Stuck on a Protocol? A Simple Click Will Do the Trick

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Video demonstrations for online scientific articles are now just one click away.

By Phil Meagher at JoVE (the Journal of Visualized Experiments) 

Communicating scientific protocols is difficult. Word count limitations result in ambiguous protocols and techniques are becoming increasingly cross-disciplinary and complicated. As a result, reproducing experiments is frustrating. But there is a solution. What if instead of having to read protocols you could watch them first?

On January 17, the team at the Journal of Visualized Experiments, JoVE, released an application to help scientists at the bench do just that. The idea was simple: allow scientists to “visualize” all of the scientific articles available online by leveraging JoVE’s rapidly growing scientific methods video collection. (To date, JoVE’s published 2,966 methods-videos since the company launched in 2006.)

The application is called the AskJoVE button, and offers a novel opportunity for scientists looking to learn procedures from scientific articles. Functioning from within your internet browser’s bookmarks bar, this application, or “bookmarklet,” produces a collection of video-demonstrations of techniques mentioned in any given scientific articles—even for those published in the traditional, text-based format.

“We created this new feature because we want to visualize all the science literature in the world,” says Dr. Moshe Pritsker, JoVE’s CEO and co-founder, “For every science article you read, click on the Ask JoVE button and immediately see videos of experiments related to this article, filmed at the best university labs.”

With this in mind, try to now imagine yourself at the lab, reading through an article you’ll need to learn to replicate as part of your research. If a small, important part of the protocol suddenly becomes vague, getting help no longer must involve scheduling training with other scientists half way across the globe. Instead, simply click the AskJoVE button, and watch as the methods in that article are demonstrated on your screen.

Jove action

The AskJoVE button is free to download, and it is easily set up via drag-and-drop installation.

Each technique featured by the button is demonstrated by its own original authors (filmed by JoVE) and accompanied by scientific animations produced by the JoVE video team.  Once clicked, the AskJoVE button provides scientists with a concise and powerful tool that saves time and money.

Interested in introducing your lab’s technique to the world? Submit your abstract to JoVE via our publishing information page. For subscription information you may reach out via our website, or you can take a moment to recommend JoVE to your institution’s librarian.

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