Are there any 'standards' for cartography in academic publishing?

Research Cooperative
02/02/12 11:22:00PM

Today I added a new support group to our network, for Shima: The International Journal of Research Into Island Cultures. The Instructions to Authors for this journal request that all articles be:

'accompanied by a map (or maps) showing the location of all significant places named in the text',

and that

'maps should follow cartography standards...'

Standards? What standards?!

Recently, I have been compiling articles for an edited book, and a significant number of authors seem to think that is standard practice to:

(a) submit low resolution powerpoint slides from hastily-prepared talks, without attribution to the source of the image (usually grabbed from the internet), or

(b) scan previously used maps at such low resolution that the text components will be unreadable, even if a full page of the book is sacrificed for the map.

My home research school in Australia has a dedicated, professional cartography unit that provides fantastic resources for authors, including graduate students, and this has helped to maintain a high standard of publication at that school (and university) for many years. But this seems to be an exception, not a standard. Most institutions seem to treat illustration as an incidental side-issue of little significance for their publishing efforts.

What have other people experienced in this regard?