Back in April I wrote about a site that hosted video lectures related to science and computing. There’s a new one available, launched yesterday in alpha. This one is called SciVee and is a collaboration between the National Science Foundation and the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UC San Diego. You can visit it at http://www.scivee.tv . The front page looks a bit like YouTube, with featured videos, tags, and a search box. Only instead of a video like, “Cat falls off table,” it’s “Structural Evolution of the Protein Kinase–Like Superfamily.”
Content on this site is divided into two types: Pubcasts (videos corresponding to peer-reviewed publications) and Videos (all scientific videos not belonging to a paper.) You can search or browse through a tag cloud, or review one of the many channels. (The channels are all called PLoS something-or-other; the PLoS stands for Public Library of Science.)
I picked the tag animals. I got three results, which listed a screenshot, title, and description. The descriptions are thorough but how useful they are to you depends on how much science you know. (“The protein kinase family is large and important, but it is only one family in a larger superfamily of homologous kinases that phosphorylate a variety of substrates and play important roles in all three superkingdoms of life.”)
Click on the title of the video and you’ll get a page for it. How that page looks depends on what you’re viewing. If you’re viewing a pubcast — a video that is associated with a peer-reviewed publication — you’ll get information about the paper in large format (with a link to the original paper) while the video will be a bit smaller (but still viewable, and you do have the option to enlarge it). In a plain video which is not associated with a peer-reviewed publication, the video will take center stage and be much larger. Both types of content have space for ratings, comments, and tags.
The videos varied a lot by quality. The ones that weren’t pubcasts tended to be a bit more “slick”. One or two of the pubcasts were a bit hard to hear (“Ten Simple Rules for Getting Published”) but for the most part they were easy to watch and hear. (This doesn’t mean it was easy to understand the content — most of this stuff is way over my head.)
You can register on this site, but you’re able to watch videos without registering. (You’ll have to register to provide comments and ratings for videos.) If you’re interested in uploading your own science-related content, be sure to read the site’s FAQ.
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