Protocols Publishing

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Protocol management and publishing


Willingness to openly share protocols within the research community is high, but an organized, open framework for doing so is lacking or nonexistant. Most online protocols sites such as Nature Protocols are not open access. Printed collections of protocols are expensive, are not updated frequently, and are not always accessible to researchers (the book is not handy, the institution does not have an online subscription). Desire to access and edit protocols are the reasons cited by many new users as to why they've registered for an OWW account. The potential for peer review and publication by industry-approved partners creates a positive feedback loop, providing incentives for users to enter, tag, and share protocols.

Communities served

Level 1: Lab and collaborators
Level 2: Department/Institution
Level 3: Research community/World

Strategy and usage

Level 1: Protocol aggregation Offer an OWW protocol template. Researcher enters information into the template and tags it using the toolbar provided. Tagging allows the protocol to be associated with the creator, to be searched (and found by Google), and to be indexed in the general protocols collection. Wiki integration allows ongoing revision by OWW users. Like Nature Protocols, we could partner with vendors and offer "quick-order" links to particular reagents or other supplies.

Technical strategy:

Level 2: Protocol sharing Provide a technical framework on OWW for organizing collections of protocols; provide value-added services for OWW users such as a dashboard that shows items such as "number of hits on my protocol" and "comment on or review my protocol". Offer researchers the opportunity (maybe push a button?) to upload approved, fully road-tested protocols to the OWW Protocol Repository. Each protocol stored in the repository could have a DOI, and could also have a link back to a working wiki version.

Technical strategy:

Level 3: Protocol publishing for the research community Working with a partner, take OWW protocols to the next level with formal peer-review and publication, either in print or online. (NPG is interested in working with OWW to potentially peer-review and publish the "best of OWW" as open access in Nature Protocols.) Offer custom collections of road-tested or peer-reviewed protocols as easily downloadable PDF files or as OWW print-on-demand publications. Offer video versions of the protocol on OWW or in partnership with JOVE.

Technical strategy:


Protocols are a popular, shareable asset that OWW can add value to at all community levels. Supplementary materials might also be added in a similar channel.