Preparing a Video Abstract

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Video abstracts are an optional service available to all authors.  Following acceptance by the journal's editorial decision-maker of your paper for publication you will be invited to prepare and submit a video abstract if you wish. 

A video abstract is a short video introduction to your article, which can be linked to from the Table of Contents on SAGE Journals, promoted via Social Media, and shared directly by you with your own networks. It is intended to be an addition to, rather than replacement of, your text abstract.

Think about how you can use the visual format to say something new about your article that will enhance the text abstract, and entice new readers to read your paper!

Points to consider:

- Your article – what does it cover, what new information does it present?

- The subject– where is research in this area going, or where would you like to see it going?

- Audience – How might your paper be of interest to a layperson?

Finally, try and close the video in a way that encourages further reading or interaction. You may like to invite questions on the article via your Twitter or Facebook page (you may even like to suggest a hashtag), or simply encourage readers to move from the video abstract to your article.

For more ideas, have a look at this valuable blog from the LSE or how-to from a scientific videographer. If you would like to add PowerPoint slides to your Video Abstract, or would like more guidance on structure, take a look at the resources available here at We Share Science.  

Additionally, see the series, Science: Out of the Box, from Johns Hopkins University for some great examples explaining academic principles in accessible lay terms. 

- Be succinct – aim to make your video 2-3 minutes long, and no longer than 5 minutes.

- Make a plan of the points you’d like to cover before you begin filming. Try not to make your notes too rigid – it will be less engaging for viewers if you are reading directly from prepared text.

- Take your time! Speak clearly and slowly, and remember that you can record as many versions as you like until you’re happy.

- Include a link to your article in the caption to your video, so that viewers can easily move directly to the full text on SAGE Journals. You can add this later if you publish your video before your paper goes online. Extra tips to bear in mind

- Choose a neutral, flat, still background with good light and without background noise.

- Make sure you are central in the view finder/screen on the camera and that you are sitting an appropriate distance away so that your upper body fills the screen.

- If you choose to use cue-cards or read from a monitor, place these at eye level behind the camera, so that you can read them whilst maintaining a natural eye-contact with the viewer.

- Speak slowly, and breathe normally when you reach a natural pausing place.

- If possible, use a tripod, or ensure that the camera/recording device is placed on a flat surface to avoid shaking.

- Ask a colleague to start and stop the recording. Please be aware that the content of the video should not display overt product advertising.

What you need:

- An internet enabled computer or smartphone

- A webcam

- A microphone

1. Create an account with YouTube – videos must be uploaded to YouTube, rather than other video hosting services, or as files sent to SAGE directly

2. Ensure your microphone is connected, some computers have these built into the webcam or the computer itself, or you can plug a separate one into the ‘mic in’ socket (look for this symbol)

3. Ensure your webcam is properly connected, and run a quick test if you aren’t sure

4. You may upload your video abstract to your YouTube account or record your video abstract directly in YouTube. To do the latter, in YouTube, go to the ‘Record from Webcam’ page .

You may need to ‘allow’ YouTube to connect to, or access, your camera and microphone in order to proceed.

5. You should see a picture in the ‘record’ section. If you don’t you may need to choose a different source from the dropdown menu.

6. Before recording your final video, run a quick test: Press ‘Record’ and speak for a few seconds. Press ‘Stop’ and preview what you’ve recorded. Make any adjustments to the height of the camera, and the volume settings. Check the background – is there anything you’d rather not display to the world, or anything that will be distracting for viewers?

7. Once you’re happy, record your video abstract! Make sure you look into the camera throughout, and try to relax so that the recording is natural and engaging.

8. When you’ve finished recording your video, preview it and, if you’d like another attempt, just click ‘Rerecord’.

9. Once you’re happy with the result, click ‘Publish’.

10. Edit information about the video in the ‘My Videos’ page . Make sure you include a direct link to your paper if it’s already published, or add this detail later once your paper does publish.

11. Once you have prepared your Video Abstract, fill in the below form – including a link to the video abstract hosted on YouTube. We will forward the link to the journal’s Editor-in-Chief for approval and provide you with required release form to sign. You may be asked to make edits to the video. Once the final version is ready and approved, we will include a link to the abstract from the journal’s article page.

The Journal Editor and SAGE reserve the right not to link to your video abstract.

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