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How to spread science successfully and rigorously on YouTube and TikTok

How to spread science successfully and rigorously on YouTube and TikTok

In the new digital age, information represents a continuous flow of interactions and knowledge exchange. Knowledge has gone from being closed in physical spaces to being open online: it is freer, but less controlled and, therefore, more vulnerable to manipulation, generating “noise”, misinformation, hoaxes, half-truths and other forms of information. Processing information that flies through cyberspace.

Science dissemination faces the major challenge of dealing with these dynamics on platforms saturated with information – and misinformation – and, at the same time, taking advantage of the new digital culture on social networks to make research results known in simple language. For example, spreading science on social media is not only an antidote to misinformation, but also a way to promote an informed society.

Video detection

Videos are one of the most widely used formats for disseminating and consuming information of all kinds. Allow Get content effectively By combining visual and auditory information, in the form of a single presentation. The ease of sharing them online through social networks increases their potential.

The aim of this article is to provide a set of recommendations when publishing science on video. In times of post-truth or skepticism about science, there is an urgent need to bring research findings closer to the general public.

Just because it's on video, it's not helpful.

Videos, if made well, have great potential to connect with our audience in a quick, direct and even emotional way, conveying information in a clear, simple and creative way.

The problem is that, as is usual with everything that has become a fad, video dissemination is used with excessive persistence, including some typical errors of ignorance of the basic rules, such as convoluted text messages, background audio or a teacher presenting content with little ability to motivate. the students.

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For this reason, we often find posted videos that look like a messy jumble of improvised opinions.

The videos were analyzed

To identify good practices when disseminating science via video, we analyzed six YouTube videos and five TikTok videos as a case study in the field of sociology. They were classified into three categories:

  1. Academic videos for students.

  2. Academic videos aimed at a general audience produced by an academic institution or scientific society.

  3. Non-academic videos independently produced by sociology professionals.

For each of them, we analyzed 49 indicators related to images, sound, music, the number of heroes and co-stars, their communication skills, the content of messages and texts that appear on the screen, and the interactions and comments made by each of them. Of them he has.

Tips for publishing on video

Analysis of the proposed indicators allows us to determine which communication strategies and content type work best when disseminating science via video.

  1. Narration: A good ability to communicate in a clear, detailed voice, with a close tone and balanced intensity of background music are excellent strategies for conveying messages and content about science. In some of the videos analyzed, a synthetic sound generated by the TikTok tool is used. Although this tool maintains anonymity, it can sometimes lack power and personality when sending messages.

  2. Language: The first stage is the adaptation of complex terms and concepts Into simple and accessible language. That is, do not embellish the action Using too many terms or words, not using long sentences, or using tricks that make them ambiguous or incomprehensible. If it is bright or brilliant, let it be because of its innovative content, and if possible, let it be the latter that makes it interesting.

  3. Use pictures, animations, charts, illustrations, or text overlaid on the screen. These elements must intertwine efficiently, with clear cuts and transitions between scenes, thus enhancing and complementing the visual content, resulting in a dynamic and captivating audiovisual experience.

  4. Translation: Videos with it get the most views.

  5. Narrative structure: The video must tell a story in itself, through a combination of sound, protagonists' interventions, music, images and graphics. It must have a beginning, middle and end.

  6. Each part of the video has a main idea. Starting with the title, which must be clear and eye-catching. For example, it is better He faced prison. Prisoners' view of their life in prisonwhich Presentation of an investigation into life in prison. This strategy can be followed with every chapter or section of the story.

  7. Using measurements when talking about large numbers or amounts can make messages easier to understand: for example, if we say that there are 60,000 unemployed, we can clarify this by saying that it is a number equivalent to the capacity of a Benito football field.

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Tik Tok or YouTube? Which do you choose?

TikTok is the giant in visual conciseness. Your short videos are ideal for grabbing attention, but this format may not be enough to cover topics in detail. TikTok is emerging as a hub for viral content, facilitating engagement through comments and content Likes.

Those who use TikTok are young people who seek to consume information quickly and concisely. This speed and ability to capture their attention in a short period of time are two key factors to consider among those interested in disseminating information through this medium. It is undoubtedly the best way to engage future students.

YouTube is positioned as the king of longer, more detailed videos. However, the challenge lies in maintaining the viewer's attention. Choosing between TikTok and YouTube depends on our style and the audience we are targeting.

Both platforms provide excellent opportunities to bring science on video to the general public and counter fake news, hoaxes, half-truths, and other forms of information manipulation.

This article was co-written by Jose Vicente, a master's student.