Protocol Preparation Guidelines for Authors
The goal of Bio-protocol is to publish protocols that are not currently described in sufficient detail in the Methods sections of the original research articles. While the condensed methods currently published by most journals allow the reader to understand the study, these condensed protocols are hard to be reproduced. Bio-Protocol is filling this gap by making sure that its protocols contain sufficient details to ensure that other researchers can easily execute the protocol.

In order to reduce authors' workload during manuscript preparation, authors can submit their manuscript in any format they wish via our submission system here. Our dedicated editing team will help authors convert their content into Bio-protocol standard format (see the "General Guidelines" section below). So, the authors can focus on what matters the most: the content.
General Guidelines
Bio-protocol encourages authors to submit manuscript text and figures as a single Microsoft Word file (preferred) or a PDF file. We have no limits on word count and number of figures/videos. Figures and tables should be embedded while videos must be submitted as separate files. The manuscript should contain all the following elements: Protocol title, Author information, Abstract, Keywords, Background, Materials and Reagents, Equipment, Procedure, Data analysis, Notes, Recipes, Acknowledgements, References. The recommended font and font size is Arial 10 point. Abbreviations should only be used if necessary and defined upon first use. Click here to see an example of a standard Bio-protocol format.
Protocol Format
Authors are encouraged (but not required) to follow the standard Bio-protocol format. The Bio-protocol editing team will do the required formatting for authors to ensure that all protocol submissions follow the standard Bio-protocol format. Protocols published on Bio-protocol consist of the following 13 elements:
  1. Protocol Tittle
    The tittle should indicate the goal of the protocol and provide enough details to help the prospect researcher determine whether your protocol is of interest to him/her. Keep in mind that your protocol could be useful for researchers from completely different field. While using specific words make sure that your tittle can be understood by a broad range of scientists.
  2. Authors Information
    Please provide complete affiliation information (department, research institution, city, country) for each author.
  3. Abstract
    The abstract should provide a brief summary of the protocol and highlight the goal of the protocol. It could also contain one sentence relative to the context in which this assay/method was developed.
  4. Keywords
    Please provide 5-8 keywords for your protocol, which will help readers to easily search your protocol in Google or other search engines.
  5. Background
    This section should provide the rationale for developing the protocol, and place the protocol in the context of the existing state of the science. Authors should use this section to discuss other published protocols and summarize the motivation to develop the current protocol.
  6. Materials and Reagents
    Imagine that the reader of the protocol is a novice. This section should provide a detailed list of all materials and reagents required for the successful completion of the experiment. Please, specify manufacturer catalog numbers. We also recommend that authors provide storage temperature and shelf-life for important reagents.
  7. Equipment
    The same goes for equipment. Every piece of equipment used in the experiment needs to be listed along with its specific catalog/model number.
  8. Procedure
    Authors are encouraged to list chronologically all steps of the procedure as it makes the protocol much easier to follow. At the crucial steps, authors should make sure to include personal remarks, especially if it would increase the likelihood of successfully repeating the experiment. The experimental procedure should be described in present tense.
    In this section, authors should provide:
    1. Images and videos for the crucial and delicate steps to aid the researcher execute successfully the protocol;
    2. Representative example(s) of data to illustrate the type of results obtained. We would like to encourage authors to submit original results obtained from scientific software and tools (e.g. Excel and ImageJ) and avoid going as much as possible manipulation of the data through graphic software (e.g. Illustrator and Photoshop).
  9. Data analysis
    In this section, authors should provide information about data processing and analysis, including any statistical tests applied, criteria for data inclusion or exclusion, and details of replicates including independent experiments. If this information has been presented to the journal in which the original research paper was published, authors should clearly state it in this section and provide a link with proper citation for readers to access the mentioned information. In some cases, the original research paper has restricted access, in which authors should request permission to “reprint” the numerical analysis in Bio-protocol.
  10. Notes
    In additional to specific remarks included in the "Procedure" itself, authors are encouraged to provide general notes that are relevant to the protocol, such as:
    1. Notes about reproducibility and variability in your hands;
    2. Additional notes, technical tips, and cautionary points that may improve the procedure.
  11. Recipes
    We request authors to be precise about the ingredients they use (e.g. buffer or media) and the conditions they establish for their experiments including storage temperature and shelf-life of each solution. Note that minor details in this section (such as catalog number of a reagent, or the type of water used), when not precisely followed, often lead to the failure of an experiment. Authors should indicate whether any materials are subject to MTAs.
  12. Acknowledgments
    Authors are expected to acknowledge funding sources that have supported their work. If the protocol was adapted or modified from previous work, please acknowledge the previous work here as well. Authors should use this section to declare any conflicts of interest or competing interests that may impact the design and implementation of their protocol.
  13. References
    Authors are requested to include all relevant literature. It is not necessary to format the reference list as this will be taken care of by the Bio-protocol editing team. An example of the Bio-protocol reference format is:
    Bindschedler, L. V., Dewdney, J., Blee, K. A., Stone, J. M., Asai, T., Plotnikov, J., Denoux, C., Hayes, T., Gerrish, C., Davies, D. R., Ausubel, F. M. and Bolwell, G. P. (2006). Peroxidase-dependent apoplastic oxidative burst in Arabidopsis required for pathogen resistance. Plant J 47(6): 851-863.
Figures, Videos and Tables
Figures: For the original submission, Bio-protocol encourages authors to embed figures in the text file (except for figures that are included in a composite PDF). Upon acceptance, Bio-protocol requires individual figure files in standard image formats (e.g. TIFF, JPEG, PNG) with a minimum resolution of 300 dpi. The widths of regular figures are required to be in the range of 78.7 to 147.4 mm. If some figures have to be smaller than 70 mm, there is no limit on their widths. We request that in-figure text be 8-12 point. Figure panels should be labeled with “A, B,C…” (uppercase, bold). Use the same typeface for all figures.
Image files should not be manipulated in any way that could result in misinterpreting the original image. Please refer to 'What's in a picture? The temptation of image manipulation' by Rossner and Yamada (Journal of Cell Biology, 166:11) for examples of inappropriate manipulation and valuable guidance on acceptable practice.
Videos: For video, a typical smart phone camera is adequate as long as the video is clear. Bio-protocol requires that standard video formats be used (e.g. MOV, MPEG, AVI).
Tables: Tables should be numbered chronologically as they appear in the protocol, and should appear after the first time they are cited in the text. There are no limits on table size; the Bio-protocol editing team will either adjust their size appropriately for optimal online presentation or advise the author to include them as a supplementary file if they are too large.
All figures, videos, and tables should be supported by an accurate and relevant title and legend.
The use of standard scientific nomenclature is required. Species, genes, genotypes, and mutations should be italicized. Genetic databases for the species of interest should be consulted to ensure that the recommended names are used. Bio-protocol encourages authors to refer to organisms by their common name (if a common name applies), and to provide the Latin name in parentheses at first use. Authors should determine whether the nomenclature they have used conforms to accepted community standards.
Numerical data
Bio-protocol requires authors to provide information about data processing and analysis, including any statistical tests applied, criteria for data inclusion or exclusion, and details of replicates including independent experiments. If this information is already available in the original research paper, authors should indicate this in the “Data analysis” section of the manuscript and provide a link with proper citation.