A new visual navigation system for exploring biomedical Open Educational Resource (OER) videos

Baoquan Zhao, Songhua Xu, Shujin Lin, Xiaonan Luo, Lian Duan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective: Biomedical videos as open educational resources (OERs) are increasingly proliferating on the Internet. Unfortunately, seeking personally valuable content from among the vast corpus of quality yet diverse OER videos is nontrivial due to limitations of today's keyword- and contentbased video retrieval techniques. To address this need, this study introduces a novel visual navigation system that facilitates users' information seeking from biomedical OER videos in mass quantity by interactively offering visual and textual navigational clues that are both semantically revealing and user-friendly. Materials and Methods: The authors collected and processed around 25 000 YouTube videos, which collectively last for a total length of about 4000 h, in the broad field of biomedical sciences for our experiment. For each video, its semantic clues are first extracted automatically through computationally analyzing audio and visual signals, as well as text either accompanying or embedded in the video. These extracted clues are subsequently stored in a metadata database and indexed by a high-performance text search engine. During the online retrieval stage, the system renders video search results as dynamic web pages using a JavaScript library that allows users to interactively and intuitively explore video content both efficiently and effectively. Results: The authors produced a prototype implementation of the proposed system, which is publicly accessible at https://patentq.njit.edu/oer. To examine the overall advantage of the proposed system for exploring biomedical OER videos, the authors further conducted a user study of a modest scale. The study results encouragingly demonstrate the functional effectiveness and user-friendliness of the new system for facilitating information seeking from and content exploration among massive biomedical OER videos. Conclusion: Using the proposed tool, users can efficiently and effectively find videos of interest, precisely locate video segments delivering personally valuable information, as well as intuitively and conveniently preview essential content of a single or a collection of videos.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e34-e41
JournalJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association
Issue numbere1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Informatics


  • Biomedical videos
  • Information retrieval and browsing
  • Open education resources (oers)
  • Video search
  • Visual navigation


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