How Video Abstracts help communicate and publicise your research

How video abstracts work

Video abstracts are short 2-3 minute videos with voice-over that deliver the core message of your research output in a bite-sized, easily accessible format. View an example of a video abstract here: Going with the Flow: New methods for Treating Cardiovascular Disease

Why video abstracts work better

Surveys of academics and journal editors have shown that people actually do engage with video abstracts, often more so than with images or text. This is probably because it requires less effort from the audience. When presented with a video or animation, you can let the medium explain the key points of your study:

  • Main message
  • Main outcomes
  • Significance for the future of the field

How video abstracts help during submission and review

Video abstracts are of great help to journal editors. They can click on a link embedded in an email or cover letter and get enthused, interested and quickly convinced that a paper is interesting and worthy of further consideration for publication via peer review. Unsurprisingly, increasing numbers of scholarly journals now encourage their authors to include a video abstract as part of their submission.

In some fields, like molecular biology and structural chemistry, this approach is becoming commonplace. Indeed, what better way to illustrate the complexities of a new compound, crystal structure or protein interaction than with a short video presentation that summarises the results?

How video abstracts help you publicise your published paper

A video abstract is also the most effective way to quickly convey the results of your study to a wider audience. As well as their obvious appeal amid the submission and review process, video abstracts can be used in a wider media or research impact campaign, once you know your paper is going to be accepted, or as a component of your public outreach.

How video abstracts help you promote yourself as a researcher

Alongside downloadable PDFs and other information about your research group, video abstracts are also a great way to attract traffic to your lab website: all part of successfully marketing and branding yourself as a researcher. Our ultimate goal as academics is to entice people and persuade them to read and engage with our research. Video abstracts can significantly enhance the impact, understanding and reach of your work.


A video abstract offers several advantages:

  • Gives you a greater chance to engage with editors and reviewers during the submission and review process.
  • Is the most effective way to quickly disseminate or convey the results of your research to a wider audience.
  • Can be used as part of a media campaign once you know your paper is going to be accepted, or as a component of your public outreach.


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