Bringing Research Articles to Life with Animated Figures

AbstractA picture is worth a thousand words. Scientists have long recognized this idea, and have been including charts, drawings, and photographs in their research articles even before the availability of desktop computers and document-editing software. Similarly, we would argue that a video or animation can, in some cases, be more effective at expressing a concept than a static image. This is especially the case in research areas such as human-computer interaction (HCI) and computer graphics, which deal with animation and interactive systems. In our Draco research project, we broke from the standard mold of rigid, static research articles and submitted the first research paper in the ACM Digital Library that embeds this type of animated figure. Here, we first provide an overview of the history of publication formats and describe the concept of an animated figure and a set of possible use cases. We then discuss recommendations to the broader research community going forward. Read the ACM Interactions article here.

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