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TOMOGRAPHY, December 2015, Volume 1, Issue 2: 79-80
DOI: 10.18383/j.tom.2015.00178

If “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words,” What is a Video Worth?

Brian D. Ross

University of Michigan School of Medicine Departments of Radiology & Biological Chemistry, Ann Arbor, MI, USA


In a 2014 Huffington Post article, writer Scott MacFarland asks, “If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a video worth?” (1). McFarland suggests that we are in the midst of a paradigm shift, and if “a picture is worth a thousand words then maybe a moving picture (video) is worth a million people.” Statistics show that in the United States, 75 million people watch videos online each month and 40 billion videos are streamed monthly.

These numbers are simply staggering considering that I personally feel somewhat impactful when one of my published articles gets referenced more than 10 times a year. As we all know, having a scientific article “go viral” just doesn’t happen that often, and while the number of eyeballs may not be a metric that scientists strive for, providing our scientific findings in the most impactful way using the most astute media capabilities seems to make a lot of sense.

Traditional publication venues are confined in a 2-dimensional world using multipanel figures which condense in size with increasing panel numbers thereby increasing the information content. As figures become more and more complex, they become increasingly more difficult to interpret and to derive meaningful information.

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