Research TV

It’s Academic

We live in a rapidly changing world where the catalyst for change is the ever-advancing march of digital technologies. The proliferation of new media has served to better inform and engage people, but viewers are often left wondering about the value and accuracy of information on the internet. At the same time, pressure has grown on Social Sciences and Humanities researchers to broaden the impact of the knowledge they produce by sharing it with their peers through academic publications, but also to non-academic audiences. Along with this call for wider public dissemination is the rise of new digital media formats which have emerged as an exciting and accessible form of communication for new audiences. ResearchTV is an academic video streaming platform that provides viewers with assurances about the quality of research and the production value of films offering critical perspectives on the world we live in. ResearchTV is dedicated to the sharing of knowledge and expertise through film.

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How to enjoy ResearchTV

ResearchTV is like other streaming platforms in that films are grouped together on a series of themed channels. ResearchTV is primarily a broadcaster of peer-reviewed films that are mostly documentaries, but we also provide additional programming that is best described as “teaching tools.”

When viewers visit the browsing page on the streaming site they see a slideshow of highlighted films. The highlighted films are drawn from across the platform and are changed regularly. Viewers can go directly to any of the highlighted films or they can scroll down and see a listing of all of our channels and their content. 

On the streaming site the first channel features New Releases and is followed by themed channels that group films into broad categories. Each channel displays 12 featured films on the channel’s slider, but there are more films to be found using the “View All” button on the right hand side of each slider. ResearchTV features programming from around the world and some films are available in languages other than English and come with English subtitles.

In addition to our primary channels, we also provide a series of specialty channels. For example, we have one channel dedicated to films in French or that come with French subtitles, and another channel that features an eclectic variety of short films on important subjects. Some, but not all of the content on these channels can also be found on the primary channels.

Although most of our programming is in the form of polished films, ResearchTV also includes channels that contain such things as academic presentations, archival footage, community programming, oral histories and other research results that can be used for instruction in the classroom. This content is broad in scope and often an extension of academic research, but it is not peer-reviewed.

As our content grows we will be highlighting films in our ResearchTV Guide and on our New Releases Channel. See below for a quick sample of the variety in content you can find via these channels.

Click A Poster To View It On ResearchTV

How it Works

What makes ResearchTV unique is that most of our content is peer-reviewed and shot through an academic lens. This is important for academic filmmakers who need to “publish” their work, but it is also important for non-academic filmmakers because the process provides them with academic endorsement for their work. Our submissions are reviewed by both scholars and filmmakers who understand the rigours of scholarship and the challenges of publishing research in a film format. ResearchTV holds filmmakers to a high production standard so that viewers can count on both the quality of the research and of the overall production. ResearchTV is a broadcaster and distributor of films suitable for the post-secondary educational market. 

ResearchTV does not suggest revisions or provide comment for the films we review. A film is either accepted or rejected.  Selected films will be peer-reviewed in a manner identical to that of print journals. ResearchTV follows the guidelines and best practices for peer-review established by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. 

Films are featured on the ResearchTV website where additional information about the film and its content can be found. This is where filmmakers can suggest further reading, provide contact details, links to their own websites and other information.

ResearchTV is also aware that people watch films on a variety of different devices with different coding requirements. We take care of the transcoding process, resulting in the proper formats in order to have a film stream properly on different devices. As a result, films on our platform are available in four different formats that permit the best viewing on devices ranging from Smartphones to Smart TVs.

Once a filmmaker decides to put a film on ResearchTV it will be marketed to academics, post-secondary institutions and the public. The launch of a film on ResearchTV will be timed to coincide with the publication of our ResearchTV Guide which is sent directly to academics at many universities and posted elsewhere on the internet. We also provide marketing to filmmakers and the general public.

Filmmakers retain the rights to their films and can ask to have them taken off of ResearchTV at any time. ResearchTV also reserves the right to remove a film at any time.

There are two ways for filmmakers to submit films.

Filmmakers can contact ResearchTV directly using the Contact Us form at the bottom of this page. Begin with an email explaining who you are and what your film is about. Enquiries should include links to the film or a webpage that will allow our editors to make an initial decision. Once we have completed the preliminary review of a submission we will contact the filmmaker to discuss the next steps to be taken. Please note that we only consider completed films and do not accept rough cuts. Send us your best.

The second way to submit a film is a two stage process that begins with the Spotlight on Academics Film Festival.  It is hoped that filmmakers whose films are selected for Spotlight on Academics will be willing to also add their film the ResearchTV inventory for online programming. In this way, festival films can take advantage of our marketing to enjoy a longer life outside of the festival circuit and to reach a broad academic audience. Films submitted to ResearchTV through the Spotlight on Academics selection process will be subjected to peer-review after the festival has made its decisions.

Spotlight On Academics

The World Through An Academic Lens

ResearchTV partners with the Spotlight on Academics Film Festival to provide a steady flow of independent films made by academics or that are suitable for academic audiences. ResearchTV assists Spotlight on Academics in the selection process by providing an academic baseline for submissions. Filmmakers wishing to submit a film for our consideration must use FilmFreeway to submit their film to the Spotlight on Academics Film Festival.  If a film is selected, ResearchTV will then run the film through a peer-review process and, if a film meets our criteria, it will be considered for inclusion on ResearchTV. If a filmmaker chooses to take us up on our offer to host their film on ResearchTV they will benefit in several ways.

Ten reasons to work with ResearchTV.

