Protocols.io and New England Biolabs (NEB®) today announced a collaboration to improve the online sharing of scientific methods that will help to increase both the speed and reproducibility of research.
The goal of the new online platform protocols.io is to provide scientists the ability to easily share experimental methods, including any improvements made to them. Lenny Teytelman, co-founder of protocols.io, spent over a year of his postdoctoral research at MIT discovering that a single step of a commonly used scientific method had been incorrectly documented. “I realized there was no easy way for researchers to share such knowledge with their peers, as well as the broader scientific community,” Lenny explains. “Scientists are constantly re-discovering what others have not had the time to publish, and improving existing methods without the ability to share these improvements with the world. Academic publishing has hardly changed from the days of Mendel, and the purpose of protocols.io is to bring scientific communication into the 21st century,” Lenny continues.
As part of the partnership, NEB has been working with protocols.io to add the most popular NEB protocols to the platform. These protocols are not just viewable, but can be “followed” (step-by-step), either on the protocols.io website or mobile device, while the scientist is actually doing the work. This allows the researcher to track where they are in the given method and to record any changes that they introduce. More importantly, this will enable scientists to change the protocols online, according to their needs. Scientists will then be able to keep those modifications private or share them publicly, as well as find comments, optimizations and/or other updates from other scientists, including those at NEB.
“NEB was the first commercial player to work with protocols.io and has been very supportive of our project over the past year. Collaborating with NEB has helped to get this repository off the ground with high quality methods,” adds Alexei Stoliartchouk, cofounder of protocols.io.
Andy Bertera, Executive Director of Marketing at NEB, added “New England Biolabs has always been a strong supporter of open access and improving scientific communication. We have been very impressed by the protocols.io platform and its potential to foster the sharing of improvements to both routine and more complex experimental procedures.”