Visual Abstracts (#VisualAbstract): A New Journal Initiative to Disseminate Research : Transplantation

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Visual Abstracts (#VisualAbstract): A New Journal Initiative to Disseminate Research

Henderson, Macey JD, PhD1; Baan, Carla PhD2; Chapman, Jeremy MD, FRCP3

Author Information
doi: 10.1097/TP.0000000000002790
  • Free

As a part of our efforts to increase access to published research across our social media platforms and website, we are adopting the use of Visual Abstracts as part of our strategy to promote the dissemination of high-quality and original scientific research.

A Visual Abstract is a graphic summary of the information from the abstract of an article that is meant to convey key findings in a brief format. The Visual Abstract serves an adjunct to help readers quickly find the content most relevant to them that they want to pursue further and read. Finalized Visual Abstracts will be disseminated across our social media platforms, including our Twitter channel that has over 5000 followers. Additionally, the Visual Abstracts will appear online with the finalized version of the published article.

Key components of the Visual Abstract are as follows1:

  • Summarize Key Question Being Addressed: This usually comes from the title of the article or heading of key figure.
  • Summary of Outcomes: Most articles have many, >3, but the Visual Abstract will focus on just the first 3 primary findings of the article.
  • Author, Citation: Typically including the first author’s name, journal, and year of publication.
  • State Outcome Comparison: A short phrase that clearly states the outcome with some directionality. For example, “Decreased Need for Blood Transfusions” is used rather than simply “Blood Transfusions.” As much as possible, the language should use the same prose and interpretation used in the article for accuracy and consistency.
  • Visual Display of Outcome: A simple, single-colored icon that represents the outcome. (See below—“Making it Visual.”). While there are many options, Flatiron is one website that contains a free icon bank,
  • Data of Outcome (Units): In addition to stating the outcome, visual abstracts give the numeric representation with clear labeling of the units.

Examples of successful Visual Abstracts are shown in Figures 1 and 2.


Authors are welcome to submit Visual Abstracts alongside their normal submission files. A template and additional information can be found on our Author Guidelines. The Visual Abstract will be reviewed by the Editorial Team before acceptance just like any other component of a peer-reviewed article.


  1. Must not deviate from the conclusions of the article.
  2. Font size should be at least 12 pt, Calibri (body) font.
  3. Only original Visual Abstract submissions are accepted (reprinted images and figures will not be accepted).
  4. Avoid excessive detail and clutter and keep text to a minimum.
  5. Exclude trade names, logos, or images of trademarked items.
  6. Transplantation reserves the right to edit content deemed outside these requirements.

We look forward to this new initiative to better disseminate original research. For more information, please e-mail [email protected]. And be sure to follow us on Twitter (@TransplantJrnl), Facebook, and LinkedIn!


1. Ibrahim AM. Use of a visual abstract to disseminate scientific research. A surgeon's journey through research & design. 2018. Available at Accessed April 30, 2019.
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