Videos are increasingly used by the RAS members and are an excellent tool to increase the visibility of your research work. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million. Through videos, authors can go beyond the constraints of the written text and explain the research with more freedom, attracting a wider technical audience to their work.
Moreover, videos can make the research visible to the general public. Making an attractive video takes some time. However, it will be worth it. It highlights the research work like nothing else.
Videos should not replace the contents of a paper, but should instead make the research results more tangible, introduce equipment and tools, and further engage the audience. We welcome creativity but recommend keeping the structure simple. Videos with poor visual and sound quality will be difficult to follow. We request that videos are recorded in landscape.
Here we offer some practical advice.
We do not suggest a limit on video length since appropriate length may vary withthe research. Realize that viewers easily lose attention, so do not aim to place everything in the video. Aim to keep your video simple and short, refrain from using jargon, and tell a story that will engage your viewers and keep them watching until the end. Start therefore with a strong lead by placing research results at the start of the video.
Before recording, think of a good story line or script of the video. What are the messages you want to give to the viewer and which video footage will be needed. If you decide to write a full script, keep in mind that 120-150 words roughly translate into a minute of video.
Current smartphones have excellent quality that can be easily improved with some addons. At minimum, use a tripod. If possible, use an external microphone and external lighting. ou may be able to connect with your marketing or press department to ask if they can lend equipment and assist with editing. Moreover, they can provide excellent advice.
Ensure you have good light when filming your video. Never sit in direct front of a window or any other light.
Use tripods or stabilizers to reduce vibration. This will make the overall quality of the video look better. Except using appropriate tools, do not film while walking and avoid too much zooming in and out. If available you can use different cameras to record from different angles.
Background and noise
Avoid distracting backgrounds and also ensure that background audio noise is kept to a minimum. Use a lapel microphone if possible.
Clearing copyrights of music is complicated as there are often many rights holders, therefore we advise to not include any music in videos. This also applies to pictures and videos.
Video editing software
Currently there are many tools available for Mac and Windows.
The narration of the video should be clear and not too fast. Ask a friend or colleague to narrate if necessary. Some also use computer voices, but check the quality. And above all, make sure the narrator sounds excited and engaging about the research.
Captions and subtitles
Captions or subtitles are an important addition to your video. They will make your abstract accessible both to the deaf and hearing impaired community. Moreover, for many in your audience reading might be easier than listening (e.g., if on a mobile device). If you will be uploading your video to YouTube, you can automatically add closed captions to your video.
Upload the video
Popular video sharing platforms include Youtube and Vimeo. Youtube is free and easy to use, but they reserve the right to palace ads. Vimeo is ad-free, but you have to pay for videos larger than 500MB. Other platforms may be preferred depending on your needs. Always upload in the highest resolution available. Mark the video as “unlisted”, so the reviewers can access the video during the review process. Clearly indicate the full URL address for the video in the paper without relying on hyperlinks (since these are removed by many review systems) iand upload a compressed version on the review platform. Once the paper is published, the video can be made public. Foresee in the description of the online video the full reference of the paper and a link to the paper on IEEExplore. As such viewers of the video, can easily find your full paper back.
Promote your video
Once you did all the efforts, make sure the world knows about your amazing research.
1) Embed the video on your website and/or blogs.
2) Add a link to the video and paper to your social media channels. You can tag the RAS accounts, so we can reshare.
3) Check with your press office to see if they can make a news article about the research.
Robohub (https://robohub.org/category/learn/ ) has an excellent source of information. Scientific Agitation (https://www.scientificagitation.com) was founded to support researchers to do a more humane scientific & technological development.