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Website of the Week — Journal of Visualized Experiments


Time again for our Website of the Week, when we showcase interesting and innovative online destinations.

If you're keeping track of the online world, you probably know about the spectacularly successful website YouTube.com, where users can post videos of their daughter's birthday party, a politician acting foolish, or clips from a TV comedy show.

This week, our Website of the Week is sort of a YouTube for scientists.

PRITSKER: "Journal of visualized experiments is [the] first online journal which is publishing biological experiments, biological studies in a new video format."

Moshe Pritsker is the young, Russian-born scientist who has just started the Journal of Visualized Experiments at MyJoVE.com. Scientists can post short videos explaining - and showing - how they did their experiments as a supplement to the papers they publish in scientific journals that present their findings.

One reason researchers publish their papers in scientific journals is so other scientists can do the same experiments and confirm the published results. But Pritsker says in the biological sciences especially, there usually is not enough space in a journal article to give all the details of how an experiment was set up. So other researchers may find it difficult to reach the same conclusion.

PRITSKER: "And as a result, this phenomenon leads to a waste of resources and frustration in everyday life of every scientist. So I was thinking, how to improve it. So the idea is if we would be able to show it instead to read about it."
CHIMES: The old saying, a picture is worth 1,000 words.
PRITSKER: "Exactly."

For now, Pritsker is focusing on documenting the research procedure, not reporting on their conclusions. Providing a place where scientists can publish their results, not just the procedure they followed, may come later.

PRITSKER: "That will be the next stage. For now we would like to concentrate more on the technical side of the experimental science. But it doesn't matter what, I'm sure that within a few years video publication will become, if not dominant, then it will have a very important role in scientific publishing."

The site just launched on November 30, and there are only a handful of videos posted so far, so there is plenty of room for growth.

This sounds like the sort of thing that one of the big, mainstream science journals would have thought of, and maybe they did, but Pritsker says he thinks they are too focused on their traditional role of publishing peer-reviewed articles in print.

Anyway, we thought it was a truly novel concept. Check it out for yourself at MyJoVE.com, or get the link from our site, voanews.com.

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