Bring your research to life with a video abstract

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Video abstracts are the new craze! It's a wonderful way to introduce an article, outlining what the research is about and why it's important. Videos usually feature the author speaking on camera and can be intercut with animation, images, and text. The author can directly address their audience and provide the background and context for their work in a quick and easy format.

How to create a video abstract

  1. Decide how you are going to film your abstract.
    You don't have to get too crazy! Many abstracts are made on a smartphone, tablet, or using a webcam on a computer. If you want to get a little fancier, Duke Link does offer faculty and staff free video recording equipment to use. 
  2. Prepare what you are going to say.
    It's best to jot down ideas of what you want to talk about. Avoid reading directly from a script or written abstract, you don't want to appear too stiff or serious. Do your best to discuss the research using layman's terms, so anyone can understand it. 
  3. Be brief.
    We recommend your video being 1 minute in length. 
  4. Set it up; Test it out
    Make sure you have a nice steady surface in a quiet area. If you are using a tablet or cell phone, flip it to the slide and record in landscape so the video is wider. Film yourself speaking and watch the video back to make sure the setup looks good. How's the angle? Is the lighting okay? Can you hear yourself clearly? Fix anything you need to before you film the real thing.
  5. Get started
    Now it's time to take a shot at it! Briefly record yourself talking about your research, touching on the most important points. You can even use video editing software like iMovie (for Mac) or Windows Media Maker (for PC) to cut and edit the video. You can also add photos, graphics, tables, etc. to your video using these programs, which really make your video look snazzy. 
  6. Upload it
    Once your video is complete, we recommend uploading it to a video site like YouTube or Vimeo, that way you have a direct link and can easily share it. In the description, feel free to include the link to your article online (if applicable), or any other sources that the viewer may find helpful.

What's the point? 

Video abstracts help readers to better connect with the research and grasp the key findings more readily. They also have a positive impact on article usage metrics. Articles with a video are more likely to grab the attention of viewers and be shared on social media accounts, which increase Altmetric attention scores.

You can include your video in most of your article promotion efforts, including:

  • on your social media channels (and ask your division to share it, too)
  • on your personal website (if you have one)
  • in conference presentations
  • sending the video to your local press office
  • linking the video in future grant applications

Need some assistance? 

Have questions or need help while putting your video together? Reach out to GIM Communications Strategist, Clare Il'Giovine.

Helpful Video Links: