Educational System has come to the crossroad of the new transformation, may be it is due to the fact that the way we communicate and perceive the information in this busy world. Never seen before this clustered information shared from academic institutions, it’s impossible to skim through every details just by reading the whole materials in forms of thesis, journal papers, books and so on. Intrigued by this new habit formation developed in the millennial generation, Sarbojeet Jana is on a mission to change that by welcoming video abstracts in Abstract Tube in crispy bite-sized videos.
Sarbojeet Jana says that blogging has overtaken journalism of late. And video blogging has become another new trending category where viewers are more prompted to go after. This phenomenon led to the creation of Abstract Tube Inc., a Columbus Ohio based startup developing a dedicated video portal to cater the need of new era of video journalism, from the specter of age-old passé journalism. As Jana envisioned the website to be the media-rich information from academia. He says, “Although our primary goal is to focus video abstracts but it’s not only limited in videos, images can also be uploaded in Abstract Tube. Images of all kinds such as conference poster, graphs, and lab pictures from different instruments can be uploaded in our platform. We also permit videos of all kinds such as a video of an experiment in a lab, a student and professor debating on a topic in a seminar class etc. The good part is that all the materials in the form of images and videos in our portal can be cited by anybody. This also helps a student, professor and researcher get more exposure in citation building of their work. We think citation should not just be limited in published articles, graphs obtained from a failed experiment should also be cited to have an understanding what might have caused that failure.”
Scott Spicer from University of Minnesota has been publishing articles on media and higher education and this is what he said about the video abstracts: “Video abstracts are a natural evolution of science communication into multimodal environments. Publishing trends will likely continue to grow gradually, with appreciation for non-traditional scholarship (multimodal scholarship) and new measures for assessing impact (altmetrics) potentially encouraging greater adoption.” Based on the research published in Journal of Informetrics, it is concluded that better abstracts lead to more full paper reading and more citation. Therefore, these abstracts made in video format with quality script writing has the potential to entice more viewership and engagement. Creating video abstracts in journal paper and conference presentation is not a completely new thought as there is enough evidence that a handful of journal publishers encourage this practice. “Chemistryviews”, “Researchsquare”, and “American Journal Experts” are some names in the video abstract creation at a cost of $1500.
There is a bigger potential of becoming a treasure trove of informative videos as Abstract Tube grows its user base and more videos are published in the site. University libraries should encourage all students to create and publish thesis and dissertation abstracts in video format for understanding their work better even by the general public. As video abstract creation is gaining popularity in institutions across European countries, European research work could surpass American exposure.
Sarbojeet Jana does not like to compare Abstract Tube with SlideShare but based on the recent uptick of media consumption in the form of videos and images, this company has true potential to grow in the long run. SlideShare was launched in 2006 and was acquired by Linkedin at $119 million price tag. As LinkedIn was bought by Microsoft Corporation recently, now the current owner of SlideShare is Microsoft. If Abstract Tube could build a good user base, it could be more valuable than SlideShare.