June 9, 2014 | Fiona Counsell, Managing Editor

Visual multimedia

A practical guide


Video and multimedia content is increasing in popularity and use across academia and the world of practice. Taylor & Francis is experimenting with video in a number of ways:

Supplemental content

Authors can submit video files to be hosted on Taylor & Francis Online alongside their article as supplemental content. Supplemental content is intrinsic to the online article and should be submitted alongside the article for peer review. If you want to encourage authors to submit supplemental content, our Author Services website is a good place to start.

Author video abstracts

A video abstract is an audiovisual recording in which an author briefly outlines the purpose, methodology, originality, and results of their research paper. Video abstracts are published alongside the textual abstract so that readers can access both versions. A video abstract is not simply a video of the author reading the textual abstract aloud word for word, but an alternative way of engaging with their audience. They are useful as a promotional tool for the article and could help readers to grasp the concept of the research more quickly and easily. Authors produce a video abstract based on technical guidelines and supply the video with a full transcript. Video abstracts are hosted on Taylor & Francis Online, alongside the article, and on Vimeo. Video abstracts should be submitted after article acceptance via your journal’s Managing Editor. There is a pilot in place, but should you wish to encourage any authors, please get in touch with your Managing Editor, who can share detailed guidelines and resources.

Multimedia content for marketing

This category of video content includes video interviews with, or introductions from, editors, section editors, special issue guest editors, and high-profile authors, among others. The content is explicitly promotional and usually, although not always, promotes the journal as a whole, or an issue. The video is hosted at the journal level on the right-hand side of the journal home page and on Vimeo.

Recording your own video

You might consider recording your own video. We’ve put together some technical guidelines and some ideas for the content of your recording. It is important that you discuss your plans with your Managing Editor and Marketer before making a recording. We do not want you to have wasted your time if, for some reason, we are unable to host your video.

Editorial advice – the content and format of your recording

Think about what you want to achieve or promote with your recording: is the aim to encourage submissions, draw readers, promote a special issue, or raise awareness of the journal’s brand?

Content – what are you promoting?

  • Journal introduction: interview or piece to camera by journal editor introducing her/himself, their research, the journal, its history and contribution to the field, hot topics in the field, future of discipline, advice for potential authors, etc. Example: http://vimeo.com/86317295
  • New editor interview: similar to the journal introduction, but would focus on the new editor’s respect for the history of the journal, what they are looking forward to as editor, any development plans they have for the journal. Example: http://vimeo.com/72029322
  • Special issue: interview, piece to camera or discussion by special issue guest editor/s about the background to the special issue, hot issues emerging out of the special issue, why they chose journal X, etc. Example: http://vimeo.com/95862898
  • Section introduction: interview or piece to camera introducing a particular section of the journal, the rationale and mission for the section, the general requirements for the section, etc. Example: http://vimeo.com/97220586
  • Super author: interview with high-profile author who has published prolifically in the journal. Although this might coincide with the publication of a new article, the interview might be more wide-ranging and refer to other work published in the journal. Example: http://vimeo.com/82541784
  • Conference session: your journal may be hosting, or involved in, a conference session that you want to record and host on the journal’s homepage. Recording at conferences is tricky, due to logistics, number of participants, acoustics, etc. but may be possible. Please discuss with your Managing Editor, as they may have advice on successful recording or be able to suggest alternatives such as an interview post-session with the panelists.

There may be other types of promotion or content you want to use video for; the format is infinitely flexible. Your Managing Editor and Marketer will be happy to offer advice.

Format

  • Standard interview: a question-and-answer format. You may have someone actually ask the questions or you may use them as prompts (and add a slide into the final video). Interviewers can be on-screen or off-scene. Ideally agree a list of questions with the progression of the interview in mind and discuss your responses. Your Taylor & Francis Managing Editor can suggest questions or provide examples.
  • Piece to camera: scripted/prepared/off-the-cuff piece to camera by one participant. This may cover the same content as an interview, but does not have question prompts.
  • Structured discussion: this format involves a discussion between multiple participants. It may be structured with questions or flow organically; however it is just as important to plan and agree on what is going to be covered to ensure that there is a clear point to the interview. This works well during editor handovers or discussions between co-editors or editors and guest editors.

Again, there may be other formats that you want to experiment with.

General

  • We recommend that video recordings are not too lengthy; around 5–10 minutes seems optimal. If they are longer, viewers may be less inclined to watch the complete video. Editing and transcription will also take much longer and be wasted if viewers are not completing the video.
  • If recordings are made of presentation sessions, the presentation slides should not include small text or images that will be difficult to see, or the presenter should supply the presentation so the slides can be incorporated into the edited video.
  • We encourage interviewees to mention specific papers in their interview and to link to those papers from the video transcript, helping to drive usage to the journal.
  • Participants should be aware that viewers may be from outside of the immediate subject area of the special issue/journal and international, and the language used should therefore be accessible. This means avoiding acronyms and jargon, and using clear English. The journal title and other associated titles (such as the name of the society or publisher) should be referred to in full.

