News Archive

"SciVees" a collaboration of SDSC and NSF, to Bring Science to the YouTube Generation

Published 08/29/2007

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Warren Froelich, SDSC

Science is coming to the YouTube generation with the advent of "SciVees" -- video and podcasts that supplement traditional peer-reviewed articles.

The new internet source, fittingly called SciVee, is launching September 1 as a collaboration between the National Science Foundation and the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at UC San Diego. Phillip E. Bourne, Professor in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at UCSD; and Leo M. Chalupa, Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology and Neurobiology at UC Davis, are directing the effort, funded through an NSF Small Grant for Exploratory Research.

According to Bourne, the goal of the initiative is to encourage the further use of open access scientific publishing, by adding multimedia content to standard print formats and online formats.

"We expect to disseminate science to the widest possible audience, thereby bringing the YouTube generation - who are the next generation of leading scientists - the best science using a medium they have adopted and use on a daily basis," he said.

Added Dan Atkins, Director of the NSF Office of Cyberinfrastructure: "SciVee is a very creative example of the potential for cyberinfrastructure - digital information and communication technologies - to add a powerful new communication and sharing dimension to science."

The underlying software for the project is being developed by Apryl Bailey, creative director for education with SDSC; J. Lynn Fink, research scientist at UCSD; and former UCSD students Willy Suwanto, John Matherly and Alex Ramos.

The Public Library of Science (PLoS) will facilitate the development and testing of these tools on its freely accessible online peer-reviewed content. "We believe this novel project will extend the impact of scientific research, and PLoS is delighted to provide the substrate in the form of our open-access content," said Peter Jerram, PLoS chief executive officer.

Initially, SciVee will offer authors of PLoS publications the opportunity to upload videos and podcasts, which are then synchronized with the published PLoS paper. An on-line synchronization studio permits the author to link specific moments in the SciVee with special features of the paper such as tables, figures and parts of the text.

In subsequent phases, SciVee will be offered to all biomedical publications made available through PubMed, and then to all scientific literature.

Beyond video and podcasts, SciVee is striving to create on-line communities around scientific publications where members can comment and rate SciVees and the associated publications. These participants can maintain their own SciVees, including CVs and other material, which can be private or shared with all or parts of the community with common interests.

"The result is not unlike other forms of broadcast media," said Bourne. "High-quality materials integrated with already peer-reviewed publications from the PBS-like channels, while the unmoderated content is akin to the more commercial TV offerings."