  1. Films that are selected for the festival are also considered for streaming on ResearchTV. 
  2. Films on ResearchTV are put through a peer-reviewed process.
  3. We provide general marketing as well as targeted marketing to academics and institutions.
  4. We take care of transcoding of videos to ensure their proper display on different devices.
  5. We cross-list films on more than one channel for greater exposure.
  6. The ResearchTV Guide contains highlights of films and filmmakers on our platform.
  7. ResearchTV does not ask for exclusive rights. Filmmakers are free to market their own films.
  8. ResearchTV shares its profits from subscription sales equally with all filmmakers.
  9. We can handle institutional sales to universities and other public institutions.
  10. The ResearchTV website provides additional information highlighting films and filmmakers.

About Us

Sharing Knowledge and Expertise Through Film

ResearchTV takes advantage of the rapidly changing landscape of information technology to provide the public with access to reliable programming in the Social Sciences and Humanities and to assist researchers in their efforts to share knowledge in the digital world. Demand for online programming has grown and researchers are broadening the impact of the knowledge they generate.  New digital media formats have emerged as the most exciting and accessible means of communicating with new audiences. Similarly, as education moves out of the classroom and on to the internet, educators are hard-pressed to provide students with academically sound sources of information. ResearchTV is an outlet for academic research, documentary films, archival resources and other visual material that is suitable for instructional purposes or for consumption by the general public. ResearchTV provides a means for the producers of academic oriented video to reach broader audiences and it is a reliable source of information about the world we live in. 

ResearchTV is built on an existing network of partners and academics whose work has been highlighted in documentary films or recorded in workshops and presentations. These include award-winning documentaries, public presentations at major conferences, and research outputs like oral histories, round table discussions, interviews and other recordings. Our film programming is vetted by professionals in a process that is identical to the peer-review process used by academic journals, thereby guaranteeing the standards and production quality of the information contained on our channels. ResearchTV offers content you can rely on.

Editorial Collective

Ron Harpelle

Ron Harpelle teaches Latin American History at Lakehead University. He is the author of several books. He is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker who makes films that focus on history, development issues and human rights. His film credits include documentaries, dramas and docudramas, and he has experimented with non-linear documentary filmmaking.

Kelly Saxberg

Kelly Saxberg is a film producer, director, editor and cinematographer who has worked on over 100 films. She works in English, French, Spanish and Finnish. Kelly also teaches undergraduate courses on the portrayal of history in films.

Robin Starbuck

Robin Starbuck is a New York based artist filmmaker who produces experimental nonfiction films, installations, as well as animation for theatre and opera. Starbuck employs a mixture of documentary and reflexive film styles in her media. By working in a nontraditional form, she strives to create a cinematic space in which the world is perceived rather than known. In response to her work, viewers are invited to interact with what they see on the screen and to create meaning by reflecting on their own experiences, ideas, and truths. Robin Starbuck a professor of experimental documentary film and animation and the current Chair of the Filmmaking & Moving Image Arts program at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, USA.

Manfred Becker

Manfred Becker is a documentary editor and director with more than 50 productions to his name. He is an Assistant Professor and the Graduate Program Director for Film Production in in the School of Arts, Media, Performance & Design at York University. He is also the author of Creating Reality in Factual Television: The Frankenbite and Other Fakes, published by Routledge.

C. Nathan Hatton

Nathan Hatton teaches Canadian History and is the Co-Ordinator of the Public History Program at Lakehead University. Nathan is an expert on sport, immigration and ethnicity. He is the author of “Thrashing Seasons: Sporting Culture in Manitoba and the Genesis of Prairie Wrestling,” and “Rugged Game: Community, Culture and Wrestling at the Lakehead to 1933.” He has also directed two documentaries and published a number of articles.

Michael Stevenson

Michael Stevenson is an associate professor in the Department of History at Lakehead University. He specializes in diplomatic history and focuses many of his academic knowledge mobilization initiatives on creating digital platforms for primary document collections related to Canadian foreign policy.

Wesley M. Shrum

Wesley Shrum is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Video Ethnography Lab at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He is executive director of the Ethnografilm festival and associate director of the Journal of Video Ethnography. His primary scholarly interests are in new communications technology in Africa and India and infectious diseases (Ebola, Zika, coronavirus). His production company, Liars and Madmen, makes films in Kenya, Ghana, and Kerala.

Molly Merryman

Molly Merryman is an associate professor in the School of Peace and Conflict Studies and is the founding director of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at Kent State University. Merryman is a documentary/ethnographic filmmaker, oral historian and cultural historian whose scholarship explores societal marginalization, with a particular focus on gender, gender identity, sexual orientation and race. She has directed and produced nine documentaries that have been broadcast in the United States and United Kingdom and which have screened at academic meetings, museums, galleries and universities around the world, including the MOMA PS1 and the Library of Congress in the US, and the Salisbury Arts Centre in the UK.

Greg Scott

Professor Greg Scott is a visual sociologist, artist, and filmmaker. He is the founder and president of Sawbuck Productions, Inc., a non-profit organization that produces observational documentary films, experimental art films and other multimedia content. Greg is also the founding editor-in-chief of the Journal of Video Ethnography, the first-ever academic journal of peer-reviewed ethnographic films. His sociological work focuses on the socio-cultural dynamics of street level drug markets and drug using communities, while his artistic work revolves around the rituals, norms, customs, and folklore of small town life in the American Midwest.

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