JoVE Goes Back to Harvard

On Monday our CEO, Moshe Pritsker, went to Harvard University to demonstrate JoVE at an “eScience” workshop co-hosted by Microsoft.

The workshop featured live demonstrations of 20 technologies that could enhance scientific research. The Harvard Crimson covered the workshop and focused on JoVE:

“eScience” Is New Frontier

“We think the traditional paper-format research publication is very unproductive,” Pritsker said.

“People can get lost reading the content they are not familiar with,” he said.

Pritsker said the platform has three parts—introduction, animation and experimental procedures—corresponding to the abstract, experimental design, description of the results, and other components found in a conventional research paper. With JoVe, scientists can more easily communicate temporal aspects of their results, such as change in a given metric over time—a result integral to many life science experiments.

“We think JoVe can overcome the inherent limitations of traditional, static print journals, thereby adding an entirely new parameter to the communication of experimental data and research results,” Pritsker said.

To read the entire article, please click here.

JoVE Goes to Grade School

We are pleased to announce that Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is the first post-secondary school to subscribe to JoVE.

Though JoVE  has video articles showing basic experimental procedures, the majority of the content showcases cutting edge technology out of Ivy League schools— not the level of research one would usually associate with the high school curriculum.

“We’re just not your typical high school,” explains Dr. Andrea Cobb, Lab Director at Jefferson, listing off some of their equipment, “we have a DNA sequencer, mammalian cell culture facilities, we just got environmental growth culture facilities. We have a lot of toys. Stuff I didn’t even have when I was in grad school.”

Dr. Cobb, who teaches both biotechnology and microbiology at Jefferson, requested a subscription to JoVE because she thinks it will help her students learn to use the schools advanced equipment.

“This way they can see a procedure and practice it over and over again,” she said. “A picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth a thousand teachers.”

To read the full press release, please click here.

The Importance of Visualizing Information

On Wednesday, Andrew Revkin, who writes The New York Times blog Dot Earth, wrote a post about using visualization to absorb information. He issues a challenge to his readers and uses JoVE to illustrate the trend:

Fostering Insights be Engaging the Whole Brain

I put out the challenge there (and now repeat it here) to young data-visualization wizards to find ways to envision, literally, that vague but vital concept called public health.

There are signs of progress in this area.

When the New England Journal of Medicine uses an animated data set to convey shifting patterns of obesity in a community, you know something’s afoot. Now there’s a peer-reviewed publication, the Journal of Visualized Experiments, devoted to conveying findings and methods using video.

To read the entire post, please click here.

JoVE Partners with Zeiss

We are pleased to announce that JoVE will partner with Carl Zeiss Microscopy to support sharing scientific information through open access.

Zeiss, a world-leading manufacturer of microscope technology, will sponsor the publication of three open access video articles, which will be filmed and edited by the JoVE team.

Though the cost of the video is being sponsored, the final articles will undergo the same rigorous peer-review process as other JoVE content.

Click here to see a sample video article.

“Because these videos will be open to the public, this partnership with Zeiss will enable access to content that otherwise wouldn’t be available,” said Dr. Phill Jones, Editorial Director at JoVE.

Video publication is especially effective for demonstration of microscopy research techniques.

“As learning new techniques from written protocols can be challenging, Carl Zeiss Microscopy launched a campaign to support publication of a select number of microscropy protocols in JoVE,” said Strategic Marketing Manager at Zeiss, Dr. Maya Everett.

“Our goal is both to support our customers who wish to publish in this video format as well as provide important training tools to scientists who are new to these techniques.”

To read the full press release, please click here.

Steve Jobs, Visionary

An excerpt from Steve Job‘s 2005 Commencement Address at Stanford University:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

JoVE for the Developing World

Word that JoVE will now be offering free subscriptions to institutions in the developing world is making its way around the globe!

Award-winning science writer David Bradley, who is based in Cambridge, UK, recently wrote about JoVE on his blog Sciencebase:

JoVE Around the World

JoVE is hoping to address scientific information inequality across the globe and has now made free subscriptions to Journal of Visualized Experiments through the HINARI initiative to developing nations in South America, Asia and Africa.

JoVE was originally developed to increase productivity in biological research, and is the only science video journal indexed in PubMed so far. The journali publishes video articles demonstrating advanced experiments performed in major laboratories (including Harvard, MIT, Stanford and Yale).

According to it creators: “Seeing experiments, rather than translating text, saves scientists and students time and money when learning new research techniques.” They add that, “Access to this visual content is especially important in developing countries.”

JoVE for the devloping world.

Open Access Challanges

Today I wrote a guest post, “Open Access from the Perspective of an Academic Journal,” for Dr. Jonathan Eisen‘s blog The Tree of Life.

Dr. Eisen is an evolutionary biologist and a professor at the University of California Genome Center. He first wrote about JoVE on his blog in 2008 when we were still an open access resource and was saddened when we went to a subscription model. But, he was more than willing to hear our side of the story:

Open Access from the Perspective of an Academic Journal

I work for the first and only peer-reviewed science video journal indexed in PubMed and MEDLINE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE). We started as an open access resource in 2006, but that model wasn’t sustainable for us. The cost of producing high-quality video was simply too high.

