A large number of landmark scientific studies are hard to reproduce by independent labs. The reasons are numerous, but incomplete and imprecise protocols are often to blame. Indeed the protocols published in most journals miss essential details such as the “little tricks” that make experiments work. Over the past few years, various initiatives have been launched to address the problem, and video protocols seem to stand out as one of the solutions. If well produced, video protocols can be captivating and help to quickly grasp protocols or techniques in detail.
Benchfly is a central location to view and share videos of laboratory protocols, tips, tricks and techniques. It hosts short videos of virtually anything that can be useful to experimental scientist in the field of biology, biochemistry and chemistry. Anyone with a camera-equipped smartphone is invited to create videos of their own experiments to share with the world. Benchfly made it easy for anyone to add, edit and share videos through their platform. And since making scientific expertise free and accessible to all is part of Benchfly’s core values, the videos are open access with no need to sign-up to view. Recently Benchfly also went live with a mobile app for both androids and iPhones so that filming and watching the videos is easier while in lab.
Since videos have become an essential tool for marketing and public relations purposes, Benchfly can also partner with companies, to produce, host and disseminate science-based videos. On top of this, Benchfly also hosts a more social component, with a great blog with tips and stories about the struggles and joys of being a researcher. Benchfly has been around for a little while now, created in 2009 by Alan Marnett in Cambridge MA USA.