protocols.io is an open access online platform for sharing, discovering, and discussing science methods. [PLOS Bio Paper] It allows scientists to describe the details of protocols upon publication of results [GigaScience and Genetics partnership blogs] and provides a way to correct and optimize these protocols in a collaborative fashion after the paper is published [Forbes]. Similarly to GitHub for software developers, protocols.io supports versioning, forking, and discussion of public and privately-shared protocols.
protocols.io supports experimental and computational methods and is available on the web and on native iOS and Android apps.
protocols.io was founded in 2012 by Alexei Stoliartchouk, Irinia Makkaveeva, and Lenny Teytelman. Initially called “ZappyLab”, the platform development was inspired by Teytelman’s frustration as a postdoctoral researcher at MIT. He spent a year and a half correcting a single step of a previously-published method, but because the discovery was only a correction rather than a new technique, he had no way of sharing the knowledge with anyone else using that method.
The company is funded by private angel investments, a Kickstarter campaign, and grants from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and in 2018 from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
- Create private experimental or computational research protocols
- Share and collaborate on protocols with individuals or groups
- Follow protocols step-by-step on the web or mobile device while performing an experiment, recording all changes in a cloud-synchronized journal
- Publish personal protocols
- Create new versions of published protocols to share corrections and optimizations
- Fork and modify (copy and edit) public protocols of other scientists
protocols.io is open access and there are no fees charged to users for sharing or accessing the public content. Protocols.io charges for private non-academic premium group accounts. The company also charges reagent vendors and publishers for access to aggregated anonymized analytics on the use of protocols and reagents.
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