A Review of Ovid’s Visible Body
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Mangala Krishnamurthy, MLIS, AHIP
Associate Professor/Reference Librarian
Rodgers Library for Science and Engineering
University of Alabama


Visible Body is a suite of online programs that cover anatomy, physiology, muscles, the skeleton, and the circulatory system through interactive 3D models, animations, quizzes, augmented reality, and more. Ovid offers flexible subscription and purchasing options customized to an institution’s specific needs.

There are two categories to choose from: Essential Anatomy resources, which consist of 3D anatomy visualization resources used to interact with and explore the human body and are targeted to anyone studying anatomy and physiology, especially in the medical, pre-health, nursing, and kinesiology fields; and Specialty Modules developed according to the needs of subscribers, including Muscle Premium, Heart and Circulatory Premium, and Skeleton Premium.

The Essential Anatomy resources include Visible Body: Anatomy & Physiology and Visible Body: Human Anatomy Atlas. Visible Body: Anatomy & Physiology is an interactive teaching resource that consists of 50 modules that incorporate 3D models, illustrations, and animations to present core content of basic anatomy and physiology courses. It includes models that can be studied from any angle and varying zoom levels, 3D bony landmarks of the axial and appendicular skeleton, learning objectives, dissection quizzes, audio pronunciations, and definitions of structure. Visible Body: Human Anatomy Atlas includes all body systems, comprehensive gross anatomy of the male and female, select microanatomy, encyclopedic definitions, disease descriptions, pronunciations, and quizzes. These resources are especially useful for faculty of anatomy and physiology courses who can use the free Visible Body extras, such as lab manuals, augmented reality lab manuals, and student handouts.


Visible Body resources complement textbook and classroom-based learning with interactive modules that support learning objectives. Users can access a variety of content types including animations, illustrations, definitions, pronunciations, quizzes, and more, which are updated periodically. Content is produced by teams of medical illustrators and biomedical visualization experts belonging to the Association of Medical Illustrators. 

Ovid’s Visible Body is available in many languages other than English, and can be accessed through apps on iPad/iPhone and Android devices. The resource is accompanied by great tutorials on Ovid’s tools site, which can be filtered by categories.

Business Model

Ovid’s Visible Body resource is available through institutional subscriptions. Pricing and subscription models vary based on resources and institution. Users can gain access to the resource through a proxied link, which is generally found on institutions’ library websites. Usage data can be requested on a regular basis and the number of  retrievals is broken down by specific resources so subscribing institutions can assess usage and promote the resources to the campus community. As mentioned, these resources benefit pre-health, nursing, and other allied health students studying anatomy and physiology and preparing to take entrance exams/qualifying tests. Ovid’s Visible Body can be a valuable addition to a library’s collection in serving the needs of its STEM students pursuing professions in these medical and allied health fields. The resources can also support faculty in making their teaching more interactive.


University of Alabama Libraries subscribes to Visible Body Anatomy & Physiology and Visible Body Human Atlas. Faculty, particularly in the biological sciences and kinesiology, encourage their students to use these resources, while librarians promote them on digital monitors on campus and online.




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