Technique of the week #8: Video abstracts

What you need to know

  • Video abstracts tend to be 1-4 minutes, and allow the authors of an academic paper to personally explain their work to a broader audience.
  • Video abstracts maximize engagement and visibility by allowing authors to combine filming themselves with images, animations and laboratory experiments to explain their research paper.
  • Video abstracts should tell a story, rather than a regurgitation of facts. They should convey the researcher’s interest and excitement.
  • More journals are accepting video abstracts (e.g., New Journal of Physics, Cell, Elsevier).

Resources, time, and skill

  • A video abstract can be created with a simple laptop camera and have the researcher summarize their research.
  •  More complex video abstracts can use visuals or animations (free software such as Paint, Pant.NET, or Windows Movie Maker may be used). Use the best quality camera possible.
  •  Depending on the complexity of the video abstract, the amount of time, resources and skill will vary.

Key Considerations

Video abstracts are not meant to replace a text-based article, but rather to enhance the understanding (e.g., explanation of complex methods, or technical aspects) of the research. Just as text-based abstracts provide a preview of the article to allow the reader to determine to purchase or download the article, the same applies to a video abstract, except through images, animations, and sounds.

Incorporating webinars in your KMb

  • Video abstracts are a great way to reach other audiences that may not be directly involved in your research field.
  • Video abstracts can be a way for research to have an immediate impact on students, colleagues, and/or other researchers by streamlining, and increasing visibility and access to the research.
  • These informative and accessible communication products may be appreciated or required by funding agencies.

The take away

  • Video abstracts maximize engagement with viewers, allowing researchers to explain complex concepts, thereby reaching more diverse audiences.


How to make a video abstract (step by step guide with additional resources)

DovePress video abstract guidelines


Where temperate meets tropical: multi-factorial effects of elevated CO2, nitrogen enrichment, and competition on a mangrove-salt marsh community

Cell journal video abstract guidelines (examples are on the right pane)

Elsevier video abstracts

Video Editing Software

Windows Movie Maker (freeware, usually comes with your machine)

Adobe Premiere (Not free, but does offer a free trial)

Graphic Editing Software

Paint.NET (freeware)

Gimp (freeware)

Adobe Photoshop (Not free, but does offer a free trial)




Exploring Housing’s Connections to Economy, Education, and Health

With the support from the MacArthur Foundation, an independent foundation that supports non-profit organizations, the How Housing Matters is an interactive website portal offering up-to-date, easily searchable research and news on a broad range of housing topics. The knowledge-sharing tool emphasizes the connection between housing and better educational opportunities and outcomes for children; stronger foundations for family and community economic stability; and healthier, more productive individuals and neighborhoods. To view the tool, click here!

Do you dream of a successful career in the nonprofit sector?

Click here to visit the site

The HR Council has a valuable online resource centre for people with a passion for nonprofits, especially those who are recently graduated or switching careers.

 The “Working in Nonprofits” webpage includes an extensive list of job boards, digital guides, and other useful websites relating to careers in nonprofit organizations. It also has video and written profiles of a diverse range of people working in Canadian nonprofits.

 The most interesting element is its “Career Explorer” tool, for visitors to navigate the types of jobs commonly available, the education and experience required for those jobs, and the availability of work across the sector.

 Career Explorer offers “access point” questions for visitors to find the most relevant information to them. Visitors can choose from a range of questions, for example “I am a recent graduate. What can I do with my degree?” and, “Are my skills easily transferrable to a different job in the sector?” These question prompts reduce an overwhelming amount of information into a more manageable, personalized format.

 This page is a fantastic starting point for anyone interested in doing nonprofit-related work. It paints a realistic picture of the sector, and inspires visitors with advice, resources, and examples of what a nonprofit career can look like.

 Interested job-hunters can also watch a series of webinars on topics including community service learning, careers in the nonprofit sector, and job hunt strategies.

 Visit the site here:

Infographics for Knowledge Translation

Inforgraphics (information graphic) have became very popular in recent years. As Isaac Coplan, a Knowledge Translation Coordinator at NeuroDevNet says, these forms of data visualization have been used in knowledge translation as a tool for disseminating research and sharing the findings of evaluations.  Infographics provide a quick visual representation of the main messages in research. This makes them accessible to busy; decision makers/policy makers, practitioners, researchers, students, parents and families. To read more, please click here for the full article by Isaac Coplan.

