Thursday, June 19, 2008

Is there a one stop shop for (good) science videos?

My advisor has recently become enamored with the idea behind SciVee, which is essentially a place where you can view video blurbs of people's research, but is convinced that nothing short of YouTube will catch on. His plot for world science domination is for all of us graduate students to tape ourselves talking about our papers for a few minutes and upload the videos to YouTube, with dramatic increases in paper readership sure to follow.

While it's undeniable that YouTube is by far the most popular video server and thus wins by breadth and pure viewership, one could argue that SciVee and JoVE provide a service by being specific - one features research blurbs, the other features video explanations of protocols and experiments. You can be assured that the videos will be high-quality and reputable, at the very least. But there are also many videos that may not fall under those two categories but are still interesting to scientists, or those interested in science.

The Inner Life of a Cell, various TED talks, and this demonstration of cornstarch physics come to mind as some science-related videos that I've enjoyed recently. Maybe even science humor. What YouTube has going for it is precedence and near monopoly, but quality control is dismal and it can be impossible to find good, engrossing science videos (their "Science and Technology" category is mostly dominated by technology - software, hardware, gaming, etc - and the science offerings are hardly scientific).

What I'd like to see is a way to aggregate high-quality science-related videos, categorized by type (protocol, experiment, research/paper promotion, cinematic, humor, etc - how would one categorize the TED talks?). Because sometimes a video is worth a hundred readings of a paper or protocol, because we're all just curious about so many things, and because we all need a bit of reinspiration every now and again.

Is there anything like this that exists now?

Probably old news by now, but JoVE's got this going for it - published videos will be indexed on PubMed! Will the day come when we have citation rates for videos, and can list number of hits as a bullet point in our CVs?


Tim said...

For better or worse, I think that day will come.

Daniel Mietchen said...

I think the world lecture project (wlp)° comes close.

Anonymous said...

youtube does not actually allow you to upload your paper and figures with the video like scivee

Costan said...

Check this