August 1, 2016 | Imogen Clarke, Development Editor

Getting creative with cartoon abstracts

A fun new way of visualizing academic research.


A huge amount of effort goes into researching and writing a journal article, but when all the hard work has paid off and you can finally see the published result, how do you make sure it gets read? With global scientific output doubling every nine years, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd. Here on Editor Resources, we’ve got lots of valuable advice for profile raising, and our marketers are always on the lookout for new ideas to develop. We’re pretty excited about one of our recent ventures: cartoon abstracts.

What is a cartoon abstract?

Launched by Taylor & Francis in 2015, a cartoon abstract explains the focus of a journal article in a cartoon strip. It functions in the same way as a conventional abstract, but the graphic element serves to really draw attention to the research in a fun and innovative way.

Each individual cartoon abstract summarizes the original authors’ work through illustration, harnessing the overwhelming power of images. Illustrations can aid the understanding of difficult concepts, broaden the appeal of niche topics, and help transcend language barriers.

Once created, individual abstracts are promoted through social media, in newsletters and by email. The original authors can also be provided with A1-size posters of their cartoon, for display at their department institution or place of work, at conferences, or even in poster sessions. Perhaps unsurprisingly, we’ve found them to be very popular!

You can see the full collection here.

How can editors get involved?

We will be making limited numbers of new cartoon abstracts in the future. Not every article is suitable for the full cartoon treatment, so discuss any suggestions with your Managing Editor, who will contact the cartoon abstracts team. And be sure to tell your authors about them!

Published: August 1, 2016 | Author: Imogen Clarke, Development Editor | Category: Front page, News and ideas, Raising the profile of my journal | Tagged with: