What is a Graphical Abstract

According to the International Association of Scientific, Technical, and Medical Publishers (2018), more than 3 million academic articles are published each year, and this figure is steadily growing. To keep up with current research or to conduct a literature review, researchers must sift through a growing corpus of scientific material.

Text abstracts help provide a study overview for this purpose, but they still require a researcher to absorb a great deal of technical knowledge when analyzing the relevance of numerous studies at once. Furthermore, word constraints imply that abstracts are necessarily condensed and may need extremely field-specific vocabulary, making it difficult to comprehend the most significant features of a work.

The advantages of graphical abstractions

Our Graphical Abstract Design solution will help you engage readers in your study story. Our graphical abstract illustrators transform your article into a visually appealing and scientifically exact graphical abstract that effectively explains your results while meeting all of the artwork standards of your preferred publication, increasing the discoverability of your work.

  • Illustrations Ideas  – You can send us your drafted manuscript and selected journal.

  • Visual Abstract – Improve your manuscript and research paper by include a visual abstract that highlights the major results of your research in a simple and clear visual explanation.

  • PDF Output – The file format requested by your selected journal (typically an EPS file), we will send you a PDF version of your updated figure.

  • Multiple Revisions – We want you to be 100% delighted with your final numbers. You may request as many modifications as you need within 90 days.

  • Multiple Sizing Options – Ready-to-use templates in all common sizes.

A growing number of publications require graphical abstracts with articles submitted for publication, and you may utilize them to your professional advantage. You may boost the effect of your study by generating a professional-looking and eye-catching graphical abstract that attracts the attention of prospective readers and collaborators, as well as individuals who were previously unaware of your work.

Time needed to understand written words

Words are the smallest meaningful unit of language, therefore we may begin with statistics on word recognition.

According to one research, the time it takes to recognize a recognized word is between 100 and 200 milliseconds, or one tenth and one fifth of a second. Straight multiplication: it takes 0.8 – 1.6 seconds to detect the 8 individual words in a brief phrase.

However, sentences are more than just the sum of their constituent words. As expected, the time required to comprehend a sentence is more than the product of word count and word rate.

The average English adult sentence-reading speed is roughly 200 words per minute, or around 300 milliseconds each word.

This equates to a 50% “penalty” every word for sentence comprehension. In other words, copy-reading should take between 150 and 300 milliseconds per word. (It takes 1.2 – 2.4 seconds to read an 8-word phrase.)

Reference: Dunn M (2022). Research: Is A Picture Worth 1,000 Words or 60,000 Words in Marketing? https://www.emailaudience.com/research-picture-worth-1000-words-marketing/ (accessed February 3, 2024)

Top four tips for designing a graphical abstract

Once you’ve decided on the content of your graphical abstract, you’ll need to design it in a clear and effective manner. Here are four easy design suggestions to help guide you:

Use a layout that will easily direct the reader through your figure.
– Use unidirectional flows for step-by-step information and cyclical flows for processes.
Choose a main color for your figure and an accent color to emphasize important details.
– Make sure the colors you choose have high contrast in grayscale so that the reader can readily distinguish all aspects in your figure.
Include just enough arrows and labels to make the material easy to understand for the reader.
– Create a hierarchy for your arrow flows. Consider them a primary highway with several minor routes.
Keep related parts aligned throughout the figure. This helps with comparison and contrast.
– Use vertical and horizontal guides for easier alignment and cushioning.

Begin your graphical abstract

Creating a figure from scratch might be challenging. To help you get started with figure-making, focus on these three areas:

The central message of your research. Use 1-2 sentences to summarize your study report. This is the foundation for your graphical abstract.

Your layout. Collect examples of various graphical abstractions to evaluate which layout will best suit yours. Pro tip: Look through the BioRender template gallery for ideas.

Your story flows. Sketch out your thoughts on paper, write them down, and produce a preliminary draft.

What are some typical graphical abstract design mistakes?

1) Backgrounds that are low contrast or patterned.
2) Overlapping components, particularly arrows.
3) Using too many colors (try to stick to 2-3).
4) Remove shadows and text art.
5) Elements that are unnecessary. Minimalism is preferable than crowding.