We're beginning a fairly large effort to share the vast number of protocols accumulated in our lab and pushing them all to the cloud. Naturally, you don't want the knowledge of older graduate students lost when they graduate.

We have had experience with putting all of this information into OpenWetWare but there is a small but non-trivial learning curve with the wiki-format. Another possibility would be to create living documents with google docs and organize the links in a wiki format. Finally, there is always the dropbox method of having a bunch of files in folders. I was curious about good methods to create a repository of protocols.

  • By protocol, do you mean a lab methodology, or the object you study (as in network protocol)? Commented May 2, 2012 at 6:36
  • Lab method/technique.
    – bobthejoe
    Commented May 2, 2012 at 6:54
  • Do you wanna make such protocols kind of "living documents", so as to enable peers to improve them along the time?! Commented May 2, 2012 at 15:42

1 Answer 1


Thanks to Stack Exchange, I've recently started to become familiar with Markdown and in particular its variants, including MultiMarkdown and Pandoc. These might be the ideal alternative, as they're very easy to master—after all, it's what powers sites like this one!—and yet powerful enough that it can handle most of your needs.

Individual users can write their protocols in a simple, easy-to-read text format, and then output that to HTML, PDF, Word files, or whatever. Then all you need is a master page to catalog everything, and a web site manager who's skilled enough with a command prompt to handle the conversions using one of those tools. The format's flexible enough to handle hyperlinks as well as graphics with a minimum of fuss.

The other advantage of having a text-based system is that it makes version control very easy as well.

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