Making the recording

Equipment

A good quality digital recording device should be available from your institution’s IT department. Digital recorders are typically easy to use; it is normally as simple as just pressing “record” and “stop!” Try to also borrow a tripod as this gives you more control over the set-up. The latest mobile phone models also have video recording capabilities that may be suitable for use.

Don’t forget that you may already have some useful software and features on your computer or laptop to enable you to create a video. You can plug microphones into your computer, which may help to pick up a better sound quality than using an in-built speaker.

Where

Deciding where you make the recording is crucial as it is important to minimize background noise as much as possible. Avoid rooms next to busy corridors or roads as this will detract from the quality of the recording. A quiet room is usually the best place to make the recording.

Set-up

Consider the lighting and framing of your recording. Try to avoid facing the camera toward the light source, particularly windows, as this will silhouette the subject. Consider what you can see in the background of the shot; you may want to neaten your desk! Some people like to display their latest books on the shelves behind them. You could also consider displaying a copy of the journal in the background or foreground of the shot.

Interviews often look more natural if the interviewee is looking to the side of the camera as if speaking directly to the interviewer. This also has the added benefit of being less intimidating than staring into the camera. Hesitations and gestures also look more natural in the context of a conversation. If you like the interview format but don’t have anyone to interview you, why not pretend (slides with the questions can be added in editing).

Framing of larger groups is more challenging, but try offsetting slightly and consider having the group address each other rather than the camera.

Recording

Some people prefer to write a script to read from during the recording and this can be placed to the side of the recorder to read, or on the desk in front of the interviewee as a prompt. Feel free to break up the recording into sections. Provided the framing remains the same, these can be edited together. Questions are a natural point for this, and question slides in the final edited version can help make the transition smooth.

For editing reasons leave ten seconds of recording at the beginning and end. If you are making a recording and you notice sounds from a loud group of people outside or are interrupted in any way, simply pause, leave the recorder running, wait for the noise to subside and pick up the recording at the start of your previous point. It is then easier to edit the interruption out of the recording at a later date.

Technical specifications

There are a number of technical specifications for hosting video on Taylor & Francis Online:

  • Format: .mov, .mpg, or .mp4
  • Frame rate: 25–30 frames per second
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, square pixels, deinterlaced
  • Frame size: (minimum) 640 × 360 pixels
  • Video codec: H.264, mp2, mp4
  • Video encoding: 2 pass H.264 preferred
  • Keyframe: at least every six seconds
  • Video bitrate: 480–2672 kbps
  • Audio bitrate: 16-bit AAC audio at a sampling frequency of 44.1kHz
  • Bitrate of 128–192 kbps
  • Maximum file size: 300 MB

Editing

There are lots of video editing software applications available and you may find one installed on your PC already. Video editing is more challenging than sound editing and there are a number of things to bear in mind:

  • The audio track and the visual track are recorded on an mp4 separately and, when editing, the synchronization between the two must be maintained. Editing out hesitations and “ums” is easy in audio but is hard to do effectively in a video. Besides, these make a visual recording seem more natural. If you make a mistake you would really like to edit out, pause for a few seconds while leaving the recording running and repeat the sentence.
  • Still images or animations can be added to the recording – please see minute 3 of this video.
  • Soft transitions added to the beginning and end of the recording and between any still images will help “viewability.” For this reason when recording leave approx. ten seconds at either end of each recording to help make these transitions smooth.

Submission

Please save your video in a format listed above. If the file is small enough, send it by email to your journal Marketer and Managing Editor. For larger files please submit all files through ZendTo, a file transfer website, hosted by Taylor & Francis, which allows you to transfer files of up to 2GB internationally. The journal’s Managing Editor will arrange the set-up of this for you.

Please also submit a written transcript of the video recording, available in an editable format such as Microsoft Word. We are not able to host video on Taylor & Francis Online without a full transcript, in order to meet accessibility standards.

All participants in the recording need to sign a Recording Rights Agreement before we can publish the video online. This gives consent for us to host the audiovisual material online and use it in marketing. The journal’s Managing Editor will arrange for this to be forwarded to you. Please sign the agreement and post/email it back as soon as possible, as without it we are unable to post the video.

Resources

Apple: iMovie

YouTube: create videos

Microsoft: Movie Maker

Published: June 9, 2014 | Author: Fiona Counsell, Managing Editor | Category: Front page, Raising the profile of my journal | Tagged with: