Web site allows researchers to publish their work online

By Matthew Richardson

For scientists, the process of publishing research has generally consisted of writing a paper that explains their research and submitting that paper to a scientific journal specializing in their field. Now a new Web site offers scientists a new option to publish their work.

SciVee.tv is a Web site that allows researchers to publish their work online and to upload a visual presentation where they can explain their work in a video display on the Web site.

The site was founded by Phillip E. Bourne, professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of California-San Diego and Leo M. Chalupa, professor of opthamology and neurobiology at the University of California-Davis.

According to the Web site, “(SciVee is) created for scientists, by scientists. SciVee moves science beyond the printed word and lecture theater, taking advantage of the Internet as a communication medium where scientists young and old have a place and a voice.”

The site follows a format similar to that of YouTube.com. Users can ‘tag’ posts related to their subject matter to make them easily searchable. Also, users can subscribe to channels on SciVee like on YouTube.

The project has some well-established partners, notably the National Science Foundation, the Public Library of Science and the San Diego Supercomputing Center. However the Web site and concept are still very new.

Though the Web site has accredited partners, some critics have warned that information posted in an open forum is not always verifiable or accurate.

“The scientific community has no chance to review or ensure quality in every post,” said David Lange, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University. “I don’t see any features on this Web site that accommodate peer review. What you’re seeing on SciVee is a more free-floating forum.”

“There’s some good things I see about it, and there’s some weaker things I see about it,” he said. “One of the strengths of what they’re doing is creating an environment that’s conducive to different kinds of presentation styles.”

The videos currently up on the site show scientists speaking and using visual displays like graphs, to explain their research, while the actual research paper is displayed next to it for users to read through.

“The opportunity to have online video (along with research) is probably unprecedented,” Lange said.