User Guidance

How does the VWSL work?

Visitors can chose to Define, Participate or Review experiments by clicking the start buttons. Anyone can create and view protocols without log-in (that’s important for Open Science) – but to participate and edit a protocol, you need to Log-in for security reason. During the work process, the protocol is moved from one view to another as the experiment evolve from idea, to on-going, to be completed (see figure below).


In the right column of the VWSL we have gathered useful tools for running collaborative experiments. You find the tools we have developed in SWITCH-ON so far: the Open data Search, Data (and metadata) Upload, and Create Protocol. Please, make use of these tools and remember to upload your data and tools to a repository for open access. We have also gathered some links to relevant computational tools – please, share your advice on more links to open source codes to put here.



How do I participate in the VWSL?

1) Define a new experiment

Any scientist can launch an idea for an experiment and you can change the protocol as many times as you wish, so no worries if you don’t get it right the first time!

Go to ‘Define a new experiment’ and click the “Create protocol” button.

  • Register and Log in to create your protocol.
  • You should describe all tasks clearly, so that another scientist can understand what you have done! Fill in all fields for data and method tasks, experiment analysis tasks and what results will be reported. These can be edited later.
  • If you are leading an experiment, you should also select 'Lead' when you add your name as a partner. As a Leader,you can 'edit', 'send to review or repeat' and 'set user rights'.

Leading an Experiment:

After you click 'set user rights', you can select which users you wish to edit the protocol you have created. The users will receive an email to say that they have 'editing rights', and a link for your protocol. It is also possible to remove users, but you must notify them yourself.

Remember to click SAVE after entering experiment information.

2) Participate in ongoing experiments

Go to “Participate in existing experiments” to view or edit existing protocols.

To participate:

  • you need to log in.
  • to edit a protocol that you have not created, you need to click 'request edit rights'. This emails the leader of the experiment, who will then approve your request. When this is done, you can edit and participate in the protocol.

For IT-security reasons, the Leader must accept a partner before editing rights are given. During the experiment, participating scientists can continuously up-date the protocol through the 'Edit' button. The Leader should communicate when major updates are done, but the date of last update can also be seen in the table.

When the experiment is finished and papers have been published, the Leader should click “Send to Review or Repeat”. It is important that LINKS have been uploaded to all data, models and scripts used in the experiment, to ensure reproducibility. The protocol is then removed from the list of “on-going experiments” and put into the list of “Completed experiments” – and can be reviewed as described below.

3) Review and Repeat completed experiments

Go to “Review or Repeat completed experiments” and you will find a list of completed experiments from the first round of experiments in the SWITCH-ON projects. You can click on these to see what was done (and how) for each of the listed experiments.