Effectively incorporating selected multimedia content into medical publications.

by Alexander Ziegler, Daniel Mietchen, Cornelius Faber, Wolfram von Hausen, Christoph Schöbel, Markus Sellerer, Andreas Ziegler
BMC medicine ()


Until fairly recently, medical publications have been handicapped by being restricted to non-electronic formats, effectively preventing the dissemination of complex audiovisual and three-dimensional data. However, authors and readers could significantly profit from advances in electronic publishing that permit the inclusion of multimedia content directly into an article. For the first time, the de facto gold standard for scientific publishing, the portable document format (PDF), is used here as a platform to embed a video and an audio sequence of patient data into a publication. Fully interactive three-dimensional models of a face and a schematic representation of a human brain are also part of this publication. We discuss the potential of this approach and its impact on the communication of scientific medical data, particularly with regard to electronic and open access publications. Finally, we emphasise how medical teaching can benefit from this new tool and comment on the future of medical publishing.

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