Competition time!

Published in Protocols & Methods

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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.

There are plenty more possibilities for such lists and even more when we introduce user tagging of Protocols later in the year.

journal browse.jpgAnother facet of the browse is identifying Protocols based on the Journals in which related research papers have been published. We have called this the Associated Publications facet (a name which took much sweat and revision to settle on if you can believe it). You can access this feature, like all the other facets of the browse, through the left hand column but you can also create direct links. So if you want to see protocols associated with Nature papers you can see them all here. You will find 96 protocols there, which got me thinking about how the other Nature journals were doing. Here is the list.

Close behind Nature are:

Nature Medicine (48 protocols)

Nature Immunology (45 protocols)


Nature Methods (35 protocols)

In the 20s:

Nature Structural & Molecular Biology (

Nature Neuroscience (

Nature Genetics (20 protocols)


Nature Cell Biology (17 protocols)

Nature Biotechnology (12 protocols)

Nature Communications (5 protocols)

Nature Chemical Biology (1 protocol)

Nature Physics (1 protocol)

So that is where we stand.

But then I thought it might be good to use this as an incentive to my fellow editors to tell their authors about the awesome power of Nature Protocols and Protocol Exchange. So I’m going to give a bottle of champagne to whichever journal increases their number of associated Protocols by the most over the next 6 months (so that is numbers on the 15th August); probably as a percentage of the number of research papers they publish to make things a little fairer. So if you want to support your favourite Nature journal to the bubbly come to Protocol Exchange, set up a Lab Group and upload your Protocols.

Now you might legitimately complain that I’ve only mentioned Nature journals. Well this feature works equally well for non-Nature titles. The best of those at the moment is Nucleic Acids Research with 3 associated Protocols. There might well be champagne available to any other journals that substantially increases its number of associated Protocols. I’m not promising that as I can’t think what the appropriate rules of such a competition might be but we could always see how things go.

So let the games commence!

p.s. You are quite right, that Nature Physics hit was a bug which I’ve now rectified. But it made you check didn’t it! And it made Nature Physics editor Alison Wright start calculating her odds for winning the champagne. I reckon on about 10:1 but would love to be proved wrong.

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