAL content?

The NMAL Commercial and Educational Usage Agreement allows for two levels of content usage, depending on what type of organization licenses the product. If you are using the web site at, or under the license of, a college, university, school, public library, general corporation, or hospital, you may only use the images for educational, non-commercial projects. You may not publish the images on a public web site, or use them for promotion, marketing, or sales. For more examples of restrictions, please read the full agreement.

How do I find images and animations?

To find images and animations, type a keyword or phrase in the search field at the upper left and click Search. You may also browse items by Content Type, Medical Specialties, Body Systems/Regions, Diseases and Conditions, Tests and Procedures, or Language by clicking the browse link at the top of the page.

What file formats are the images and animations available in?

Downloadable images are available in two formats:

  • JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group): JPEG files are suitable for use in presentations, posters, web sites, and other media.
  • PDF (Portable Document Format): PDF files are ideal for printing as handouts.
  • MP4 (MPEG-4 Video): Narrated animations are downloaded as MPEG video files that can be viewed in standard video players. They are available in SD (standard-definition resolution), and HD (high-definition resolution), depending on your user account permissions.

How big are the images and animations?

  • The JPEG Images are 370 x 540 pixels, or approximately 5 x 7.5 inches.
  • The PDF Images are 612 x 792 pixels, or 8.5 x 11 inches.
  • The small animations are 240 x 320 pixels (240p).
  • The medium animations are 360 x 640 pixels (360p).
  • The large animations are 1920 x 1080 pixels (1080p).

How do I download non-watermarked content from the NMAL?

To download non-watermarked content:

  1. Access the content item you want to download by selecting the item thumbnail from a results or collections page or view the item. Note: You will need to be signed in to the NMAL if downloading from an item page. You will be prompted to sign in if downloading from a results page and you are not already signed in.
  2. Click the green Download button in the results action toolbar or the “Download” link on the item page. An “Items to Download” page will be displayed listing the items selected for download.
  3. On the "Items to Download" page, click the applicable size/format option from the drop-down menu below each item to be downloaded. Note: By downloading any item(s), you agree to comply with the terms of the Usage Agreement. Click on the Usage Agreement link to review the Commercial and Educational Usage Agreement in a separate browser window.
  4. Click on the green Download Now button to download a zip file of the item to your computer. The method via which you save a copy of the file to your computer varies depending on the browser you use. Refer to your browser's online help if you require instructions.

    When saving the file to your computer, you may need to double-click the zip file to extract it before viewing.

    Afterward, follow the directions for accessing the image on your Windows or Macintosh operating system. If you have any difficulty, you may complete our contact form or get in touch with us at:

    1275 Shiloh Road N.W.
    Kennesaw, GA 30144

    Local: (770) 805-0460

    Toll-Free: (800) 333-0753 (U.S. & Canada)

    [email protected]

What if I don’t have an NMAL account but want to download non-watermarked content?

You can contact the NMAL Sales team to get set up with an account. Contact them by completing our contact form or getting in touch at:

1275 Shiloh Road N.W.
Kennesaw, GA 30144

Local: (770) 805-0460

Toll-Free: (800) 333-0753 (U.S. & Canada)

[email protected]

In the NMAL, what is My Collection? How long is it stored?

My Collection is a repository where users can create a collection of selected content during a single website session, or if logged in to your My Collection account, create and save the collection for later retrieval, or share the collection with others. Use My Collection to select and compare illustrations, animations, medical exhibits, and other content.

If you create a My Collection account and sign in, the items that you save to your collection are stored for one year. Each time a collection is accessed or added to, the 365-day clock starts over. If there is no activity after one year, the collection expires, however all included content is still available within the NMAL and the collection can be recreated.

If you add items to My Collection but are not signed into a My Collection account, the items are saved in the collection on that computer for 30 days. If there is no activity with the collection on that computer after 30 days, the collection expires, however all included content is still available within the NMAL and the collection can be recreated.

Why does the NMAL include citation data for its content?

Citation data is a way for students, educators, authors, presenters, and others to provide credit to Nucleus Medical Media when creating educational projects. Nucleus provides several common citation styles, including MLA (Modern Language Association), AMA (American Medical Association), and APA (American Psychological Association).

How do I cite an item in the NMAL?

There are three citation styles available in the NMAL: AMA, APA, and MLA. It is also possible to display the permalink for an item.

To cite an item in the NMAL:

  1. Navigate to an item you wish to cite.
  2. Click the Cite this Item button found below the item description. The item citation information is displayed.
  3. Highlight the AMA style, APA style, or MLA style citation you would like to copy, and use your browser's copy and paste feature to copy it into your document.

Do I need a password to login/sign in to the NMAL?

If your school licenses the NMAL for its library services, you do not need a login/sign in to the NMAL to download content if you are on school grounds and using the school's IP address.

How does my Media Resources Department or school library make NMAL available to students?

