Legal and Privacy Notices and Disclaimers

By using these features you agree to the rules on this page.

General Disclaimer of Liability: The content on this site is provided for informational, educational, and research purposes only and on an “as is” basis. The American Association for Anatomy (AAA) and the VMD Administrative Team do not warrant the accuracy, correctness, reliability, comprehensiveness, or currency of any content. AAA and VMD disclaim all warranties, express or implied, regarding any content, and further disclaim liability for any consequences from the use or misuse of any content.

Virtual Microscopy Database: Without diminishing or limiting the above general disclaimer of liability, AAA and VMD do not warrant the accuracy, correctness, reliability, comprehensiveness, or currency of any drawing, diagram, image, or other information contained in the Virtual Microscopy Database. While VMD has taken steps to ensure that use of submissions to the Database will not result in copyright infringement, the VMD makes no assurances to this effect. Liability for the consequences of reliance on or use of any drawing, diagrams, images, or other information contained in the Database is hereby disclaimed.

Endorsements: Any reference to a commercial or non-commercial product, process, service, or company is not an endorsement or recommendation by the VMD unless specifically stated as such. AAA and VMD assume no liability whatsoever for the use or contents of any product or service mentioned.

User Privacy and Confidentiality: The VMD maintains the following privacy policy to protect personal information you may provide online. When you log on, you are not recognized and are anonymous. For each visitor to our web page, our web server automatically recognizes only the consumer’s domain name, but not the e-mail address. We collect information volunteered by the visitor, such as the survey information and site registration. The information we collect can be used for data and trends analysis or to contact visitors to support AAA and VMD. If you supply us with your postal address on-line, you may receive mailings from us with information about new programs and services. The personal information you provide is stored in a secure location, accessible only by appropriate staff, and is used only for the purposes, for which you provide the information. It will not be made available to others outside the AAA and the VMD team. A more detailed description of the VMD Privacy Policy can be found below.

Copyright: The copyright of all images deposited in the Virtual Microscopy Database (VMD) will remain with the original copyright owner. Before depositing any image files in the VMD, please make sure that you or your institution owns the copyright for these images or that you have proper permission from the copyright owner to deposit the image(s) in the VMD. The American Association of Anatomists, the VMD and the VMD managers hold no responsibility that the copyright belongs to the donor of the images or that proper consent has been obtained from the image’s copyright owner. If you believe that any image(s) in the VMD do not have the copyright owner’s consent, please contact the VMD managers.

Creative Commons License (CC): All images in the VMD are made available under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Creative Commons License (CC) ( By downloading or copying any of the VMD images, the user agrees to the restrictions as defined by the above CC license. All images downloaded from the VMD must be given proper credit to the image’s copyright holder and indicate if changes were made to the image(s). Without obtaining permission from the images’ copyright owner these images may NOT be used for any commercial purposes (including, but not limited to books for sale, subscription websites, product promotions and others). Please note that the VMD is not the copyright owner of any of the images. If you share downloaded or copied images (either modified or in its original form) with a third party, the same CC license applies to the recipient of the shared material.

American Association for Anatomy (AAA) and Virtual Microscopy Database (VMD) Privacy and Data Processing Policy:

Personal Data: Personal data is defined in this policy and in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as any information relation to an identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified in particular by reference to an identifier.

Data Controller: The American Association for Anatomy (AAA) is the data controller of your Personal Data that is processed through the VMD website.

Data Processing: Information submitted on the VMD’s website is collected, stored, and processed in the US. If you are outside the U.S., your Personal Data and other information will be transferred to the U.S. The data privacy and data protection laws outside your country may offer less protection than the laws in your country. By using our website and services, you agree to the transfer of your Personal Data as described in this Privacy Policy. If you do not agree to such cross-border transfers of your Personal Data, please do not submit it through the VMD website.

Notice for Web Visitors: The VMD Administrators may collect certain personal data when a user visits the website.  Aggregate data, such as IP addresses and the number of hits per page, may be collected. We may use information about your IP address to help diagnose problems, perform administrative tasks, analyze trends, track page usage statistics, and gather information that assists us in identifying visitor preferences. We may also use aggregate data for our business purposes such as disclosing such data to our partners and service providers, however this aggregate data does not identify you. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, the VMD Administrators and AAA may share personal data disclosed with consultants and staff for internal business purposes and as required by law if such data are subpoenaed.

Online Forms: The VMD user application form requests users to provide various types of information: contact information (e.g., names and email addresses), and demographic information (like address and zip code). Each type of information serves a different purpose. The types of personal data we collect are based on the services being requested by the user. This data is stored in our user database and may be shared with the AAA.

Emails: The VMD uses email as a method to communicate with VMD users. Users may withdraw consent to receive emails at any time by sending an email to the VMD administrative team ( VMD staff may still communicate with you directly via their personal email accounts, and using the email address you provided in your VMD user application, to discuss VMD-related business. If you wish to no longer have emails sent to you from VMD regarding any issue, please let us know using the email address above.

