Scholarly Videos

Advances in digital technology have recently made it possible for anyone equipped with just an ordinary personal computer and a cell phone to craft aesthetically rich multimedia clips that blend narration with images, video, and sound. Composing short movies is no longer limited to professional filmmakers, but technologically is now within the reach of all.

In ICTAM IX, we hope to begin exploring different ways in which this change might be used to enhance the presentation of research on traditional Asian medicine.

How do I make a short?

Because of the rapidity of the changes that have made video-making widely accessible, many of you may still have no experience in multimedia composition. If you think, “But I’m not a film-maker…” think again. We want especially to encourage videos of the sort that almost anyone can make.


By way of example, here are

  1. a short clip about the notion of a persistent vegetative state, and
  2. a series of three episodes about worms in traditional Chinese medicine.

Three steps

As these series clips illustrate, it is entirely possible—and often easiest—to make engaging scholarly shorts just by following the three simple steps below:

  1. Prepare a Keynote or Powerpoint presentation of your story or analysis.
  2. Record your narrated presentation with a video capture program (see below).
  3. Export the recorded presentation as a movie (.mov or .mp4) file.

That’s it!

We are of course happy to accept submissions made with any software, and experienced film-makers are welcome to use their editing programs of choice.

What video capture program should I use?

The best of the current video capture programs that are available for both Windows and Mac is, in our view, Camtasia. The program is easy to learn (the makers provide a set of online tutorials), intuitive to use, and is remarkably versatile and powerful. Among its appealing features is the possibility of enhancing your recorded presentation with additional music and sound tracks.

Mac users will also find Screenflow to be an excellent program. It is comparably priced, and is quite similar in functionality. Both progams offer free trial versions, as well as educational discounts for purchase.

Where can I find images and other media?

Because these movies are intended for public sharing, it is important that any media that you use — whether it be pictures, music, or video clips — should be in the public domain, under a Creative Commons license that permits their free use.


Among the sites that are particularly rich in usable historical images include the Library of Congress, the National Library of Medicine, the British Library, the Wellcome Trust, and the Digital Public Library of America. (Note that you should check the restrictions associated with each image in any of these collections.)

You can also search in Google Images, and apply the “Usage Rights” filter under the Search button to check for images that may be used. If you know of other medical history archives offering.


To find music that can be used for the movies, some good sites are ccMixter, Free Stockmusic, and Incompetech.


The Prelinger Archives is a particularly rich source for clips under Creative Commons license.

How should I submit?

Upload your video to Vimeo, Youtube, your university website or cloudstorage — the video has to be accessible just by clicking the link — and send the link to with “[Scholarly Videos]” in the subject.

If you cannot use any of the means above, you can also try sending the video as an attachment. Please use this last resort only if you must.

Impressions of ICTAM IX

  • Impressions of ICTAM IX, 2017, by Matthias Burmeister, ICTAM IX Filmteam

Trailer ICTAM IX, 2017