NEJM Quick Take Videos: A Survey of Authors and Readers

Rebecca Berger,1 Ramya Ramaswami,1 Karen Buckley,1 Roger Feinstein,1 Kathy Stern,1 Timothy Vining,1 Stephen Morrissey,1 Edward W. Campion1


To assess authors’ and readers’ opinions about the New England Journal of Medicine’s Quick Takes videos (QTs).


Since 2013, the New England Journal of Medicine has been creating short video summaries (QTs) for selected original research articles and making them freely available on NEJM.org and through social media. Producing QTs involves a collaborative in-house team, including editorial fellows for script writing, medical illustrators for graphics and production, and physician editors for review of accuracy, quality, and scope. Through December 2016, 96 videos were produced. From December 2016 to February 2017, an author survey was emailed to corresponding authors of articles for which QTs had been produced. From December 2016 to February 2017, a reader survey was advertised on NEJM.org, NEJM Resident360, Facebook, and Twitter.


Of 95 authors contacted, 48 replied (a 51% response rate). Thirty-six (75%) replied that they were very satisfied, and 8 (17%) that they were very dissatisfied with their role in helping to create QTs. Nine authors (19%) indicated they would have preferred more or earlier involvement in the process. Forty-seven authors (98%) somewhat or strongly agreed that the QT accurately summarized their article and presented it in an engaging way. Authors have used QTs for explaining research to family and friends (24 [50%]), promoting their research (23 [48%]), explaining research to colleagues (19 [40%]), presenting their research (15 [31%]), teaching (14 [29%]), and explaining the findings to patients (13 [27%]). A total of 411 readers responded to the reader survey, with response numbers differing by survey question. Of 332 respondents, 279 (84%) reported they had seen NEJM QTs. Most (198 of 237 [84%]) reported that QTs were valuable or very valuable to their education. When asked, “Do you believe that Quick Takes represent the abstracts of the future?” 210 of 254 (84%) responded “Yes.” Among 236 respondents, 76% reported watching QTs to learn about new research without reading the article, 49% to decide whether to read the article (115 of 238 respondents), 34% to introduce a report they plan to read, 32% for entertainment, and 24% to teach. After watching a QT, 54% of the 236 responded that they read the associated article “sometimes” and 23% “about half the time.”


Quick Takes videos are making research more accessible to readers. Author and reader survey responses suggest that QTs are used for a variety of purposes. Many readers believe that the short video summary represents the abstract of the future.

1New England Journal of Medicine and NEJM Group, Massachusetts Medical Society, Boston, MA, USA, reberger@partners.org

Conflict of Interest Disclosures:

Dr Campion is a member of the Advisory Board of the Peer Review Congress but was not involved in the review of decision for this abstract.


All authors receive salary support from the Massachusetts Medical Society.