BDC Video Content Guidance


BDC recognizes the importance of multimedia resources for ecosystem users, particularly audio/visual recordings. This document provides guidelines on the program's video content approach. Using these guidelines will ensure users get optimized video experiences, from consistent branding that offers insights into the sources of the videos to best practices in video creation that support learning.

Overview of BDC Videos

To share video content - from the consortium, platforms, and users, as described in the following sections - BDC created a YouTube channel:

The BioData Catalyst Coordinating Center (BDC3) , has authority (with direction from the NHLBI) to post (or not post), remove, edit, and otherwise change video content on this channel with or without permission from or notice to video creators, owners, or sharers. Feedback about videos on the BDC YouTube channel should be sent to

Categories and Organization of Videos

The BDC YouTube Channel hosts three categories of videos based on their sources and/or approval statuses:

  • Consortium-produced / Consortium-approved

  • Platform-generated

  • User-generated

Learn more about each video category below. Note that each category has its own set of standards that must be adhered to when creating and publishing video content, whether the final outlet is the BDC YouTube channel or another channel.

BDC3 is responsible for organizing videos on the BDC YouTube channel, grouping them into playlists it believes will be most beneficial to ecosystem community members. Playlists may include videos from any or all categories of videos. Viewers can determine the category of a video based on the branding (or non-branding) that appears. The additional information about each video category includes video standards that direct video creators on branding for each category of videos.

Consortium-produced / Consortium-approved Videos

Videos in this category are produced by BDC3, or are produced by Platforms or Users that receive approval from the BDC Consortium (select organizations developing and maintaining the ecosystem). These videos contain pre-approved opening and closing BDC animations and sound.

Consortium-produced / Consortium-approved Video Standards

Videos produced by the Consortium, or by Platforms or Users that submit for approval for recognition as a Consortium-approved video, must adhere to the following standards:

Comply with all requirements and, when possible, follow all best practices outlined in Addendum A: Consortium-produced / Consortium-approved Videos Best Practices. Platforms and users generating videos who wish to submit them for recognition as Consortium-approved must complete the BioData Catalyst Consortium Video Submission Pre-Approval Application. Submit the form BEFORE producing the video to improve the likelihood that the video receives Consortium approval.

Platform-generated Videos

Videos in this category are produced by one of the BDC platforms to support users' understanding of their platform. These videos are not vetted by BDC3, BDC3 Consortium members, or representatives of other BDC platforms. These videos must open with the creator's platform "Powered by" logo (downloadable from the BDC3 internal consortium website).

Platform-generated Video Standards

Unless a Platform plans to seek Consortium-approval status for a video, platforms should use the following standards in the production and posting of their platform-generated videos:

Producers of Platform-generated videos, like all BDC ecosystem users, are always obligated to protect participant privacy and must follow NIH policies for data protection. Platforms are accountable and may be subject to sanctions if policies are violated. Only produce videos that provide information specific to the Platform's BDC instance. Use the Platform's Powered by logo (and only the Powered by logo) for the YouTube thumbnail image. Videos should open with the following information: “In this video we will [discuss/cover/explore] BioData Catalyst Powered by [platform name] and [task/example]” YouTube description language should include: The following language: This is a BioData Catalyst platform-generated video to support ecosystem users' understanding of the BioData Catalyst Powered by [platform name]. The link to the NHLBI BioData Catalyst homepage: Videos should be uploaded using YouTube's auto-generated captions to support 508 compliance. Once the video is uploaded, email the link to: so BDC3 can make it visible on the BioData Catalyst YouTube channel.

Important Notes

  • Only videos offering information specific to the use of ecosystem Platform instances will be shared on the BioData Catalyst YouTube channel. Videos that support the use of Platforms but are not specific to BDC instances may be linked from the ecosystem documentation but will not appear on the BioData Catalyst YouTube channel.

  • Platform-generated videos that do not follow the above standards will not be made visible on the BioData Catalyst YouTube channel.

User-generated Videos

These videos are neither approved nor vetted by BDC, the BDC Consortium, BDC Platforms, or the organizations they represent. The opinions and other content in these videos are those of the video creators and sharers alone. These videos may NOT open or close with BDC branding and may only display BDC branding when capturing images of properties where it already appears (i.e., a screencap of an ecosystem platform instance).

