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BCA News: Fall 2021

JoVE: Science videos with the mission to improve scientific research and education
James Fosse MS, RBP, FBCA

Back before 2008, I read an article in Wired magazine about a new type of electronic journal called the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE). Conceived by two Boston area scientists who were dismayed by the lack of repeatability of protocols in peer reviewed scientific journals, the two scientists reasoned that maybe a better way was to produce a short video (5-15 minutes) that demonstrated the procedure. The video would still be accompanied by a peer reviewed paper that would add greater depth.

This simple idea has blossomed into more than 13,000 videos on topics ranging from the physical to life sciences. JoVE now offers research and science education focused content across a wide variety of subject areas from Chemistry to Clinical Skills. They have offices in Cambridge Massachusetts, London England, Mumbai India, and Melbourne Australia and currently have 90+ videographers around the globe, on 6 continents.

I did my first video for JoVE while still an employee of USDA back in 2016. JoVE gives clients the option to use an in-house videographer or a JoVE contractor. When I retired from federal employment, I called one of the JoVE editors I knew and asked "So who covers Iowa and the surrounding states?" His answer was, "We don't have anybody. Would you like to send us a CV?" Two years later, I have done video shoots for them at Iowa State University, University of Iowa College of Medicine, University of Minnesota, and Mayo Clinic. Pre-pandemic, this averaged 1 shoot per month.

Typical projects need someone who understands lab protocols, basic biosafety, and basic video production. The videographer shoots from a prepared list that describes what must be shown and how close you need to be. Each shot is slated so that the video editor can figure out what goes where. The resulting raw video is shipped off to the editors in Boston. The clients receive an edited version for approval some weeks later.

You can visit their website and watch sample videos at jove.com. If you have an interest in becoming a JoVE videographer, I suggest emailing Violet Acevedo who is their production coordinator.

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