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F.A.Q.

What is the nature of the 3D data published in MorphoMuseuM ?

M3 primarily publishes "enriched" (= segmented, labelled, oriented, tagged or virtual restorations of damaged specimens) 3D surface models of specimens. Accepted surface file formats are:

  • PLY
  • VTK
  • STL (though we strongly recommend to convert .STL files to .PLY files using a freeware such as MeshLab: .STL is a highly redundant format)

M3 encourages using the software ISE-MeshTools, which provides a set of tools for editing, positioning, deforming, labelling, tagging, measuring and rendering sets of 3D surfaces.

Can I associate more than one surface to a given specimen?

Yes. Keep in mind that 3D data related to a given specimen must be compressed into one single .zip file. One .zip file must contain at least one surface file.

You may also include inside this .zip file additional files produced by ISE-MeshTools

You may also associate several .zip files to a given specimen. For instance, each .zip file could contain a different part of this specimen, or each .zip file could contain a representation of the same specimens at different stages of its ontogeny.

Can I associate image stacks to a given specimen ?

Yes. Even though M3 primarily publishes 3D surface models of specimens, you can associate to a given specimen CT or MRI data. Please read our image stack optimization page.

How should I cite 3D data found on MorphoMuseuM in scientific publications?

All 3D data presented on this website are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. This implicates that they can be re-used in other scientific publications provided that you cite the associated publication, refer to their M3 unique identification code(s) and thank the institutions curating the physical specimens out of which the 3D representations have been produced in your publication.

Furthermore, we ask you to inform the corresponding institution(s)/curator(s) of any new scientific publication involving 3D data derived from physical specimens housed in their collections.
License Creative Commons

Which ownership conditions should be met before 3D data are published in MorphoMuseuM?

Before uploading 3D data on this website, you have to make sure that you have the right to distribute these 3D representations:

  • The very first thing you have to do is to inform the curator(s) of the institution(s) where the physical specimen(s) is/are deposited about your project to distribute 3D representation of specimens they curate, and inform them that:
    - any new scientific publication involving any of these specimens will have to acknowledge their institution(s).
    - they will be kept informed of any any new scientific publication involving these specimens.
    If one curator disagrees with your project, please do not include the corresponding specimens in your submission.
  • If you have not produced (segmented) the 3D surface models yourself, you have to ask the person who did this job for his consent to distribute these data.

You also must agree that these 3D data will be licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License:
- they will become publicly available as soon as your submission is published inside the M3 journal
- they can be re-used by other researchers provided that they cite the associated publication , refer to their M3 unique identification code(s) and thank the institutions curating the physical specimens out of which the 3D representations have been produced in their publication.
License Creative Commons

How should I cite M3 in scientific publications?

You may cite M3 with the following reference:

Lebrun, R., Orliac, M. J., 2016. MorphoMuseuM: an online platform for publication and storage of virtual specimens. The Paleontological Society Papers, 22, 183-195. https://doi.org/10.1017/scs.2017.14