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Do this to make your journals even more engaging

January 24, 2023

Audio and video content can make journal articles more compelling; here’s how your society can get started

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In a world where scientific output continues to grow and it’s increasingly difficult to set a journal apart from the pack, your society can better communicate with your community’s researchers by harnessing the power of podcasting and webinars.

Global research output, as measured by peer-reviewed science and engineering (S&E) journal articles and conference papers, has grown about 4% annually over the last 10 years(opens in new tab/window). While the primary way researchers disseminate their work is still through the publication of written articles in peer-reviewed journals, the trend toward expanding beyond the conventional academic paper is growing at pace.

In recent years, Elsevier has seen a significant increase in the amount of content published in audio and video format, with more than 200 journals now hosting audio and/or video on their platforms. This more interactive format engages audiences in a new way while complementing a journal’s traditional text-based medium.

Impact of the pandemic

During the Covid-19 pandemic, podcasting and webinars grew exponentially. In the US,  podcasts saw unprecedented growth, with the profile of podcast audiences changing, according to studies by Edison Research in 2021(opens in new tab/window) and 2022(opens in new tab/window). Of particular note:

  • 73% of the US population (age 12+) have listened to online audio in the last month.

  • Over one-third (104 million) of Americans listen to podcasts regularly.

  • 38% of those aged 12+ in the US are monthly podcast listeners.

  • 43% of listeners ages 35-54 are monthly podcast listeners (the most popular age group for podcast consumption).

  • 26% (80 million) of Americans are weekly podcast listeners.

  • 88% of Americans own a smartphone (the #1 way people listen to podcasts in 2022).

  • Each week, more Americans listen to podcasts than have Netflix accounts(opens in new tab/window).

Even though podcasts and webinars have been around for more than a decade, rapid technological advances are driving new publishing formats and channels, and the scientific community has taken notice.

So how can your society tap into this available technology to bring more usage to the content you care about most, while engaging your community in a new way?

Podcasts and webinars on Elsevier’s JBS platform

Podcasts and webinars on our Journal Branded Solutions (JBS) platform  — which feature interviews with authors and editors who discuss published papers or broader scientific topics of interest — have grown significantly over the last five years. An increase in their popularity, coupled with the ability to create podcasts and webinars more easily, brings with it an opportunity for societies and their authors to get their research out there to others, both inside and outside of their field, in a more compelling way.

Genepod dashboard

Genetics in Medicine's podcast GenePod(opens in new tab/window) is a JBS-hosted podcast for one of Elsevier’s society partners, the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics.

Choosing one central host — be it JBS or a third-party host like Buzzsprout, Podbean, Libsyn or Soundcloud — is the first step, alongside setting up appropriate workflows that enable the journal Editor-in-Chief to have full oversight of what’s being published. As your publishing partner, we can both host and promote your podcasts and webinars to ensure they are visible to the widest possible audience. Our digital journals team makes use of teasers and other widgets that can be placed across journal sites. We can also create email alerts any time new digital content is published, and we can enable users to view the selection of podcasts and videos by keyword or topic via a dropdown menu in an article list.

Our team assigns a DOI to these content types to increase search exposure and search engine optimization (SEO) and can easily group content to include related audio and video on a single page —or promote content across multiple journals should you publish more than one title with Elsevier.

If you decide to host webinars or podcasts on the journal homepage, we’ve made it even easier for people to find and search your article and non-article content. What’s more, to optimize its reach, this content can be syndicated via other subscription services, like Apple, Google and Spotify.

We would be delighted to speak to you about how your journal can use audio and video content to better serve your community. To find out more, please reach out to your publisher at Elsevier.