How to Make Your Protocols Complete, Interactive, and Citable

Are you frustrated by incomplete methods in publications that lack critical details? Are you seeking a simple solution to document comprehensive step-by-step protocols, complete with information on reagents and equipment, and a dedicated space to note any protocol deviations? In research settings, reproducible experimental methods are of utmost importance. Fortunately, offers a solution where you can create dynamic and interactive protocols that incorporate images and videos. Moreover, enables you to assign a persistent unique identifier to your protocol, such as a DOI (Digital Object Identifier). This not only makes your protocol citable and discoverable but also enhances its potential for reuse. As the creator, you receive credit and recognition for developing the method as your protocol is cited using DOIs. is a virtual platform for collaborative development and an open access repository for detailed, up-to-date, and reproducible experimental protocols. Protocols can be archived before, during, and after the publication of a research article. Protocols created using are structured in a “recipe-like” format with image and video content and can be accessed from cell phones, tablets or computers. Protocols are editable using version control even after they are published, and dynamic run records can be created including interactive comments, notes, and time stamps with an integrated timer. By publishing protocols in the repository, you can permanently preserve methods developed in the lab ensuring continuity of research and eliminating the need to decipher cryptic notebook entries or track down former lab members for clarification. The interactive comments section promotes collaboration and citing a DOI instead of writing a lengthy method section can streamline publishing your work. When your protocol is cited in the method section as a DOI, it allows the reader to click on the link, to view not only the protocol version used in the publication, but also newer versions if the author has updated the protocol since the time of publication.

DOI assigned to protocols using

Assigning a protocol DOI and placing your protocol in a repository like, will not only make it more accessible, it will ensure compliance with the 2023 NIH DMS policy and open access policies set by other funders. Funders (e.g., NIH, CZI) and scientific journals (e.g., AACR, PLOS) increasingly support and encourage using for method reproducibility, compliance, and streamlining the publication process. Furthermore, offers detailed real-time metrics reports on traffic to your published protocol, providing valuable insights into the usage and impact of your protocol. These metrics can be included in NIH progress reports and researcher bibliographies, further enhancing the recognition of your research.

In October 2023, WashU became’s premium partner, granting all WashU faculty, staff, and students, access to premium accounts. Premium accounts offer unlimited private space, unlimited one-to-one demos, tailored webinars, free protocol import services, and SSO sign-in using the WUSTL key. Check out the dedicated WashU partner’s page, which displays featured protocols published by WashU investigators. is also integrated with LabArchives, the Electronic Lab Notebook offered to WashU researchers at no charge, so you can export PDFs of your protocols and/or protocol run records or other files directly from your account to the location of choice in a LabArchives notebook. This integration enhances the convenience and organization of your research workflow within the LabArchives platform.

To access your WashU premium account, simply sign in using your WUSTL key at, or validate an existing account tied to a non-WashU email. To learn how to validate your account and use the premium features, including the free protocol import service, watch the recording and slides of the webinar offered to WashU researchers on November 9, 2023.

It’s important to note that protocols published on are not limited to “wet” lab protocols but can cover various methods, including computational biology and clinical research as shown in the following examples.

Whether you aim to improve your existing methods or develop new ones, we encourage you to take advantage of the WashU premium account, which is offered to you at no charge. You can use the WashU specific promo code (WashUC4067) to access the free protocol import service and convert your existing protocols to the dynamic and interactive format and generate a protocol DOI.

Free Protocol Import Service for WashU users

In addition, is the largest searchable repository for protocols, with over 15,000 published protocols. So instead of developing a new protocol from scratch, try searching for a published protocol that fits your requirements. If you don’t find exactly what you need, fork a method in, modify it and tailor it to your specific needs and then publish the new method with a unique DOI.

For a more comprehensive explanation of how to use and explore its features, check out the WashU demo webinar.