ASEE Community Engagement Division Video Competition

The ASEE Community Engagement Division is hosting a film festival – a video competition – beginning April 19th (please see  Our goal is to document how engineering students from across the country are engaging communities.  There will be a $1000 Best Video Award and a $1000 Community Impact Award.
For this effort, it is important that we stay connected in order to:  a)  help market the submitted videos, and b) to facilitate voting and provide updates on the status of the voting results.  We invite you to:
1.  Follow us on Twitter (
2.  Like us on Facebook (
3.  Subscribe to our YouTube channel (
If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact:

ASEE Community Engagement Division

Proposals submissions for Western Region Research Conference on the Education of Adults due June 1st, 2015

WRRCEA October 16-18, 2015

University of Alberta Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The biannual WRRCEA conference, a collaborative effort of universities in Western Canada and the Western United States with graduate programs engaged in the study of the education of adults, will be hosted by the Department of Educational Policy Studies, University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

Proposal submissions are due no later than June 1, 2015

Conference Theme

This year, the conference will be organized around the theme of Reanimating Adult Education: Conflict, Violence and Learning. The theme is meant to invoke ideas and debates about possibilities for adult education in the shifting global landscape of violent conflict, colonialism, capitalism, imperialism, gender and other inequities, and neoliberalized spaces. Participants are invited to explore their research and practice in relation to these contextual factors. How might adult education scholars, researchers, practitioners and activists bring new life to the field?

Proposal submissions are invited to respond to this theme or to broader considerations in the study and practice of adult education.

Types of Proposals and Sessions

The WRRCEA 2015 conference committee welcomes proposals in the areas of theory, research, policy and practice. As a principle of adult education, audience participation in all sessions is encouraged. All proposals will be peer reviewed. Full papers, along with summaries of roundtables, posters and symposia, will be published in the digital conference proceedings.

  • Full Paper (50 minutes):  Full paper presentations report on complete or nearly complete work.
  • Research Roundtables (50 minutes): Informal discussions of research in progress and research opportunities are facilitated through research roundtables. Several roundtable discussions will take place concurrently in the same room with each presenter assigned to a different table.
  • Posters: Posters offer an opportunity to share informal, visual presentations of completed research or research in progress.
  • Symposia (90 minutes): In symposia participants explore diverse or conflicting perspectives on a compelling topic or issue that is or should be of concern to adult education practitioners. A symposium is intended to be a dialogue, not only a presentation of a related set of papers.

Proposal Format

All proposals should be submitted electronically to

Please include authorial information along with primary author contact information in your email only. The proposal itself should not include any identifying information.

Proposals should be a maximum of three pages, double-spaced and include:

  • Proposal title and presentation type
  • Abstract (150 words maximum, will be included as is in the conference program)
  • Proposal (identify the guiding question, theoretical framework, and significance of the work)
  • Session description (describe how you will engage participants, the proposed sequence of events, what materials participants will receive, why the presentation methods are appropriate for the session, and how the session promotes active learning)

Proposal Deadlines

  • Proposal submissions are due no later than June 1, 2015
  • Accepted proposals will be confirmed by June 15th
  • Full papers/summaries for inclusion in the WRRCEA Conference Proceedings are due no later than August 15, 2013

Position: Summer Outreach Coordinator with SolarShare

Position: Summer Outreach Coordinator
Organization: TREC / SolarShare
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Start Date: May 1, 2015
End Date: August 28, 2015
Wage: $16/ hr

About TREC

TREC Renewable Energy Co-operative (TREC) is an incorporated, not-for-profit organization that has been working for more than 10 years to develop co-operatively owned renewable energy projects in Ontario and to educate about renewable energy, conservation, and the community power model.

Summary of Role

Are you looking for an opportunity to gain experience in the field of renewable energy and/ or social finance? TREC is looking for a results-driven individual with experience in a related field to support a sales and marketing campaign for SolarShare. The Outreach Coordinator is responsible for organizing events, volunteers, and recruiting new co-op members to invest in Solar Bonds during our busy event season from May-August.

Successful candidates will be organized, independent, quick on their feet, and have some experience planning community events. The position involves planning and coordination at the TREC office in downtown Toronto and travel within the GTA on evenings and weekends. A valid G license and access to a vehicle is an asset.

Key Responsibilities

  • Coordinate events including researching opportunities, scheduling, managing a budget, organizing logistics, promoting, and setting up exhibitor booth.
  • Organize volunteer schedules and assist with volunteer recruitment and training
  • Assist with the sale of SolarShare bonds
  • Collect content and images for media releases, blogs, and social media
  • Administrative activities such as tracking results and ordering supplies
  • Other related duties as required

Qualifications & Experience

  • Strong sales and/or customer service background
  • Experience with grassroots marketing event coordination
  • Knowledge of the renewable energy industry and policy environment in Ontario
  • Strong writing and communication skills
  • Highly organized, self-motivated and independent worker
  • Confident public speaking ability
  • Graphic design skills an asset


All applications must be submitted by April 13 at 5pm. NOTE: Applicants are encouraged to send their resume and cover letter as soon as possible as interviews will begin before the posting deadline.


– Please submit a cover letter and resume by email to the attention of Julie Leach:
jobs msk*

– Please compile a cover letter and resume in PDF and send as a single attachment. Use your full name as the file name.

– In your cover letter, please address how you would be successful in marketing SolarShare to relevant audiences.

– Confirm if you have a valid G driver’s license.

– You will be expected to familiarize yourself with the SolarShare website

– We thank you for your application but only those chosen for an interview will be contacted; no phone calls please.

– TREC is fully committed to equal employment opportunity.

When applying, please indicate that you saw this posting at