With hundreds of seminars, conferences and colloquia taking place each week across the University of California system, it’s nearly impossible for today’s scholar to keep up. While many scholarly presentations are posted online after the fact, they often end up buried in departmental or conference websites, making it difficult for those unaware of the event to discover on their own. UCTVSeminars, a new scholar-serving web portal launched in May by University of California Television (UCTV), offers a simple, cost-effective solution by providing a single destination for scholars to find and share peer-to-peer scholarly presentations in any academic discipline via video and visual media.
Using UCTV’s existing online dissemination infrastructure and experience organizing large video collections for prime search engine optimization, UCTVSeminars offers an easy-to-navigate user interface that allows visitors to browse videos by subject area, event date, speaker name, conference, host organization or UC campus. While presentations must originate from a University of California campus or affiliated institution, they feature researchers from universities around the world and can be freely viewed in Flash format, downloaded as audio and/or video podcasts, and embedded in outside websites. Presentations will also be made available on UCTVSeminars’ YouTube channel and on UCTV’s iTunesU channel.
UC researchers are invited to submit their own video presentations, which can range from a simple, low-cost narrated PowerPoint presentation to a highly produced video, to UCTVSeminars through the online video uploader. Users will also find helpful hints and tips to capture these presentations on the UCTVSeminars website. Programs will appear alongside user-submitted metadata, including descriptions, related links, lecture notes, and other complementary materials.
UCTVSeminars launched in May 2011 with a range of content indicative of the academic pursuits found throughout the University of California, including the six-part “Zoobiquity” conference hosted by the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and featuring leading UCLA and UC Davis clinicians and scientists in both human and veterinary medicine discussing the same diseases in a wide spectrum of animal species and human beings. Also featured are presentations from the Ecology and Evolution Seminar Series hosted by the UC Davis Ecology Graduate Group, and an array of existing seminars and programs from the renowned Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at UC Santa Barbara, among others.
For more than a decade, UCTV has gathered and disseminated general interest programming from throughout the University of California to more than 23 million homes nationwide on satellite and cable, and worldwide on its website and YouTube and iTunesU channels. While in-depth and, at times, challenging, UCTV’s content is intended for the general public, with additional content aimed at K-12 teachers and health care professionals. Over the years, UC faculty have expressed interest in making seminar presentations available to fellow scholars online, while also having access to other seminars from throughout the system. Unlike videos created for broadcast, these scholarly presentations require less production effort— minimally just the audio and the PowerPoint of the presentation.
While some departments and conference organizers offer these kinds of presentations online after a seminar or conference has occurred, most are lost to anyone not directly participating. And, with hundreds of events occurring each week, it is virtually impossible to participate in as many as one might like. As a proven aggregator and disseminator of video content, UCTV is applying its proven expertise to UCTVSeminars by both surfacing and then distributing this valuable content to interested audiences inside and outside the academy.
“I am delighted that UCTV created the first centralized portal in a university system for posting, distributing and accessing scholarly seminars,” stated UC Davis Professor of Entomology James Carey, who instigated the UCTVSeminars initiative while Chair of the University Committee on Research Policy (UCORP) in 2008-09. “Because the technology for capturing these presentations is so inexpensive and easy to use, this service will fill an expressed need among UC scholars, all of whom must deal with constraints on time and travel. The potential for enhancing synergy in research as well as in teaching and outreach is considerable and UCTVSeminars can serve as a model for other universities that wish to create their own research seminar network and thus help form a national and global network.”
UCTVSeminars is an affiliate of University of California Television (UCTV), the non-commercial satellite channel and website of the University of California. UCTV shares educational and enrichment programming from the campuses, national laboratories, and affiliated institutions of the University of California with 23 million homes nationwide on satellite (Dish Network, Ch. 9412) and cable and worldwide via live stream, video archives and podcasting.