Picturing Science: Design Patterns in Graphical Abstracts

Jessica Hullman, Benjamin Bach

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Agraphicalabstract(GA)providesaconcisevisualsummaryofasci- entific contribution. GAs are increasingly required by journals to help make sci- entific publications more accessible to readers. We characterize the design space of GAs through a qualitative analysis of 54 GAs from a range of disciplines, and descriptions of GA design principles from scientific publishers. We present a set of design dimensions, visual structures, and design templates that describe how GAs communicate via pictorial and symbolic elements. By reflecting on how GAs employ visual metaphors, representational genres, and text relative to prior characterizations of how diagrams communicate, our work sheds light on how and why GAs may be distinct. We outline steps for future work at the intersection of HCI, AI, and scientific communication aimed at the creation of GAs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDiagrams 2018: Diagrammatic Representation and Inference
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-91376-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-91375-9
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 May 2018
Event10th International Conference on the Theory and Application of Diagrams - Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 18 Jun 201822 Jun 2018

Publication series

ISSN (Electronic)0302-9743


Conference10th International Conference on the Theory and Application of Diagrams
Abbreviated titleDiagrams 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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