A video abstract lets you introduce readers to your article in your own words, telling others why they should read your research.
These short videos (2 mins 20 seconds or less is optimal for social media) are an increasingly popular way of getting others to engage with published research, increasing the visibility of your work and raising your profile.
So, what makes a good video abstract? Here are our top tips to think about when creating yours:
Make it short 2 minutes and 20 seconds or less is perfect. Writing out a script (even just bullet points) in advance can help you with this.
Be natural If you’re using a script, try not to rely on reading it to the camera. Your video will be more effective if you speak naturally and let your enthusiasm for your work come across.
Be clear and to the point Answering these questions: what question did you want to answer with your research? How did you go about it? What conclusions did you come to? Make people want to find out more.
Beaccessible Video abstracts can be a great way to engage people outside your field, so use clear language and be succinct. If you restrict it to only your field you may be missing out on opportunities for cross-discipline readership, press coverage, or even influencing the work of policymakers.
Use images Pictures speak a thousand words so include images, charts, tables – anything that helps you explain the focus of your article.
Be heard Make sure your audio is clear. Pick somewhere quiet to film, as background noise can be distracting, and use a plug-in microphone.
Make it readable If you’re using presentation slides with text or images on them, make sure there’s not too much on the slide, so others can easily read them while still listening to you talk.
Have acall to action: You want people to read your article, not just look at your video abstract, so tell them what to do once they’ve watched the video.
How to create video abstracts
The equipment you need
Most institutions will have digital recording devices or services, which you should be able to use. Use a tripod and a camera you are familiar with. If you use your phone or tablet, make sure it can record high definition (and still use a tripod). If you have access to one, a plug-in microphone will give you better sound quality.
We do check all video abstracts for quality, to make sure they are watchable. Below are our technical specifications:
Format: .mov, .mpg, or .mp4
Maximum file size: 100 MB
Aspect ratio: 16:9, square pixels, deinterlaced (landscape format is best)
Frame rate: 24, 25 or 30 fps
Frame type: 1080p (min), 4K is preferred
Please include a written transcript (a written version of the material you have presented) when sending in your file. This is to make sure that your video is accessible to all.
How to send us your video abstracts
Now you’ve filmed your video, how do you submit it?
You can send us your video via ZendTo or WeTransfer, which allow you to transfer files of up to 2GB. Contact the journal’s production editor when you are ready, and we’ll send you the details. (The process is slightly different for medical or pharmaceutical journals, see the section below for more details.)
Ensure that the content has all necessary copyright assignments including use of images, footage, music and audio. If you have logos included, please make sure you have permission to use them.
If your video abstract has been created by a third party, and not by one of the authors of your paper, the third party will need to sign a Multimedia Contributor Agreement. We will email this to you when you get in touch with your video abstract, so please state that your video has been created by a third party when you submit your files.
When should I submit my video abstract?
You can send us your video abstract as soon as your paper has been accepted for publication, unless you are submitting to one of our medical or pharmaceutical titles. In these journals, you should submit either the full video or transcript with your article so they can be peer-reviewed and published together (if accepted).
If your video abstract is not ready when you submit your paper but you are planning to create one, you should tell the Commissioning/Medical Editor so they can let the reviewers know to expect it at a later date. In these cases, your paper and video abstract are likely to be published at different times.
If you have questions or need further guidance on requirements for a specific medical or pharmaceutical journal, please contact the journal’s Commissioning/Medical Editor. You can find their contact details on the journal’s page on Taylor & Francis Online.
You may already have software and features on your computer or laptop to create a video, but below are some useful resources to help you get started.