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April 22, 2008

Journal talks on YouTube

A colleague of mine forwarded on an announcement from the Journal of Number Theory staff about their new YouTube channel. The basic idea is that, once you've had a paper refereed and accepted, you can post a short talk of the paper so that people can get the highlights of it -- sort of like an ongoing virtual conference. I like it -- I think its a great idea. Another colleague who I shared this with suggested that this should also be the model we use for talks at conferences -- that is, you put up a short version of the talk before you go, so people can shop around a bit for the talks they are most interested in. Again, I think this is a great idea. Thoughts?

April 18, 2008

Video presentations for Academic Journals

Yesterday a colleague sent me an email from the Journal of Number Theory explaining that, for the future, the authors of all accepted papers will be invited to submit a video presentation of a "talk" of their paper for the Journal's YouTube channel. To me, this makes so much sense I am sort of surprised that no one has thought of it before. We're all so busy, and watching a simple video presentation of a paper seems as if it would really provide a nice cognitive organizer for the paper, providing another "type" of learning opportunity that could deepen understanding of the paper when you read it. I like it. But will it just make reading of papers obsolete? Will the talks become like Cliffs Notes, actually replacing the reading of papers altogether? Possibly, but I think the risk is worth it. Personally, I never have time to read all of the papers that I should be reading; this would give me the opportunity to actually connect with a much wider body of research than I am able to currently.