If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools: Rudyard Kipling … Read more
At Nature Protocols we have long held the, not particularly radical view, that seeing an experiment performed can be a whole lot more informative. We have always encouraged authors to provide videos of their experimental procedures and have used our Featured Videos page and more recently our YouTube channel to make them easier for readers to access. A little over a year ago we realised that by combining the commenting feature present on all our Protocols with YouTube’s player we could kluge together a way to tack videos onto the end of their HTML versions. Read more
Last week we got an email from one of our referees, who we were chasing for a report, asking a very common question not only for us on Nature Protocols but for editors in general. We ask referees to turn in their reports in 10 days, or let usknow if they need longer. “Why” asked our referee “10 days?”. He (or possibly she) went on to point out that Protocols aren’t the most time sensitive of publications and journals like Nature and Cell ask for 14 days for reviewing. Who does Nature Protocols think it is to be demanding such fast turn around times? Read more
Now is the time of the month when I have to look at “the numbers” to see how things are going on Nature Protocols and Protocol Exchange. Since I was doping that anyway I thought I’d share some with you. The thing that most intrigues me is what brings people to the sites; what questions are they trying to answer? Well here are the top 20 search terms that resulted in people coming to Nature Protocols and Protocol Exchange in the last month (linked to the Protocols I imagine they found helpful). Read more
I, and many other people, have spent a lot of time over the last decade trying to figure out how to get scientists participate in online activity. Commenting on research papers would be nice for a start. Nature Protocols has had commenting on all its content from the start but the number of actual comments supplied is woefully low. Protocol Exchange also has commenting enabled and there this would act as a form of post publication peer-review as those Protocols are not reviewed before posting. Without this sort of activity whatever you find on the web needs to have a big ‘Caveat Emptor’ sign hanging over it. Read more
I’m really pleased with the way that the Browse function that we have implemented for Protocols is working. I keep finding different ways to use it. As anyone who has been following our Twitter feed, and you really should be, will have seen we have used the browse to assemble lists of Protocols relating to quite specific subject areas. We have done: Stable isotope labelling for mass spectrometry, X-ray crystallography and Synthetic Chemistry. Read more
A new resource has just launched to allow researchers to easily and efficiently share their technical know-how. Its name is Protocol Exchange, but what exactly is it? What can I do with it? How can something so cool be both Free and Open?