Aug 212007

PLoS together with the (US) National Science Foundation and the San Diego Supercomputing Center have launched a really interesting new site SciVee for scientists to upload video presentations about their papers. (The papers have to be available in an open access version: currently just PLoS articles, with future support for any article in PubMedCentral. At a later phase in the project it will accept abstracts from non-OA articles) As described in Slashdot:

The National Science Foundation, Public Library of Science and the San Diego Supercomputing Center have partnered to set up what can best be described as a “YouTube for scientists”, SciVee“. Scientists can upload their research papers, accompanied by a video where they describe the work in the form of a short lecture, accompanied by a presentation. The formulaic, technical style of scientific writing, the heavy jargonization and the need for careful elaboration often renders reading papers a laborious effort. SciVee’s creators hope that that the appeal of a video or audio explanation of paper will make it easier for others to more quickly grasp the concepts of a paper and make it more digestible both to colleagues and to the general public.

SciVee was also discussed in the Fink & Bourne’s article Reinventing Scholarly Communication for the Electronic Age in the August issue of CTWatch Quarterly which I mentioned recently.

It’s possible to add synchronised audio to powerpoint presentations using general (non-scientific) services like Slideshare but the SciVee implementation includes a lot of useful dedicated tools, such as links to the references and figures (which pop up in separate windows without interrupting the presentation), a link to the full text (ditto), the ability to switch between a view of the presentation slides and the abstract, which will make it much more useful for this particular application.

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