So how do we remain profitable without losing our open access roots? Balance.

We started offering subscriptions in 2009, but still try to open up access wherever we can. We recently partnered with Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative (HINARI), to give free subscriptions to developing countries in South America, Asia and Africa.

HINARI, a World Health Organization (WHO) initiative, grants developing countries access to one of the largest collections of biomedical and health literature. It was founded in 2002 after a WHO survey found that 56 percent of institutions in the poorest countries had no current subscriptions to academic journals.

“Researchers from developing countries were saying ‘we need access to subscription literature, we can’t afford it, and without it, we can’t be part of the global research community,” said HINARI Library Program Manager Kimberly Parker.

To keep reading, please click here.

Good News For Scientists in Developing Countries

Dr. Lucia Prieto Godino is a post doctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge who is using JoVE to teach a Drosophila Neurogenetics course at Kampala International University in Uganda.

She will have free access to our journal while she teaches her course, and her students will have access once they return to their home institutions through our partnership with HINARI.

Dr. Godino uses her blog to communicate with her students before the class and recently posted an announcement about JoVE:

Good News For Scientists in Developing Countries

The Journal of Visualized Experiments (JOVE) will be offering free subscriptions through the HINARI initiative to developing countries in South America, Asia and Africa.

Drosophila (c) Alex Wild 2005

In 2000 a WHO survey found that 56 percent of institutions in the poorest countries had no current subscriptions to academic journals. In response, WHO founded HINARI, which now grants developing countries access to one of the largest collections of biomedical and health literature. Now JOVE is joining this amazing initiative.

JOVE publishes video articles demonstrating advanced experiments performed in laboratories of top research universities. Visualizing the experiments rather than trying to reproduce them from the often brief materials & methods section of papers is the best way to be able to reproduce previous experiments and set-up new techniques in a lab. This becomes particularly important in developing countries, where learning cutting-edge experimental techniques, whether via courses or by visiting laboratories with the desired expertise, is often very difficult.

We will celebrate this great news by using several JOVE articles as part of the teaching materials in the course.

To read an interview with Dr. Godino about her upcoming course, please click here.

Show and Tell— Sharing Science by Video

David Wheat wrote about JoVE and our recent partnership with HINARI on his blog, Science in Action. Wheat, who holds a degree in biology and started blogging in 2004, writes about science and math in plain English. Notable posts include “Why is Urine Yellow?” and “Do Cow Farts Cause Global Warming?

Here is what he had this to say about JoVE:

Show and Tell— Sharing Science by Video

The Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) makes hands-on science available by video. Real scientists demonstrate their experiments on line to accompany their publications. A picture being worth a thousand words, and a video being worth at least a thousand pictures, this novel channel gives fellow researchers (and budding scientists!) around the world clearer access to experimental procedures. Now JoVE is offering free access to developing-country researchers.

Those of us who have tried to figure out just how research was done by reading the often-cryptic “Materials and Methods” sections of scientific publications can appreciate the value of this approach.

JoVE has teamed up with the Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative (HINARI) of the World Health Organization to provide this free access. Here is a press release about the initiative.

Many schools and libraries in developing countries cannot afford to subscribe to scientific journals, which are among the most expensive of periodicals (and highly profitable to their publishers). See this blog post by George Monbiot about the high cost of access to the scientific literature. I agree with his complaint that these very high pay walls prevent the wide dissemination of information that is essential to progress in science, and to its understanding by the public. “Secret” science is a sin, especially in our digitally connected world.

To keep reading, please click here.

Learning Tools: Visual Aids

Nature recently published an article about scientists using videos to learn new techniques, with JoVE playing a starring role:

Learning Tools: Visual Aids

Video tutorials save not only time and effort from mentors, but also money and even travel, as Moshe Pritsker realized. As a PhD student working on stem cells at Princeton University in New Jersey, Pritsker was asked to recreate a method of culturing embryonic stem cells that had been reported by researchers in Edinburgh, UK. “I tried to follow the steps in an article,” he says. But try as he might, the experiment wouldn’t work.

Stills from JoVE videos appear in Nature

His supervisor — keen to have someone in the lab who could reliably do the technique — flew Pritsker to Edinburgh for a two-week reconnaissance and learning mission with the group that had invented it. On the return flight, Pritsker started to question the necessity of what had just happened — flying across the Atlantic Ocean to watch someone else do an experiment. “This is not the twenty-first century, this is the Stone Age,” Pritsker recalls thinking.

His solution was to “bring the ‘show me’ effect” to scientists through videos of experiments. But to sell the concept, he decided to present the clips in the form of a peer-reviewed journal. “I realized we needed an incentive for scientists to watch and make videos,” he says. The result was the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JOVE), which Pritsker created in 2006 after finishing a postdoc at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.

To read the article, please click here.