User-generated Video Standards

BDC offers user-generated video tutorials and guides. Unless a user plans to seek Consortium-approval status for a video, BDC requires the following for user-generated videos, their creators, and their sharers:

Producers of user-generated videos, like all BDC ecosystem users, are always obligated to protect participant privacy and must follow NIH policies for data protection. User institutions are accountable and may be subject to sanctions if policies are violated. By submitting a video for inclusion, users are attesting that the content of the video follows NIH policies for data protection, agreeing to follow this guidance, and committing to the inclusion of the following statement in video descriptions: This is a user-generated video and is neither approved nor vetted by NHLBI BioData Catalyst (BDC), the members of the BDC Consortium, or the organizations they represent. For more information about BDC, go to For more BDC videos, go to #BioDataCatalyst To share a video, please contact:

Important Notes

  • User-generated videos that do not follow the above standards will not be made visible on the BioData Catalyst YouTube channel.

  • User-generated videos are just one type of user-contributed content BDC seeks to share. To learn about other kinds of user-generated content BDC seeks, read Contributing User Resources to BDC.

Addendum A: Consortium-produced / Consortium-approved Videos Best Practices

Consortium-produced/Consortium-approved videos must adhere to this addendum. While not required of BDC Platforms and users, BDC encourages them to consider these best practices for the videos they produce.

Gaining Approval: Submitting Your Idea

Phase/TaskRequired or Best PracticeContext

Consider if the video is fulfilling a need/gap


Ensure video isn't replicating information already available to users

Complete & submit Video Submission Pre-Approval Form for pre-approval


Pre-approval is required to ensure relevance & consistency

Planning the video: Considerations before recording

Phase/TaskRequired or Best Practice

Outline the video

Best practice

Consider how info can be presented in a concise & useful manner

Avoid having too much text on slides

Best practice

Slides should be concise; keep text & bullets at a minimum; use images when possible as viewers respond to images more positively than text

Shooting the video: Best practices

Phase/TaskRequired or Best PracticeContext

Use clear language & explain jargon

Best Practice

Simple communications are preferred; many viewers may not speak English as a first language

Policy compliance: Federal regulations & BDC3 best practices

Phase/TaskRequired or Best PracticeContext

Ensure Section 508 compliance


Subtitles & transcripts are required to ensure equity in access for people with disabilities

Ensure privacy policy compliance


Protect study participants' privacy by not including personally identifiable, confidential, sensitive, or personal health information (e.g., blur screenshots with data)


For people with disabilities, readability can be essential to a successful user experience

Use appropriate branding according to the BDC Style Guide


Required to create a unified look across the BioData Catalyst ecosystem. Work with your BDC3 contact to get a copy of the style guide

Technical aspects: Steps after shooting

Phase/TaskRequired or Best PracticeContext

Best practice

Search for meaningful keywords for titles, descriptions & tags

Create a meaningful title


The title should be under 66 characters to make it easier for Google to display; make the title engaging & descriptive


Think about the action the user is trying to take & the keywords they might use to find your video


Transcription is free but likely needs editing; you can make changes to the text & timestamps of your captions

Create cards for interaction

Best practice

Cards are clickable calls to action that take viewers to another video, channel, or site

Create end screens for marketing

Best practice

End screens can be added to a video's last 5 - 20 seconds to promote other videos, encourage viewers to subscribe, etc.

Divide into chapters & create Table of Contents

Best practice

Break up videos into sections (each with an individual preview) to provide more info & context; eases re-playing certain sections


A clear & colorful video thumbnail will catch viewers' attention & let them see a quick snapshot of your video as they're browsing

Create meaningful tags, including the required #BioDataCatalyst tag


Tags are descriptive keywords you can add to your video to help viewers find your content; include at least 10 tags

Add links to BDC

Best practice

Where possible, provide links to relevant parts of the BDC ecosystem

Publishing & promoting: Publicizing & sharing video

Phase/TaskRequire or Best PracticeContext

Share completed videos with BDC3


Email with info on accessing the video, a thumbnail image, descriptive tags to include, and the video description

BDC3 sets appropriate privacy settings according to policy with input from the video creator

If Approved

Videos can be Public, Unlisted (link needed), or Private (invite needed; most secure)

BDC3 uploads to YouTube channel & adds to relevant playlists

If Approved

Videos can be in multiple playlists but don't need to be in any playlists

Teams and BDC3 develop plans to promote the video, if appropriate.

Best Practice

Potential options include Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter, Vimeo, WeChat, Pinterest, Flipgrid, etc.

Library maintenance: Keeping an up-to-date catalog

Phase/TaskRequired or Best PracticeContext

BDC3 will prompt teams annually to check videos to ensure continued relevance.


Outdated videos could cause viewers to lose confidence in the accuracy of info available on the channel

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