I am Dr. Miles Richardson and I am a researcher in ergonomics at the University of Derby. I was appointed to the Editorial Board of Ergonomics in December 2014 as the first ever Multimedia and Social Media Editor for the journal. My role contains a diverse mix of responsibilities, one of which is encouraging an increase in video abstract submissions.
The benefits of video abstracts
Thousands of research articles are shared and discovered every day via social media. Whichever social media platform is used, pictures, graphics, and videos draw a lot more attention to a message than text alone. Greater attention increases likely exposure and ultimately readers, users, and citations of the research you’ve worked hard to produce.
More and more journal articles are now accompanied by video abstracts and these provide an alternative mechanism to deliver the key findings of your research. A short video (two to four minutes) can effectively cover the main points of your research and offer an alternative delivery to a traditional text-based abstract.
Delivering video abstracts for Ergonomics
I plan to work with authors in Ergonomics to encourage them to create a video abstract for their research pre-publication. This will involve me getting in touch with authors of accepted papers to let them know the benefits of producing a video abstract and helping where I can to produce it. After publication of the video abstract, my focus will shift to increasing its visibility by promoting it through the journal’s marketing channels (e.g. the Ergonomics Twitter page), in addition to encouraging the article authors to share it through their own networks.
Tips for a great recording
Most authors will have access to equipment. The camera on a smartphone or tablet will probably be suitable, or many universities have a specialized department who can help them to record the video. Then, just find a well-lit room with no background noise and record the abstract, remembering to look at the camera!
However, I’m also keen to explore different approaches. If you don’t fancy talking to camera there are plenty of free resources to create something different, a snappy animation using a tablet for example. And it doesn’t have to be long; authors can focus on one small aspect, even just a few seconds, to grab attention.
Either approach will require editing of the video, but again, many PCs come with suitable software, universities have the expertise, or your marketing contact at the publisher should be able to give further advice.
Suggestions for other journals
Whatever your subject, video abstracts provide a unique way to engage your readers and disseminate research findings. As editors, you may already have colleagues on your Editorial Board who can assist you in liaising with authors and promoting the benefits of video abstracts. If you don’t yet have this expertise, why not consider hiring someone with this experience? Encouraging video abstracts for your journal will be extremely popular with authors and readers alike and really help your journal to stand out from the competition.