Annual Meeting Report

A Picture’s Worth 1,000 Words: Disseminating Research Through Graphical and Visual Abstracts


MODERATOR: Carissa Gilman Managing Editor CANCER, American Cancer Society Atlanta, Georgia SPEAKERS: Dr Mary Dott Online Editor Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, Georgia Andrew Smith Production Operations Manager Cell Press Cambridge, Massachusetts REPORTER: Jamie Scott The JAMA Network Chicago, Illinois Scientific publishers continuously face the challenge of how to produce clear and accessible research for their audiences. In an ever-advancing technological world, the challenge has extended to how to distill that research into concise portions for social media and busy audiences, who increasingly search for information on mobile phones and tablets, and usually while time is of great importance. A growing answer to this problem is graphical and visual abstracts: easy-to-digest pictorial summaries of an article’s key points. Moderator Carissa Gilman gave a brief introduction to the topic by explaining that the terms graphical abstract and visual abstract are often used interchangeably because there are no universally accepted definitions for the two. However, she described their differences in that graphical abstracts typically contain one panel that gives a brief snapshot of the article, while visual abstracts contain a more detailed three-panel display of key questions, interventions, and outcomes. Both approaches have the benefit of helping researchers identify and share what is relevant to their research. Gilman also stressed that these abstracts should be seen as a preview to an article, not a substitute. The tricky part is getting a message across, especially regarding who it is for and what kind of study it […]

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