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, embryology, and histology, 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.
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 animation 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, HONmedia, 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.
What are your quality control procedures for insuring medical accuracy?
- All new content is initially created by experienced, highly educated medical illustrators/animators receiving graduate or undergraduate degrees from one of the following schools: The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, The Medical College of Georgia, The Rochester Institute of Technology, The University of Toronto, or The 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, comprised of our most experienced medical illustrators/animators.
- All new content is given a final review by Medical Subject Experts, either a physician or Ph.D., prior to its publication.
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?
To find images, type a keyword or phrase in the search field at the upper left and click Search. You may also browse the images by Content Type, Body Systems, Body Regions or Medical Specialties 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 format images, which are suitable for use in PowerPoint(TM), Flash animations, posters, web sites and other media.
- PDF files, which are ideal for printing as handouts.
- Animations are available for download as movies.
How big are the images?
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 animations are available for download in SD (standard definition).
How do I download non-watermarked images?
To download a non-watermarked image, simply click "Download" at the lower right side of the image preview. Next, select one of following image types and click "Proceed:"
- Small JPEG
- Small PDF
- Small PDF with Custom Labels
Afterward, follow the directions for accessing the image on your Windows or Macintosh operating system. If you have any difficulty, you may fill out our contact form or get in touch with us at:
1275 Shiloh Road N.W.
Kennesaw, GA 30144
(800) 333-0753 (U.S. & Canada)
Do I need a password to log on to the NMAL?
If your school licenses the NMAL for its library services, you do not need to log on to the NMAL to download content as long as you are on school grounds and within the range of the schools 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 NAL, and then provide the school's IP address(es) to Nucleus in order 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 within the range of your school's IP address network, as in on campus housing. Otherwise, you have to be on school grounds in order 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 2,000 in the Standard version.
Can I add my own keywords and tags to the illustrations and animations?
Not at this time. All keywords, tags, and other meta data are created and managed by Nucleus and its partners in order 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 .mov, .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, monograph 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.