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Science Showcase

Background, information, and submission criteria

A YouTube channel that connects researchers who create science education and communication videos with people who watch them

Background

Science Showcase is a YouTube channel designed to connect the best science education and communication videos from researchers, with people looking for great science content. We’re encouraging researchers (including scientists, engineers, technologies, and even citizen scientists) to explore the “what” and the “how” of the things they study through short, smart, engaging, accurate, watchable, and above all, authentic, videos. We also want to build a growing resource of awesome YouTube science videos that are made by scientists for anyone curious to discover more about what they know and do.

We created the channel because it’s incredibly hard for researchers to reach a large audience with their education/communication videos — despite there being a hunger for great science content on YouTube. The process of getting your videos considered for posting is easy – simply email scienceshowcasevideos@gmail.com with a description of your video (including why you think it should be posted), an acknowledgement that you agree to allow us to post it, and a link to where we can download the video. We’ll review your video, and if it’s accepted, we’ll post and promote your video on the channel under a Creative Commons license.

There is a catch however — because it’s really important that we only post videos that are accurate, engaging, and that people will want to watch, we have a number of acceptance criteria. These set a high bar, so if you’re not successful, please don’t be disheartened, but keep trying and improving — and you’ll get there!

What we publish

We’re really interested in receiving submissions from anyone doing science, or engineering, or technology innovation, who is enthusiastic about their work, and can tell a good story using video about aspects of it. This includes high school students, undergrads and “citizen scientists”, as well as people paid to do research for a living!

We’re looking for videos that are engaging, informative and authentic, and explore specific aspects of science, technology and engineering. Videos that explain how something works, or what a specific aspect of science is about, are perfect – as long as they are short (1 – 3 minutes) and focused.

We also realize that not everyone is a master-animator, a skilled artist or a super-smooth presenter – and, to be honest, we don’t care. We’ve found that as long as you tell a compelling story in a compelling way, YouTube users are looking for authenticity, passion and engagement – and often, this comes across better with videos that are honest and authentic, rather than professional and polished. To get an idea of what we mean, just check out some of the videos we’ve posted – they’re not professional by any stretch of the imagination, but they do engage, inform and educate effectively!

And style – you’ll see a few videos on Science Showcase that use whiteboard techniques, or maybe different forms of animation. But at the end of the day, we want you to communicate in whatever form you’re most comfortable with, as long as you create something that others will want to watch (and that fits the criteria below). And this could be as simple as an iPhone video of you talking to camera (check out some of the videos from SciShow for instance!)

What we don’t publish

Because Science Showcase is specifically for researchers to showcase their videos about what they know and do, we will not be accepting videos:

  • That are primarily designed for promotion or marketing (we’re not a promotion and marketing site);
  • That describe a broad area of science, rather than the “how” and “what” of science (OK, so we may make exceptions where there is a stunningly awesome video, but usually videos that aren’t about specific aspects of science, like how clouds are formed, or how a laser works, aren’t that interesting to casual watchers);
  • That describe research programs or projects (much as we hate to say it, videos about what your lab or department does (or is going to do) are usually less interesting than you think!);
  • That are more opinion than science; and
  • That are super-professionally produced (most researchers will be enthusiastic amateur video makers, and we like it that way – it’s authentic. As long as the videos are engaging and people will want to watch them!).

Criteria for acceptance

Tell a tight story. Make sure your video has a clear focus and narrative structure. Picking a very specific and narrow topic — something people might be curious about — works best. Don’t try and cover too much ground!

Keep it short. We’re looking for videos between 1 – 3 minutes maximum — longer videos aren’t likely to be considered.

Be authentic. We’re looking for awesome videos that engage and inform viewers. And you can achieve this without a full-on professional production. Make sure the quality of the video is as high as possible, but authenticity is really important. Some of the simplest techniques like using pen and paper, or a whiteboard (or even a blackboard!), can be some of the most effective!

Be creative. You may not succeed first time, but don’t be afraid to try new ideas.

Be accurate. We won’t post videos that are inaccurate, or misleading, or push a strong opinion without evidence. Sorry.

Be legal. Make sure you have permission to use all the material in your video.

Be awesome. We’re looking for videos people will want to watch and tell their friends about. This means they should be engaging, informative, and worth someone’s time to watch!

How to submit Videos

Simply email us a link to a video (on DropBox, Google Drive or similar) to scienceshowcasevideos@gmail.com – along with why you think the video hits what we’re looking for on Science Showcase!

If the video hits the criteria, we may ask if we can add an intro screen before posting, and we’ll ask you for a blurb to accompany it. Otherwise, that’s it!

Links

You can view Science Showcase videos here

Follow us on Twitter at @scienceshowcase

Email us at scienceshowcasevideos@gmail.com

Printable information on submitting videos: https://riskinnovation.asu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Science-Showcase-Submission-Guidelines.pdf