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Welcome to the Protocol Exchange from Nature Portfolio. The Protocol Exchange is an open repository for sharing scientific research protocols. These protocols are posted directly on the Protocol Exchange by authors and are made freely available to the scientific community for use and comment.
To use the Protocol Exchange submission system, you will need to create an account with Research Square. You will then enter the information for your protocol via a series of forms.
Protocols are not peer reviewed or edited by the Nature Protocols team, although they are screened for non-scientific content and for material that might pose a health or biosecurity risk. Authors are responsible for declaring any competing interests and ensuring they have complied with all relevant ethical regulations and declarations of consent if the protocol involves human participants. If a protocol relates to a clinical trial, we ask authors to include the trial registration number from ClinicalTrials.gov or an equivalent agency in the manuscript. Guidelines regarding ethical regulations can be found here.
Sharing a protocol using the Protocol Exchange does not preclude publication of the material in another journal, but authors are advised to check relevant journal policies before posting on the Protocol Exchange. Lists summarising journal policies regarding preprint publications can be found on Wikipedia and SHERPA/RoMEO.
The information is organised into the following sections:
Titles should be distinct from any associated publications. Italics, superscript and subscript can be used.
There is no limit to the number of authors on a protocol. A first and last name is required for all authors. Complete author details (including affiliation and email) are required for all corresponding authors. At least one author must be designated as the corresponding author in order to submit the protocol. The corresponding author will usually be the person uploading the protocol but this is not an absolute requirement. Authors are encouraged to fill in their ORCID numbers.
Protocols should be assigned at least one of our subject terms. If your protocol does not fit into any of the categories listed in the submission form, please contact us on [email protected].
Enter as many keywords or key phrases as you feel are appropriate for your protocol. The list should be separated by commas (e.g., apoptosis, cell death, positron emission tomography). Please avoid using superscript and subscript where possible (e.g., write iodine-125 rather than ^125^I). In general, use the singular form rather than the plural for each keyword/phrase (i.e., “animal” rather than “animals”).
The abstract should give a brief description of the protocol, its applicability, strengths, weaknesses, the key stages of the protocol, and the time taken for it to be completed. Consider limiting this text to about 150 words.
The introduction allows for a broader discussion of the protocol and the basic considerations needed before embarking on its use. The introduction also gives you an opportunity to set the protocol in context and discuss related or alternative protocols.
A full list of reagents and equipment needed for the protocol should be supplied with manufacturer’s catalogue numbers wherever possible.
This should be formatted as a list of numbered steps each containing at least one sentence in the active tense (e.g., boil a kettle).
We suggest that you first identify the step at which problems may occur, outline how these can be identified and suggest steps to rectify the problems. You might prefer to format this information as a table (suggested column headings: ‘step’, ‘problem’, ‘possible reason’, and ‘solution’).
This can be used to indicate the approximate time for the whole procedure, as well as the time required for different sections of the procedure.
This section is used to describe the expected outcomes of the procedure.
Your reference list would be best formatted as in the following example:
Helms, C. et al. A putative RUNX1 binding site variant between SLC9A3R1 and RAT9 is associated with susceptibility to psoriasis. Nat. Genet. 35, 349-356 (2003).
Lovett, M. Direct selection of cDNAs with large genomic DNA clones. In Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual Edn. 3 Vol. 2 (eds. Sambrook., J. & Russell, D.W.) 11.98-11.133 (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor, New York, USA, 2001).
Petroff, M.D. & Stapelbroek, M.G. Blocked impurity band detectors. US Patent 4,586,960 filed 23 Oct. 1980, and issued 4 Feb. 1986.
Babichev, S. A., Ries, J. & Lvovsky, A. I. Quantum scissors: teleportation of single-mode optical states by means of a nonlocal single photon. Preprint at http://arXiv.org/quant-ph/0208066 (2002).
Please acknowledge any individuals or groups, other than the authors, who have helped in the development of your protocol.
As well as the reference list, we encourage authors to identify publications that describe the development or use of the protocol. Identifying an associated publication will create a link to the publication from the protocol page. In addition, if the publication was published in a Nature Portfolio journal, this system allows for links to be placed from the publication back to this protocol.
There are two ways to identify an associated publication.
Protocol Exchange can handle files of many types as figures, tables, datasets, audio, video etc. If possible, a thumbnail of figures will be made for display within the protocol. Files that cannot be read by our system will be stored for downloading by readers.
All uploaded files must have a name (e.g. Figure 1, Table 4, Video 1, etc.), a title consisting of a short description of its content, and a legend in which the contents of the file can be fully described and their relevance to the protocol discussed.
Files types that are recognised as images by this system are jpeg and png. Other figure files can be submitted, and will be accessible to our readers, but they may not appear as images on the site.
The system will allow you to upload Excel files that contain macros, and these will be present in the Excel file on our site. To download the Excel file with its macro(s), you need to set the security to medium in Excel before downloading the file. To do this, open Excel → Tools → Macro → Security. It would be good to include this information in the legend (e.g., “This Excel file contains macros necessary for XXX.”)
Please contact the editorial team at [email protected] if you wish to make corrections to your protocol.
You can create an updated version of your protocol. It will have a unique DOI, and be accessed from the same page as your existing protocol. If you have Protocol Exchange protocol that you would like to update, please contact editorial team at [email protected].
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