A youtube for scientists...
A website being dubbed the YouTube for scientists has been launched, raising new hopes of bringing science closer to the people.
SciVee allows scientists to upload published papers, as well as a podcast presenting the paper. As the site is relatively new, content is still fairly sparse. Those behind the initiative are however confident that it will contribute to the widespread dissemination and comprehension of science.
'SciVee, created for scientists, by scientists, moves science beyond the printed word and lecture theatre, taking advantage of the Internet as a communication medium where scientists young and old have a place and a voice,' explains the website.
The benefit for scientists is the opportunity to disseminate their research to a wider and potentially new audience. They are also able to create a professional profile and join science groups. The larger scientific community is able to access new scientific information, comment on what is published, and subscribe to relevant channels and groups.
Authors must have published their paper in an open access journal in order to upload it to SciVee.
This dynamic form of presentation could also encourage a lay audience to investigate science. The appeal of the website to a general audience does however depend on the quality of the content, and the presentation skills of the scientists submitting their work. Users are able to tag, rate and comment on videos.
The current offerings are all biology-focused, dealing with subjects from evolution to proteins. Most would be challenging for a non-scientific audience, although Dr Eric Scheeff, presenting 'Structural Evolution of the Protein Kinase-Like Superfamily' does introduce the Protein Kinase family with a slideshow before moving on to the more technical aspects of his paper.
The initiative has three high-profile backers: the Public Library of Science (PLoS); the US' National Science Foundation (NSF) and the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC).
To access SciVee, please visit: http://www.scivee.tv/