To promote our research in the most high-profile way possible, we recently filmed our study protocol with JoVE. It was more fun than we imagined, yet it still helped us reach our goals, all without becoming a great burden for us.
We are the Simple Intensive Care Studies (SICS) team, comprising some 20 students and Ph.D. candidates. They range from medical doctors in-training to specialists. The overall aim of the SICS team is to perform simple studies (in a solid way) to improve the care of critically ill patients.
The SICS structure is such that one general research question forms the center of many sub-studies and objectives. The basis of this structure is built around performing clinical examination (combined with biochemical analysis and critical care ultrasonography) in critically ill patients.
After successfully completing our first cohort, SICS-I, we are now focused on performing our second large prospective observational cohort study: SICS-II. The research protocol for the SICS-II was completed early 2018 and inclusions started on May 14, 2018.
Transparency Key to Protocol Execution
We believe in conducting transparent research, and therefore wanted to openly share our structure and methods. So, we realized we needed help in getting the message across through video. Having no previous experience filing research protocols, we chose to publish with JoVE. We had formed very positive impressions from seeing previously published JoVE content.
Our goals included sharing the exact technique AND our research infrastructure. This is what JoVE offered us! JoVE let us take a crucial step to fulfill our aims by helping us visualize our protocol. Shortly after starting with the inclusion of patients for SICS-II, we drafted a manuscript for JoVE, which was essentially our study protocol (but in a different format).
The JoVE team and its reviewers helped us with valuable feedback on improving the readability of the manuscript. They also helped us clarify our JoVE publishing goals. These included detailing the structure and methods of the ongoing prospective observational cohort study and allowing multiple research questions to be answered.
Responsive JoVE Team
JoVE responded quickly to our initial questions, which led to a quick start to the scriptwriting process for the actual video. We were assigned a wonderful scriptwriter, who turned our protocol into a clear and concise script. After some adjustments, the film date was set for November 1, 2018, and our team started to prepare for a long day of filming.
Luckily, during filming practice, we had already discovered some things that needed changing. We sent these fixes to our scriptwriter, who immediately changed the script. During the day of shooting, JoVE continued to respond to our needs. Our videographer was very flexible in changing steps when necessary to refine the video messaging
Comfortable, Natural Feel for Video Shoot
Filming required one day, starting with an introduction of all involved team members. By having some time to informally get to know each other, the filming itself became more comfortable and natural. We noticed that during the first scenes, we had to get used to the camera — I am sure the camera had to get used to us, too.
The videographer gave us straightforward instructions. The first interviews were intense, as it is difficult to fluently repeat the script verbatim. We did some scenes up to 10 times over! Because we were filming, we were forced to really think about how to visualize the methods. This did help us realize the importance of the order in the steps of our protocol.
For example, when searching for a specific ultrasonography image, you must adjust your probe angle to get the right image, and this angle is slightly different in each patient (as the anatomy of each patient is unique). For the video, we had to demonstrate this angle, and, at first, the camera didn’t catch the subtle movement. After some discussion, we changed the position of the camera to show the technique. This is what filming makes you do: think about every single step.
Professional Protocol Filming AND Fun
Luckily, there was room for error, and, as everyone was working toward the same goal, the day went very smoothly, and we had a lot of fun. After the first movie draft, we noticed how JoVE relied on high-quality film. We also saw the great editing, and how the editors succeeded in emphasizing the most important content per shot.
Overall, when comparing our experience with JoVE to submitting and publishing a regular manuscript, we think the JoVE procedure requires a comparable — or smaller — workload, but it certainly adds fun and increases methods visibility.