Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery spearheads knowledge dissemination by adopting new ways of science communication
The fact that there are 206 bones in an adult human body (270 at birth) is reason enough to dedicate an entire line of study to diagnose and treat the diseases of the musculoskeletal system. For over 125 years, The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS) has been the most valued source of knowledge for orthopedic surgeons and researchers and is the touchstone in peer-reviewed scientific information in this field. Essential reading and referencing for general as well as specialists worldwide, the journal publishes evidence-based research to enhance the quality of care and life for orthopedic patients.
With hundreds of musculoskeletal studies being published, it is challenging for practicing orthopedic surgeons and researchers alike to keep up with the latest breakthroughs. It is difficult to delve into every detail amidst all the challenges of a demanding medical career and personal research commitments.
The need for such research papers to be packaged in interesting ‘bites’ seemed imminent. Impact Science collaborated with JBJS to achieve just this. The rest, as they say, is—well, you will know!
The JBJS had a very simple expectation—create self-explanatory graphical summaries of select articles that can be shared on a larger platform so that their clinically compelling findings could both find an expansive audience and be easier to digest, thus driving up engagement. The only cincher—all this had to be done keeping a very tight biweekly publication production cycle!
With a team of highly energized content experts, Impact Science was more than ready for the task. We proposed to create a series of short videos and engaging infographics. These would highlight key research data and summarize the entire research in minutes without losing the core proposition of the research.
Not only would this make the crucial information easy to access, but also quick to consume for the journal’s various stakeholders.
Our team of science writers, illustrators, and graphic designers studied each selected research paper, decoded its nuances, and built simple storylines to explain the findings using graphics and visuals, complemented by appropriate captions to create attractive, easy-to-navigate infographics. Researchers in turn would find these easy to disseminate to a wider audience as compared to dense, multi-paged, time-consuming articles.
Impact Science also created “video summaries” for some of the more popular JBJS research papers using 2D graphic motion. A 2D graphic video typically makes use of attractive graphics and supporting captions, similar to infographics, with multiple images that give a sense of motion using animation and narration.
To ensure that the tight biweekly timelines were met, we fit our workflow within the journal’s production cycle that included approvals from the author, journal editor, and copy editor, as well as final approval by the editor-in-chief in the form of an annual calendar.
This allowed us to successfully deliver high-quality video and infographic content, week after week. Here are some samples of our work done for JBJS:
1) Results of hip arthroscopy explained in a simple linear infographic that nudges the viewer to follow the graphic with ergonomic eye movement
2) This infographic outlines a study of glenohumeral arthrodesis with a high rate of complications and functional limitations and solutions for pain relief and shoulder stability.
3) Study of idiopathic toe-walking in children aged up to 10 years explained in this infographic showcases how it is likely to resolve without treatment.
4) This video is an example of a complex study on randomized trials comparing suture buttons for stabilization.
Video link (from the article in the jbjs.org by Marc F. Swiontkowski, MD & Jason Miller)
These abridged studies using infographics and videos were announced by the editor-in-chief, Marc F. Swiontkowski, MD, inviting the journal’s authors and readers to check them out.
These are also shared widely on various social media platforms and other science news sites, frequented by orthopedic specialists and surgeons as well as the general medical science fraternity.
The response from the community is more than encouraging!
- 10x increased views for articles with visual content on the journal website
- 5x views of videos summaries on average compared to other JBJS videos on YouTube
- 2.5x increase in YouTube channel subscribers since the introduction of video summaries
- 90% of JBJS Twitter favorites retweeted
- Interest from commercial sponsors for infographics and interstitial ads on videos
- Enhanced engagement for readers from other sub-specialties
- Infographic received mainstream media coverage in The Sunday Times!
Needless to say, as thorough and meticulous researchers are in their willingness to invest time, the creative repurposing of hardcore JBJS research by Impact Science in the form of infographics and videos has garnered exponential traction within the scientific fraternity for its simplicity and conciseness.