Springer Protocols

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SpringerProtocols is a subscription-based database of "reproducible laboratory protocols in the Life and Biomedical Sciences" created by the major scientific publisher Springer (creator of the search platform SpringerLink).[1] Users can search the site and view bibliographic data/abstracts for the protocols for free, but full text and PDF download of most protocols require purchase of the document via SpringerLink or subscription to various subject collections.[2] Users can create free accounts in order to access customizable features of the site, like uploading protocols and creating alerts. Like on SpringerLink, a small amount of documents are available for free on SpringerProtocols under the "Free Protocols" list (and identified in search results by an "F" icon).

Protocols in the database are compiled from:[1]

  • Publisher Humana Press' book series: Methods in Molecular Biology, Methods in Molecular Medicine, Methods in Biotechnology, Methods in Pharmacology and Toxicology, and Neuromethods
  • Laboratory Handbooks (like The Biomethods Handbook, The Proteomics Handbook, and the Springer Laboratory Manuals)

A complete list of source titles is available on the SpringerProtocols website.


Users can search the contents of the database through three main avenues:

  • Simple search form located in the top menu under the header on each page of the site.
  • Advanced search form, which users can select through the "Advanced Search" link beside the simple search form. In the Advanced form, users can search through either protocols or books within various fields (anywhere in text, abstract, title, author/editor, series, volume number, EISBN code, subject, copyright year, DOI).
  • Browse by Subject - Browse within 15 main subjects and drill down via subcategories or related categories. Users can also "Browse by Year" after selecting a main topic.

After conducting a search, registered users can choose to save individual search queries. Within the hit list, users can sort results by relevance, date, author, or title, and they can select how many results appear per page. Users can also choose to view extended results, which include a snippet from a summary with highlighted keywords, or users can view collapsed search results (title and author only).

From the hit list, users select to view the abstract, full text, or PDF of the record. The "Abstract" view is free and includes basic bibliographic information and a full abstract for the protocol. Through the "Abstract" record view, users can email, print, add the record to "My Protocols," or bookmark the record via various social media sites. The Full Text and PDF views of the record are restricted to paying users (except for free protocols).

Other available features on the site include:

  • Lists of New Protocols, Free Protocols, and Popular Protocols
  • Upload your own protocols for private use
  • Create email alerts to receive information on new protocols published in all or some subject areas
  • View video protocols
  • Add comments to protocols
  • Save protocols to "My Protocols" area
  • Sign up for RSS feeds for updates on "New Protocols" or any available subject collection


  1. 1.0 1.1 "About Us." SpringerProtocols website, http://www.springerprotocols.com/cdp/view/aboutus. Accessed August 23, 2011.
  2. "SpringerProtocols Pricing and Policies." SpringerProtocols website, http://www.springerprotocols.com/cdp/view/pricing. Accessed August 23, 2011.

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