Hepatology Communications’ newest team member has hit the ground running by adding visual abstracts to the publication and working on other new ways to increase the visibility and readership for the journal.
Adam Mikolajczyk, MD, joined the Hepatology Communications editorial team in July as Associate Editor for Online Journal Features and Opportunities, a position he finds appealing because of his interest in the publication process and his own research of medical education delivery methods.
“This has actually been an area of active research for me. I’ve previously published on the creation of hepatology curriculum for residents and have begun to focus on improving liver-directed education for medical students,” he said, adding that the position was “a new and novel way to apply my particular training within curriculum development in order to educate readers by providing interactive and engaging content.”
He has been spearheading the addition of visual abstracts to the journal’s offerings as a way to provide additional avenues of entry into the journal’s content.
Visual abstracts are pictorial representations of the major findings of a paper, and are a visually stimulating way to introduce research and drive journal traffic via social media.
“In this day and age, physicians are getting inundated with information from every direction, and so there has been great interest in developing new, effective ways to quickly disseminate information,” said Dr. Mikolajczyk, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Visual abstracts are one of those new ways of sharing information. Dr. Mikolajczyk said the visual abstract is meant to tell a story about the paper in a succinct way that is not only visually interesting, but also conveys the message quickly. It also allows those interested to easily access the full paper in the journal.
Visual abstracts work very well, he added, because Hepatology Communications is an Open Access online journal.
“As a journal, social media is one way for us to reach our audience. Another benefit of the visual abstracts is that they are very easy to disseminate within social media. There is actually published data on the use of visual abstracts, and it’s been shown that papers with a visual abstract that is presented on social media garner more views and more downloads than those without,” he explained.
There are currently 13 visual abstracts published on the site, and of those, six are part of a special collection the journal put together in January on the best of the journal’s content on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
In addition to expanding the number of visual abstracts in the journal, Dr. Mikolajczyk also is working on a plan to incorporate video content into the journal’s offerings and will be enhancing the journal’s Twitter content.
“So much of science today involves having information readily accessible. Sites like Twitter, for better or for worse, are really good at putting information at someone’s fingertips. Our hope is to be able to effectively and electronically deliver our content to physicians and scientists, including through the use of social media.”
The next step toward more interactive and visual content, he added, will be producing methodology videos, something that is becoming increasingly available in the scientific community.
“We would like to incorporate a video complementing a manuscript that would demonstrate a particular portion of the methods. We’re also interested in potentially creating a new type of submission to the journal in which authors present an entire novel methodology in video form,” he said.
With the journal celebrating the completion of its second year, the editorial team is also looking into other innovative projects that are possible because of the unique nature of its online open-access presence, such as open data sharing.
“We are striving to use these unique features of our journal in order to disseminate renowned research within hepatology to colleagues across the globe,” he said. “We want Hepatology Communications to be readily identified as one of the premiere journals within the field of hepatology.”