EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Ongoing experiences in establishing and maintaining a grass-roots science outreach initiative; the graphics repository

Grace E. Shephard1, Fabio Crameri2, and Eivind O. Straume3
Grace E. Shephard et al.
  • 1University of Oslo, Centre for Earth Evolution and Dynamics, Department of Geosciences, Oslo, Norway (
  •, Bern, Switzerland
  • 3The Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin, USA

One of the challenges to establishing and maintaining momentum for community-driven science communication efforts is engaging participation from the wider scientific community. Launched in early 2022, the s-Ink project ( aims to make high-quality (geo)scientific figures freely available via an accessible online platform. The platform hosts figures that can be searched and downloaded by the entire community, including students, researchers, teachers, the media, and the general public. Hosted content is intentionally broad in nature, and can include data visualisations, animations, artistic impressions, icons, templates, and more. Guidelines for generating accessible, eye-pleasing, modifiable, and scientifically-effective graphics are provided. As such, it is envisaged that the initiative will be of direct use to the entire geo(science) community; somewhat of a holy grail of science communication. Importantly, all content on has metadata and is available via a Creative Commons licence, so those who create the images (and the sources that they are based on) will receive credit. is currently coordinated by three scientists, working on a volunteer-based approach with non-permanent contracts (one a free-lancer, two with the backing of employers). In order to make the community aware of the resource and to increase the number and breadth of content hosted, we have actively pursued several avenues since launch. These include establishing a social media account, running free graphics short-courses and providing graphic-specific feedback, applying for small funding opportunities (to run short-courses and for gift cards to compensate students, where applicable, such as from the Norwegian iEarth consortium), directly inviting creators, presenting dedicated abstracts at conferences (such as at EGU), spreading the word via mailing lists and through colleagues and networks, and mentioning the resource during invited presentations (e.g. by using graphics). We have also written a pre-print that has been posted on the EarthArXiv server (Crameri et al., 2022, with more details. To-date, there are nearly 200 individual graphics available from 13 contributing creators. However, this is far fewer than the number of course students (over 50 to-date) and reach that we aimed for and envisaged at launch. In this presentation, we will present some of the lessons learned to-date from our experience, present some of the access statistics (e.g. the latest website traffic and figure downloads). We wish to engage in a discussion about other small-scale science outreach initiatives, and invite feedback about how best to continue our initiative.

How to cite: Shephard, G. E., Crameri, F., and Straume, E. O.: Ongoing experiences in establishing and maintaining a grass-roots science outreach initiative; the graphics repository, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-10129,, 2023.