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A Visual Abstract is a visual summary of a research article that summarizes and translates the key takeaways of the article in a visual way. The visual abstract is intended to be shared on social media platforms to convey the essential points of an article and enhance general reader interest. It is not meant to replace the written abstract or full article. Research has shown that the use of visual abstracts improves the reach and online impact of an article. A 2019 ICHE article by Cawcutt, Marcelin, and Silver provides a useful overview of research on the impact of visual abstracts on readership and the value of social media in disseminating research in infection prevention, hospital epidemiology, and antimicrobial stewardship.
Submitting a visual abstract to ICHE
Following acceptance of your Original Research Article, Concise Communication, Research Brief, or Review, you will be invited to create a Visual Abstract. Although not required, submission of a Visual Abstract is strongly encouraged. Use the templates and resources below to create your abstract and send it as a PowerPoint file to the journal editorial office (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Associate Editor will review the Visual Abstract and provide feedback and suggestions, as needed. The journal office will post the approved version on social media when the article publishes. Authors are also encouraged to post their visual abstracts on their own social media channels. The corresponding author will serve as the single point of contact. Note that Visual Abstracts are not peer reviewed.
ICHE best practices for visual abstract:
- Identify 1-3 key points or outcomes in the manuscript.
- Use one panel for each key point and limit the number of panels on your slide to no more than 3
- Add visuals to convey each point. Be sure to use ONLY images and graphics that are original or are within the public domain. Simple icons will have a bigger impact that detailed images/graphs.
- Authors should ensure that all images are royalty free and are not subject to any copyright or usage restrictions.
- The Noun Project; https://thenounproject.com/
- Getting Published: Visual & Video Abstracts; https://guides.mclibrary.duke.edu/gettingpublished/visualabstracts
- A Primer on How to Create a Visual Abstract; https://static1.squarespace.com/static/535bcb2fe4b05fe61b320c51/t/586fe712bebafb8c864f28f0/1483728662763/VisualAbstract_Primerv1.pdf