Dear NANN Colleagues,
We receive many excellent manuscripts with information that can be easily adapted into the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) practice, but some subscribers/readers may miss out on the new information because they do not read every article. Maybe the title or the abstract did not grab their attention. No one can know for sure but for some reason they stopped reading the article before they got to the most important elements about the great quality improvement activities, research findings or bedside interventions. Writing a manuscript is hard work so you want to make sure others read it. How can you make sure to get your work noticed by others? Why not consider creating a video abstract to support your article?
Video is everywhere today. Social media is taking over our world and even though we may not read all of our email we often scroll through social media posts when we have downtime. Think about the last time you were on Facebook, Tweeter, or Instagram; what made you stop to read a post or even “click” to read more of an article? We bet it could be the video content in the posts. The old saying “a picture says a thousand words” is true, but today a video can be even more powerful at pulling readers into a story. Creating a video abstract will increase the visibility and potential personal significance to the reader of your article. We know you agree but you also believe creating a video abstract will take special equipment, or cost a lot of money or time to create however, that's just not true.
SO WHAT IS A VIDEO ABSTRACT?
A video abstract is a short 3-5 minute video that tells the reader why they should read your article. Even authors with good speaking skills struggle with being video-taped; it can take a little practice. Begin by writing a few notes, but to really entice viewers let your clinical passion for your topic guide what to say about your work. Using the passion that motivated you to write the article can be your opening few words. Provide the reader with the background for why you chose to write the article, some insights about what made the work highlighted in the article important to you and your NICU practice. You might also provide some key take away points. The point of the video should be to get the reader to want to read the article so you don't want to say too much and you definitely don't want to just read your written abstract. We have provided detailed information about creating a video abstract in the Advances in Neonatal Care (ANC) author guidelines.1 In addition, Lippincott has provided two informative toolkits about the process with step-by-step guidelines that can also be accessed on the ANC Editorial Manager website (http://www.editorialmanager.com/anc/default.aspx) in the same place where you can find our author guidelines on the front page of the ANC Editorial Manager website under the “Files and Resources” area.2–3 In the toolkit about creating a video abstract, there are links to three examples of video abstracts published within other Lippincott journals.2 Each one is very different so watching them should help you to be creative about what you will include in your abstract.
The second toolkit provides information on how to record a video abstract; particularly if you will be in a noisy environment where you might need a microphone or if you plan to use other recording equipment. Please do checkout these toolkits they are really quite helpful and contain pictures and screen shots to direct you through the process.
A video abstract can be created on your tablet or smart phone with an external microphone. The microphone will enhance the quality of the sound if you are in a noisy environment. Lippincott provides recommendations for best microphones in their handouts but if you record in quiet place you may not need one anyway. Do a quick 15 second test run to see what the video looks like (your background) and how it sounds so you can make adjustments before you record the “real” video abstract and don't worry it may take a few tries to get it just right. Another way to create your video abstract is to use 3-5 PowerPoint slides and tape your voice over top the slides. This may be a good way to start if you are feeling uncomfortable in front of a camera. However, seeing your face and seeing your passion may be even better at getting others to read your article.
We know the next words out of your mouth will be, “I can't do that!” But why not; we believe you can do just that!! We challenge you to do so. We are planning over the next few issues to choose the best video abstracts and play them at our booth at the NANN 2016 meeting in Palm Springs. It could be your video that we choose! We created a video abstract (see Supplemental Digital Content 1, available at: http://links.lww.com/ANC/A13) to go with this editorial just to show you how easy it is to provide this type of media to highlight your work.
Please do not be afraid of creating a video abstract to accompany your manuscript we are here to help you through this journey. If you need mentorship through the process, please let us know. We will put you in contact with one of our editorial board members to help guide you in choosing how best to highlight your work. We want you to be successful. So gather your ideas about what you want to do with your video and contact us; share your questions openly; there are no “dumb” questions. We want ANC to be the best clinical and research journal in neonatal care; articles with video abstracts can help us to grab a larger audience and they can also help you to get the word out about your great ideas.
Thank you for your support,
Jacqueline M. McGrath, PhD, RN, FNAP, FAAN
Co-Editor; Advances in Neonatal Care
Debra Brandon, PhD, RN, CCNS, FAAN
Co-Editor; Advances in Neonatal Care