External Links: The VMD website contains links to other sites. The VMD is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of external websites. Websites maintained by third parties may collect information and use it in a way inconsistent with this privacy statement. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave the VMD website, and to read the privacy statements of each website they visit. Websites maintained by third parties may also refer to products, processes, or services; unless the VMD or AAA has provided explicit authority, such references in no way indicate our endorsement, recommendation, or preference.

Feedback: We may request information regarding various aspects of our services and programs from users through surveys. Survey participation is completely voluntary and the user has a choice whether or not to disclose any information. Information requested may include contact information and demographic information. Feedback received is used to improve the VMD websites and it performance and use. Personal information submitted by the user in response to surveys may be used for analysis of the VMD usage and performance and after removal of any identifiers also shared with sponsors and used in scientific publications. Electronic comments submitted in connection with or in response to a request for input will only be published if permission is provided by the user. Participation is completely voluntary and the user has a choice whether or not to disclose any information.

Ways of Obtaining Personal Data: The ways by which the VMD obtains personal data are defined hereby. The VMD does not obtain any personal information about users unless they have voluntarily provided that information to the VMD via means including, but not limited to the user application forms, surveys and by interaction with the VMD Administrative Team. VMD users may choose to submit personal information by mail, phone, e-mail, or other means as deemed appropriate at that time. The types of personal data that we collect vary based on the interaction but generally include name, address, telephone number, company name, job title, e-mail address, and other information voluntarily submitted. While on the VMD website, information may be collected about your device and activity on the website. Some of the information collected may consist of, but is not limited to, search terms, browser information, computer or device type, operating system, website usage, referring/exit pages, date/time stamp. 

Use of the Information this Site Gathers and Tracks: The VMD uses voluntarily submitted contact information to send users information about the VMD site, its features, and uses. The VMD does not rent or sell its user lists for use by third parties. We also compile, anonymize and/or aggregate personal data and other information collected about Websites’ visitors, as described in this Privacy Policy, and use such anonymized and/or aggregated data for our internal purposes. This data is shared with Google Analytics to understand web visitor traffic. This aggregate information does not identify you. This use of your VMD website browsing data does not identify you, and is necessary for our legitimate interests in understanding how the website and the VMD service is used by you and to improve your experience on it.

We may disclose personal data to third parties in the following circumstances:

Data Storage: Personal data collected from our users at the time they joined the VMD or when they voluntarily update their profiles is stored electronically in our membership database. Data may be pulled from this database for legitimate use by VMD staff. User data is kept as long as you remain a VMD user.

Data Subject Rights: Subject to applicable law, you have the following rights in relation to your personal data:

Right of access: If you ask us, we will confirm whether we are processing your personal data and, if so, provide you with a copy of that personal data (along with certain other details). If you require additional copies, we may need to charge a reasonable fee.

Right to rectification: If your personal data is inaccurate or incomplete, you are entitled to have it rectified or completed. If we have shared your personal data with others, we will tell them about the rectification where possible. If you ask us, where possible and lawful to do so, we will also tell you with whom we shared your personal data so that you can contact them directly.

Right to erasure: You may ask us to delete or remove your personal data and we will do so in some circumstances, such as where we no longer need it (we may not delete your data when other interests outweigh your right to deletion). If we have shared your data with others, we will tell them about the erasure where possible. If you ask us, where possible and lawful to do so, we will also tell you with whom we shared your personal data so that you can contact them directly.

Right to restrict processing: You may ask us to restrict or ‘block’ the processing of your personal data in certain circumstances, such as where you contest the accuracy of that personal data or object to us processing it. We will tell you before we lift any restriction on processing. If we have shared your personal data with others, we will tell them about the restriction where possible. If you ask us, where possible and lawful to do so, we will also tell you with whom we shared your personal data so that you can contact them directly.

Right to data portability: Effective 25 May 2018, you have the right to obtain your personal data from us that you consented to give us or that is necessary to perform a contract with you. We will give you your personal data in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format. You may reuse it elsewhere.

Right to object: You may ask us at any time to stop processing your personal data, and we will do so:

Rights in relation to automated decision-making and profiling: You have the right to be free from decisions based solely on automated processing of your personal data, including profiling, that affect you, unless such processing is necessary for entering into, or the performance of, a contract between you and us or you provide your explicit consent to such processing.

Right to withdraw consent: If we rely on your consent to process your personal data, you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time. This will not affect the lawfulness of processing based on your prior consent.

Right to lodge a complaint with the data protection authority: If you have a concern about our privacy practices, including the way we have handled your personal data, you can report it to the data protection authority that is authorized to hear those concerns. You may exercise your rights by contacting us as indicated under “Communication Preferences” section below.

Please note: In some instances, if you withdraw your consent for VMD to hold and process your personal information, this may cause ineligibility for using the VMD. Without personal data, we would be unable to create a VMD account for you, thus voiding your eligibility. If you wish to continue to be a VMD user, but would like to change how your personal data processed by the VMD, we will work with you to our best ability to make this happen, if possible.

Changes to this Statement: The VMD and AAA reserves the right to change this privacy statement at any time. We will use data in accordance with the privacy statement under which any data have been collected. Questions should be sent to 

Communication Preferences: If you wish to change your consent to this privacy statement, you can contact the VMD Administrative Team by sending an email to This includes consenting to, or removing consent from, all of our communication areas.