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Video Abstract Guidelines for Journals

Video abstract is similar to a trailer in a movie. Video art of academic expression is necessary to get more engagement from professional and general readers. A video abstract works as a prelude to any article. Academic community has discovered video abstract as a tool to convey scientific findings in a very engaging way possible. This also helps perspective readers to get a glance through before diving into reading the whole article. There was a story that a group of medical students first started communicating each other using small explainer videos. That was the inception of today’s medium of video abstract.

Recently, the popularity of video abstract has grown among scholarly community. Journal publishers started encouraging authors to create a video abstract when submitting for a full paper. Although there are some critics who do not like the idea, as it’s a time consuming vampire. Journal publishers argue that without a video abstract it will be harder to establish a good community of engaging readers. They pointed out that popular or trending keywords carry a significant role to gain more visibility of a paper. Bloggers without any hand in actual scientific research get more attention than scientists when it comes to explaining a research to the general public. Bloggers are also good at choosing a good title and keywords to have that page showing in the first page in google or youtube. Therefore, the academic community should promote their research in an easy way such as creating graphic abstracts, and video abstracts. As it takes no extra cost to upload a video in video publishing platform such as youtube, vimeo, it’s better to create a video abstract to communicate and engage with the audiences. A deep understanding of how videos are indexed in google search ranking again creates another fear. According to google engineers, title of the video, description and thumbnail of the video play the important role in indexing. Overall, it is understood that journal publishers are welcoming more video abstract submissions from authors.

In a blog post, Kerry Evans from Cell Press mentioned that video abstracts are not only meant for scientists but also to enlighten and entertain kindergartner and grandparents too.

Video Abstract Guidelines for Journals

Here are the key points to create a compelling

video abstract

  • Always start with a 'wh' question to grab the first attention of your audience.
  • Video script should not be the same as the written abstract of your full paper. Script is better preferred if written in a conversation or dialogue format as if you are talking to your audience.
  • There should not be any unnecessary use of complex words or thoughts. The script should be prepared in such a way that anybody can understand: a scientist, student, company vendor, businessman, blogger, or even the people who do not have any schooling at all.  
  • An engagement with the audience is needed to keep the good flow of the video abstract. Stringent science without fun is a waste of time. Try to relate your topic with something trending in the news or daily activities or some characters. 
  • Use meaningful image, graphs to click in the memory. 
  • Nobody would compromise with the poor quality of a video abstract. Pay careful attention to technical details such as how to use a camera without shaking, how to reduce the background noise, or how to deal with saturation, brightness of your camera control.    
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