I’ve also been doing lots of scanning of art this last year or two. And here are my main methods.
This is powered by wanting to see exact images, trying to stick to guide lines, but not having lots of clever editing abilities. Levels of OCD also kick in as I want this as correct as possible. There are also guidelines to follow.
First I am not a heavy photoshopper (can’t afford a licence) - so generally upload what I scanned at 600dpi but carefully cropped and saved as an 80% JPG. I don’t think an image should be changed or “improved” from the original, but I have sometimes painted out the odd tear.
The point of artwork here at MB is not to be pretty, but to help identify different editions. (But I am using this in my media centre too)
Even on my 50" TV screen it is hard to spot the difference between 80% JPG and a PNG - but some prefer the PNG, but I prefer my disk space.
When I look at a Release first I will carefully read the edit notes. See when artwork appeared.
Was the artwork all uploaded at the same time by the same person? Or lots of random sources?
If artwork is uploaded and NO comment added by that artwork uploader, then I delete it and replace with my scans.
If the artwork is under 1000x1000 - I am likely to replace.
If it came from Discogs - I’ll replace with scans.
If it is someone else’s scans, then I am likely to leave it alone. I’ll check they have everything - maybe I can add a few pages of the booklet.
ALWAYS add lots of notes to your scans. Make the source clear.
You soon get to spot the names of the better uploaders.
The BIGGEST issue I see though is many people don’t actually look at the details. Some artwork is thrown up here as it “looks close enough”. This is why I can be aggressive at replacing artwork without upload comments. No comment - then I’ll assume it wasn’t checked at upload time.
If it is scanned by someone else - I will rarely replace it. (Think of how annoyed you would be if you had your scans replaced for no real gain…)
Much more important is actually LOOKING at what the artwork is. Really close. I mean stupidly close at the exact details. Read every word on both back covers. Maybe even flip back and forth with them both on screen. Albums that have been re-released many times have all kinds of stupidly subtle differences. Changes of Label, Price Codes, just subtle tiny changes in that small print. Or a change of a price code.
This is worse on an album like Pink Floyd’s Animals that has been around for almost 50 years, and constantly changing copyright owners. You should be in a better place with NED.