With the advent of the digital era, technological advances have taken over almost all conventional methods of information transfer. Owing to which, the scientific research community has also come closer to adapting these revolutionary changes. One such example is the inception and growth in the usage of video abstract for research papers.
While written research abstracts serve the purpose of reaching academics from specific domains, researchers have now resorted to creating video abstracts to gather the attention of a wider audience from multiple disciplines.
What is a Video Abstract?
A video abstract is a short multimedia video that aims to highlight the important aspects and findings of a published research study. Researchers can emphasize on various parts of their scientific findings in the form of a video that may include graphics, recorded video footage, or even a PowerPoint presentation.
Unlike a formal written or printed abstract is presented in an attractive manner, this abstract is an excellent way to explain your research in a unique manner.
Video Abstract vs Written Abstract
As stated earlier, video abstracts are the latest trend in STEM publishing and most publishers are now encouraging this practice. Such abstracts bring in significant benefits to researchers.
Here, we discuss ways in which these abstracts have revolutionized the conventional formats of research abstracts.
- Firstly, an abstract is appealing to the viewer’s eyes due to the different colors and motional elements used in the format.
- Secondly, you can demonstrate your experiments.
- Thirdly, you can illustrate complex theoretical phenomena through animations or motion graphics.
- Lastly, it increases the visibility of your research paper online without confining to a specific set of audience. It acts an excellent platform to showcase your creativity in disseminating knowledge.
In addition to the above key factors, abstracts have brought in a significant change in the storytelling approach of authors. Subsequently, publishers have encouraged authors to create these abstracts to be published along with their research paper on online platforms. Furthermore, researchers can also create these abstracts for social media to gather more traction for their published paper.
What are the Different Types of Video Abstracts?
Creating such an abstract is not limited to any single format. You can explore different ways of presenting the same information.
- Whiteboard Explainer Videos
Has it been difficult at times to explain a specific concept? How often have you drawn a picture to illustrate your point when it was difficult to explain it verbally?
What comes to your resort here is- drawing on a whiteboard! This is an easy and effective way to provide purposeful visuals in your abstract.
When trying to explain certain working concepts or phenomena using manual drawing skills, it can become difficult over time. In such situations, you can make animated or stationary image illustrations using freely available animation software tools. Animaker, Blender, K-3D, Plastic Animation Paper, etc. allow for simple and clear representations. These are visually more appealing and are a cost-effective way to convey your work in compelling manner.
- Motion Graphics
While animations are an appealing and effective way of presenting the data, they are limited to their static nature. The feature addition of motion in an animation enhances your avenue of explaining your concepts in a highly creative manner. You can use comical moving illustrations, caricatures, or working models of an experiment to explain your concepts clearly.
- PowerPoint Presentation
For a long time now, researchers have used PowerPoint to present their work on different platforms. This simple way can also be used to narrate your research abstract by using thoughtful visuals created in PowerPoint. Furthermore, it is free to access and has all the possible features to make your abstracts well organized with the help of uncluttered slides. While making a narrative PowerPoint presentation, it is important to focus on the narrative rather than just listing out the facts of your research.
- Self-recording / Author-talking Videos
As the name suggests, this type of abstract refers to the author talking about his work, key findings, conclusions, and results in front of a camera. This method of creating a video abstract enables the author to promote his/her work by literally talking to the audience. As your viewers can see you on screen, it becomes easier for them to identify you and lets you connect with the audience directly. In other words, it is like putting a face on the name!
- Combination of Types
With so many options to choose from, it’s quite normal to get confused about which type of abstract you should use. Which one would prove more efficient for your work? Well, you don’t necessarily have to stick to a single approach! A combination of types of abstract provide different insights and lets you explore more possibilities to be creative.
For instance, you may begin with the self-recording type to narrate the video. Further, you can move to using whiteboard explainer, motion graphics, or animations depending on the requirement of your concept. If need be, you can also incorporate a PowerPoint slideshow to explain some key factors of your study.
How to Create a Powerful Video Abstract?
Once you have selected the type of video abstract you want to create from the above-mentioned list, you must stick to the following tips to create the abstract.
- Duration of the Video
As the purpose is to disseminate key concepts and findings of your study, following a strict schedule is important. Ideally, make the abstract concise and crisp so that it does not seem too long and irrelevant to the topic of your study. An appealing abstract must not be longer than 5 minutes. Anything beyond 5 minutes would increase the chances of the researcher deviating from the topic and overwhelm the audience with unnecessary information.
- Flow of the Abstract
Create a framework and layout the flow of the abstract as you do for a written one. Important elements that the abstract must include are the research topic, aim of the study, author affiliations, introduction to the topic, brief description of the methods applied, results, and conclusion.
- Technical Specifications
The video and audio quality is a crucial factor for making an effective abstract. Compromising on either of them will hamper the purpose behind creating an abstract in a multimedia format.
- Make sure to record your video in a silent place away from background noises.
- Use a good quality microphone to record your voice.
- To maintain a good visual of the abstract, record the same in a well lit room.
- Do not use flash photography or videography, if not required.
- Consider recording the voiceover separately to your video footage. This will help in effectively controlling the audio quality of your video.
- Inserting “Call to Action” Phrases
You can insert some “Call to Action” phrases at the end of your abstract to gather more traction to your research paper. For instance, inviting suggestions regarding the methodology used in your work, sending you a feedback email, sharing your social media and scholarly media credentials, etc. This will subsequently increase your reach as a researcher and bring in more chances of collaborative research.
It is important to upload your video in a format that can be easily accessible by researchers across the globe. Ideally, video formats in MP4, MOV, WMV, and MKV are widely used and are compatible with most operating systems. Maintain a suitable aspect ratio to fit all screen sizes.
What is the use of putting in so much effort if your audience can’t understand your concepts clearly? Hence, to avoid complexities and difficulties in deciphering your ideas, it is imperative to convey your ideas in simple language for native and non-native speakers to understand.
Do’s and Don’ts While Creating a Video Abstract
|Position your camera carefully to avoid light reflections||Do not use glaring and flickering lights|
|Record in a silent room||Do not use background music that will obscure your voice|
|Use a camera with a high resolution recording feature||Do not keep the camera too close to the recording subject|
|Speak clearly and look directly into the camera||Avoid reciting your script verbatim to sound like a robotic monologue|
|Stick to your research work||Do not give away unnecessary information|
So how do you plan to present your video abstract? Can you think of other creative ways of preparing impressive such abstracts? Let us know how these tips have helped you in creating your abstract in the comments section below!