Guidance on Publishing Research Results Online

Nowadays there is an additional problem for the researcher – how to publish their results. The traditional format of publishing research to many outsiders seems to be the 200 page long PDF,  they are often huge mountains of text with conclusions buried within sandwiched between appendices and references.  It is of course difficult to present often complexed research and findings in an easy to digest format without losing much of  the substance that supports the conclusions.

Many of course include diagrams and graphics as part of their reports in an attempt to make the information more accessible to those without specialised knowledge or qualifications in that specific area.  After all it is the interests of all researchers to make their conclusions and work available to as many people as possible.

One of the biggest difficulties is that the skills needed to produce such format is often not available especially on smaller, tightly funded research projects.   Can you expect a Physics researcher or medical student to be a master in graphic design or computer animation, it’s certainly a bonus to a project but overall unlikely.

Fortunately now there are many tools online which can be used to present information more accessibly than traditional formats.  One of those products is Content Samurai which is video making software entirely stored online in the cloud.  It’s fairly simple to use and can be used to create slideshow type videos which can be used to summarise or conclude research projects, here’s a quick demonstration of it in use.

There are limitations of course to using software like this to create presentations. The format is deliberately kept simple in order to reduce the knowledge needed to use the application. You cannot for instance produce advanced editing techniques or special effects beyond those hard coded into the application. However it should be noted that using existing content you can produce a professional presentation in video format within a few minutes. The video produced is perfectly suitable for direct upload to video sites like YouTube and even grabbing a blog post like this – How to Watch the BBC iPlayer in Germany and turning it quickly into a video presentation which is the perfect place to distribute to a wider audience.

Of course this format is never going to be suitable for publishing the bulk of research findings, the format is simply not able to deliver large amounts of scientific data for example. However for summaries and conclusions it offers people without video creation skills the perfect solution. It’s obviously worth investigating the variety of online slideshow makers which are available, as some are more complex and powerful than others. It’s likely you can find something that can be used by most researchers.

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