JoVE But Not For Me

I first wrote about the Journal of Visualized Experiments over a decade ago, and it’s still one of the most innovative ideas in scientific publishing. Each “paper” is a video documenting exactly how to perform some procedure in the lab, and each entry (they currently have over 10,000) is peer reviewed and indexed like any other scientific publication.

JoVE divides its contents into Research and Education, and further classifies them as:

Research Education
Behavior Biology
Biochemistry Chemistry
Bioengineering Environmental Sciences
Biology Physics
Cancer Research Engineering
Chemistry Psychology
Development Biology Clinical Skills
Engineering  
Environment  
Genetics  
Immunology and Infection  
Medicine  
Neuroscience  

Notice what isn’t on the list? Programming. They do have some articles that involve coding, but there isn’t a category for things like “How to use breakpoints to step through a dplyr pipeline in R” or “How to install and configure the software needed to reproduce these really important results” because building and using research software or doing data analysis still isn’t considered a lab skill on a par with preparing microscope slides or combining fluidic devices with microscopy and flow cytometry to study microbial transport in porous media across spatial scales.

I wish it was. I wish there was a home for curated, quality-controlled demonstrations of how to build and use research software, because I think that not knowing the verbs of computing is as much of a barrier for most people as not knowing the nouns.