Moving towards movement, by Jove

Sometimes you look round and realise that the world has changed. It has been changing little by little so gradually that you didn’t notice but then you realise “Aha! The much predicted and talked-about convergence of TV and computing has happened!” You can buy a TV to watch YouTube videos on, you can watch regular TV programmes on your computer (or phone or tablet device), and there is a vast amount of moving image material ‘out there’ on the internet, meeting all kinds of interests and, er, predilections.

Some of that material is of scientific interest and a useful post on Nature Network includes a list of video sites of interest to a scientific audience. They range from scientific lectures, to YouTube clips and others with a public engagement angle, to schools material. Also included is JOVE, the Journal of Visualised Experiments which calls itself a video journal for biological research.

JOVE is an interesting journal. It started in 2006 as a free, community, site but reality kicked in and three years later they changed business model with submission fees and subscriptions. I occasionally get asked whether we subscribe, but it has never seemed to be a sufficiently important journal for enough people that we can justify the expense.

JOVE is a US-based operation but they have recently opened a UK presence and are looking to make a bigger impact over here. I spoke to them at a conference last week and they admitted that their pricing structure does not fit well with the UK market, so we can expect changes some time this year. It may still end up too expensive of course, but here’s hoping. Meanwhile, about 30% of their content is open access so you may be able to access the article you want.

About Frank Norman

I am a librarian in a biomedical research institute. I've been around a few years, long enough to know that exciting new things fall into the same familiar patterns. I'm interested in navigating a path for libraries as we move further from print to electronic resources to open research, and become more embedded in research workflows.
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6 Responses to Moving towards movement, by Jove

  1. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    i hadn’t thought about JOVE in ages; when I worked in marketing our company was always trying to persuade customers to submit videos of themselves using our products, but it doesn’t seem to be on the radar of most of the academics I work with now. However, one PI mentioned last week that a lab in the US has been the only one to be able to grow a particular kind of primary cell in culture, and that a video was going to be submitted to JOVE so others could copy their technique exactly. I can see people definitely being interested in paying for one-off access to videos of particular interest like that one, but I don’t know many people who’d shell out for a subscription.

  2. Frank says:

    I don’t think they have a pay-per-view option. I agree that might be a more attractive way to gain access on an occasional basis, though I guess they prefer to have subscriptions up-front. It might be better than nothing though.

    Normally if we need a copy of something from a source that we don’t subscribe to we can get a photocopy of an article from another library, but of course that doesn’t work with JOVE.

  3. nico says:

    I came across JOVE for the first time this week, the authors of a paper I edited cited a method published there. I was quite confused by it at first because I thought it was supplementary material! In the end I did work it out, although I’m not sure yet about the citation style.

  4. Frank says:

    Just spotted another interesting video development, over at the Institute of Physics. Their publication New Journal of Physics has introduced video abstracts. Tim Smith, the journal’s senior publisher, explains the thinking behind the video abstracts:

    the potential is now there for publishers to embrace online and social media streams to raise the visibility and profile of both scientific content and, importantly, authors themselves.

    I haven’t seen this in any biomed journals, but it can’t be long before someone tries it. Maybe PLoS?

  5. Frank, I am one of the JoVE founders. Interesting comments. As far as our change in business model – we didn’t have much of a choice. In the beginning, we hoped that people would produce their own content, but that didn’t happen. So we subsidized all production pretty much burning through the investment that we received to the point of almost going out of business. Hence our present structure. We’ve considered selling individual articles, but it didn’t work out financially at the time. Perhaps it might make sense to revisit this question in the near future.

    That said, I am curious: why do you think that we are not sufficiently important? Is this due to the nature of research that is being done at your institution where the content that we have doesn’t cover what your institution needs? Is there content you would like to see us publish?

    The last couple of times I attended SFN, I was told on numerous occasions by PIs that we effectively were a lifesaver and I’d roughly estimate that around 70% of people I spoke to were aware of us. This seems to be the case in several subject areas, but not in everything and we are watching out for what people need and try to adjust our editorial strategy accordingly. If you have any thoughts on this, I would love to hear them.

  6. Frank says:

    Nikita – thanks for commenting. My comment that JOVE was not ‘a sufficiently important journal for enough people’ just reflects the situation at my Institute. I have not been inundated with requests to subscribe.

    I think this is because it is not seen as a high-profile journal (from a renowned stable of quality or from a society publisher) and neither is it a core journal for a particular subject area. Hence it does not leap out as a ‘must-have’ title for us. This may of course change as its reputation develops.

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