Via Bronwen Dekker’s charming Work Blog on Nature Network:
Q. What is the difference between Nature Methods and Nature Protocols?
A.This is a really good question! There are two important differences:
(1) Nature Methods publishes primary research, that is, methods that are new and have not been published before, while Nature Protocols publishes (hopefully) reliable methods that have already been used to generate results in primary research papers. Most of Nature Protocols’ content is commissioned.
(2) Nature Methods are formatted as a normal article, while in Nature Protocols, the procedure is written as a series of number steps in the active tense.
Protocol manuscripts are also structured slightly differently: The headings are Abstract, Introduction, Materials (Reagents, Equipment, Reagent Setup and Equipment Setup), Procedure, Timing, Troubleshooting, and Anticipated Results.
There are also cute little callouts. [See the Work Blog post for an example.]
I highly recommend subscribing to Work Blog for a window into a personal and always accessible mix of life as a “Protocols 2.0” pioneer.