Your school librarian or media resources professional must first pay an annual licensing fee to subscribe to the NMAL, and then provide the school's IP address(es) to Nucleus for students to download content without a login or password.

Can I download content from NMAL from my home computer?

No. With the possible exception that your home is on your school's IP address network, as in on-campus housing. Otherwise, you must be on school grounds to download NMAL content.

How do I edit an image using the NMAL online labeling system?

If you choose Small PDF with Custom Labels, you will have the option of customizing your image by adding a title, subtitle, and, in the case of Stock Illustrations, labels and leader lines. After completing your edits, click "Apply" to see them take effect. When you are done, you may "Click to download."

May I email non-watermarked images, animations, or video files?

No, due to copyright infringement rules, non-watermarked images, animations, or video files cannot be emailed. Digitally watermarked images may be emailed to friends, family, and associates.

What are my long-term usage rights for the images if my organization stops subscribing to the NMAL?

You are free to use NMAL images for non-commercial projects such as courseware, training materials, communications, etc., for as long as your organization subscribes to the NMAL. If your organization no longer subscribes to NMAL, and you wish to continue using the images, please contact Nucleus Medical Media as soon as possible to pay for usage rights for continued use of the images. When doing so, please mention you would like to convert a NMAL license to a private license.

What if I cannot find an image I'm looking for?

You may submit a request for a new image by contacting Nucleus Medical Media directly. Because the company receives hundreds of requests for new artwork daily, we can only honor requests for the most popularly requested subjects.

What is the difference between the Comprehensive and Standard versions of the NMAL?

The Comprehensive version of the NMAL contains all images and animations from the Nucleus Medical Media catalog. The Standard version is edited for middle and high school students, excluding graphic or explicit content of surgery, trauma, pathology, and reproductive anatomy. There are over 25,000 items included in the Comprehensive version, and more than 4,300 in the Standard version.

Can I add my own keywords and tags to the illustrations and animations?

Not currently. All keywords, tags, and other meta data are created and managed by Nucleus and its partners to maintain the accuracy and functionality of the database.

Can I post the illustrations and animations within a learning management system (LMS) such as BlackBoard or Moodle?

Yes, you can use the animations and illustrations within both Blackboard and Moodle software programs. Blackboard and Moodle support .mp4, .jpg, and .pdf file formats. For more information on usage, please read the full licensing agreement.

How often is the content updated?

Nucleus uploads new content at least once per week, and sometimes several times per day. After Nucleus uploads and publishes an illustration, animation, or other content type, the company will not update the content unless a reviewer or user points out a medical inaccuracy. Updates do not include changes to technology shown in surgical, diagnostic, or testing procedures, which Nucleus leaves in its database for study purposes.

Are images and animations ever removed from the database as the technology shown in them, such as surgical instruments or techniques, becomes out of date?

Nucleus does not remove images and animations depicting non-current technology or procedures so that users who are interested in these topics may study them. Because the content is used worldwide, some of the "outdated" technology may still be in current use. This policy also allows comparative study of past and newer technology.

What are the differences between a paid subscription of the Nucleus Medical Art Library (NMAL) and the videos that Nucleus has on YouTube?

The key differences between NMAL and the Nucleus YouTube channel are:

  • Volume and Frequency of Content: NMAL has 24,000 items (including 1,000+ animations) whereas YouTube only has about 500 animations. NMAL is the first repository of all new Nucleus content, whereas we only publish about 1 animation per week on YouTube.
  • Permissions: The NMAL license allows users to legally download and integrate the Nucleus content into course curricula under a Rights Managed license. Any content downloaded from YouTube in the same manner is done so illegally.
  • Advertisements: Nucleus YouTube videos are monetized through advertisements which may appear in the beginning, middle or end of the animations. For people who watch the animations outside of the YouTube Red subscription service, that means all videos they watch or embed will show advertisements.
  • Downloading vs Embedding: YouTube users may use the embedding function to create links to YouTube videos that play on other websites. However, Nucleus may disable that feature which puts any course or website that uses this function at risk of broken links. These risks don’t exist if the content is downloaded from NMAL and linked directly into the course/password-protected website.

Nucleus Medical Media Disclaimer of Medical and Legal Liability

Nucleus Medical Media ("Nucleus") does not dispense medical or legal advice, and the text, illustrations, photographs, animations and other information ("Content") available on this web site is for general information purposes only. As with any medical or legal issue, it is up to you to consult a physician or attorney for professional advice. YOU SHOULD NOT DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL OR LEGAL ADVICE BASED ON CONTENT CONTAINED ON THIS WEB SITE, NOR SHOULD YOU RELY ON THE CONTENT ON THIS WEB SITE IN PLACE OF PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL OR LEGAL ADVICE.


Mature Content Disclaimer: Certain Content on this web site contains graphic depictions or descriptions of medical information, which may be offensive to some viewers. Nucleus, its licensors, and its suppliers disclaim all responsibility for such materials.