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Digital Tools and Methods

List of tools & services to support data visualisation, data cleaning & analysis, and digital publishing

Introduction to Digital Publishing

In the digital age, we have more options for authoring, disseminating and publishing the outputs from research than before. In addition to the more conventional publications, eg. peer-reviewed articles, books, and working papers, researchers can now communicate the impact of their research to a broad audience using various tools and online platforms.

Many of these platforms allow authors to tell their stories by combining a narrative with text, images, multimedia content, maps, & chronological timelines without the need to write a single line of code. 

Material Types & Platforms

Books, Journals, Working Papers Data Digital Projects  Narratives combined with maps or temporal data Videos

Open Educational Resources (OER)

Online Journals

Institutional Repositories

Subject repositories eg. arXiV, RePEc, SSRN

Data Repositories

Data Journals

Digital Exhibitions

Digital Scholarship Projects 


Platforms such as:

ESRI Story Maps 




Video abstracts which can be shared in LinkedIn or on selected publishers' platforms. 

Experimental methods in video format eg. Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE)

Video Abstracts

A video abstract is a summary of your research produced as a short video. A small but growing number of publishers encourage authors to share their work through this medium. 

A study (Spicer, 2014) has shown that papers accompanied by video abstracts were more often read than others and another study (Zong et al, 2019) found that video abstracts have a positive impact on citation count. 

One of NTU's graduate student has shared her 3 minute video abstract on LinkedIn.  You can create a two to three minute video about your research in six steps.

Step One: Identify your audience.

Are you addressing the layman or an informed scientific community?  

Step Two: Plan your story and delivery.

As in any good story, it requires an Introduction, Body and an End. Draft your script and design your storyboard.

If your target audience is the general public, avoid the use of jargon or scientific terms.  Attempt to explain concepts and ideas using easy-to-understand words.

Are you going to speak to the camera? Do you intend to include slides, animations, video clips, etc?

For a 3 minute video, keep your script to 350 words or less.  Refer to UQ's 3MT competitor guide for suggestions and tips on presenting scholarly research to a lay audience.  This site also provides links to presentations of previous 3MT finalists.  

Step Three: Plan the recording.  

What device will you be using to record your performance? Do you need a microphone? Where will it be recorded? Is the room sound-proof?  Is the lighting appropriate? 

Step Four: Record your performance

Rehearse your script before you venture into recording.  It is likely that you have to record your performance multiple times or re-take certain scenes. 

Step Five: Edit the video

This is also also when you insert the title, subtitles, slides, images, video clips or animations and trim the video to keep it within the three-minute mark. 

Video editing software such as HitFilm Express, VideoPad (Windows or Mac), Movie Maker (Windows), iMovie (Mac) are easy-to-use and free.  DaVinci Resolve has a steep learning curve but training videos are available on the platform. 

Adobe's Premiere Pro is among the best paid-for video editing software in the market and this software is available on all PCs located in StarGate.

Step Six: Upload the video and promote it

To dive deeper into video abstract production, refer to Karen McKee's blog, The Scientist Videographer and her presentation, "How to create a video abstract (in eight easy steps)".  Dr McKee began producing videos in 2008 and has generously shared her learning experiences and tips on her blog.    

NTU research staff and students who are keen to produce a video abstract may contact for more information.

Digital Projects

NTU Digital Projects showcase digital research output of NTU faculty and researchers and facilitates the discovery and use by a global audience. 

Online Database of Illustrations by Bagyi Aung Soe: A (Hi)story of Art from Myanmar: 1948- is an open-access online database of periodical and book illustrations and covers by Bagyi Aung Soe (1923/24–1990), Myanmar’s trailblazer of modern art, who was also her most prolific illustrator in the twentieth-century. It seeks to conserve the memory of this artistic, cultural and intellectual heritage, to raise awareness of its value and significance, and to foster scholarship on the topic. This digital project is a collaboration between NTU Library and Asst. Prof. Yin Ker, School of Art, Design & Media.

Unsaturated Soil Mechanics for Sustainable Urban Living: An online knowledge base with photos, illustrations and images on core principles, methodology, modelling and applications of unsaturated soil mechanics to slope stability (particularly with respect to rainfall-induced slope failures) and tree stability. This digital project is authored by Prof. Harianto Rahardjo with assistance from Dr. Alfrendo S. Nio

NTU faculty or researchers who would like to explore digital project possibilities, please contact our staff 

Online Publishing

The internet and technological advancement have enabled organisations to publish and host content online at a low cost. NTU Library provide suitable platforms and services to help faculty members publish journals such as:  

Libres: Library and Information Science Research e-journal

Editor: Christopher Khoo Assoc. Professor at WKW School of Communication & Information, NTU

ISSN 1058-6768

Benefits of publishing with NTU Online Publishing

  • Articles are assigned a unique DOI (Digital Object Identifier) which facilitate citation tracking
  • Assisted process in applying for ISSN / ISBN

Email to find out more about Digital Publishing opportunities and support.

Proprietary Software

Adobe Creative Cloud is available on PCs located at StarGate*, Lee Wee Nam Library, Level 3. Software includes:

  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Lightroom
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Premiere Pro

Refer to for full listing.


*Note: Only available on PCs 1, 4, 5 & 7

Additional Resources

Ang, P. (2019, February 19).  Cheongsams: a visualisation. Posted in NTU LIbrary Blog. 

Nursyafiqah, S. (2019, February 1).  Knight Lab projects - a treasure trove of digital storytelling tools. Posted in NTU Library Blog.

Nursyafiqah, S. & Sam, W. X. (2019, January 16). Discovering the history of New York City: a data visualization project. Posted in NTU Library Blog.

Nursyafiqah, S. (2018, August 15).  Enhance your presentations with digital storytelling tools. Posted in NTU Library Blog.

Spicer, S. (2014). Exploring video abstracts in science journals: an overview and case study. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, 2(2):eP1110.

Zong, Q., Xie, Y., Tuo, R. Huang, J., & Yang, Y. (2019). The impact of video abstract on citation counts: evidence from a retrospective cohort study of New Journal of Physics. Scientometrics, 119(3), 1715 - 1727.