If you prefer kinases to kittehs, pathogens to paparazzi, then check out SciVee, a new online video destination from the San Diego Supercomputing Center, Public Library of Science and the National Science Foundation which has been called “YouTube for scientists” by Slashdot and NewScientistTech. While I doubt any of the videos will ‘go viral,’ there will likely be plenty of content about actual viruses.
The site is structured so that scientists can put together a video presentation to go along with the traditional research paper, giving users a chance to get a sense of the topic before diving into the details. Videos are typically a scientist in front of the camera paraphrasing an abstract, often accompanied by slides. Yes, it’s pretty dry, but then one doesn’t go watching videos about computational biology looking for something with zazz.
The site itself is easy enough to navigate, it’s definitely an alpha so there are still a few kinks. At one point while watching a video, a text box popped up in the video viewer window and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to make it disappear.
The creators are also promising to deliver community features like comments, profiles and peer networking, including interest groups — I’d love to see a peer review flame war break out over string theory! Sadly, science bloggers will have to do without embeds, at least for now.
It is nice to see online video being used for such worthy end. The site could prove to be a great resource not just for scientists but for science teachers and their students at different levels. I’ve got a few published science professionals in the family with a great, if rather obscure, sense of humor. This site just begs for verbal and visual puns that only a scientist would love.