May 21, 2022

Scholarly Publishing: “As Scientists Take to Twitter, Visual Abstracts Help Results Reach More People”

From the M (Univ. of Michigan) Health Lab Blog:

A new study shows a way for that research to reach even more people, spreading new ideas and findings further.

The means: a Twitter-friendly graphic called a visual abstract, which can nearly triple the number of people who click the link in the tweet to read a full paper, the new study shows.

The results are published in the Annals of Surgery, a journal that began creating visual abstracts for selected research papers last July. More than 20 journals across medicine, basic science and social science have started doing the same in recent months, spurred by the rapid success of the Annals effort.



Source: Visual Abstract Open Source Primer (A Surgeon’s Journey Through Research & Design)

Researchers have also begun repurposing their visual abstracts in presentations, on the web, in outreach to reporters and on other social media platforms. More journals and institutions now offer help to researchers to marry the scientific expertise needed to make a visual abstract with the design skills to make it readable at a glance.

Read the Complete Blog Post

Research Article: Visual Abstracts to Disseminate Research on Social Media: A Prospective, Case-control Crossover Study (via Annals of Surgery)

See Also: Primer on Creating Visual Abstract

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.