StemBook—expanding the platform

StemBook ( is a freely available, open-access, online review of stem cell biology published by HSCI. From its inception in 2008 with 12 review chapters, StemBook has grown to include over 50 original, invited peer-reviewed chapters covering a range of topics germane to stem cell biology as well as professionally written news and commentary pieces. StemBook is a continually growing and evolving resource for the stem cell research community, as evidenced by that fact that chapters are indexed by PubMed and the content is available on the NCBI Bookshelf.

The most recent addition to StemBook is a methods and protocols section created in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health Center for Regenerative Medicine (NIH CRM) and the University of Massachusetts Cell Bank and Registry. This endeavor enlists the stem cell core facilities and the stem cell research community at large in collecting, validating, and publishing protocols; creating for the first time a vetted, centralized collection of stem cell protocols. Additionally, an important feature of this new section is that readers will be able to contribute their comments and participate in editor-moderated discussions, allowing researchers to share their experience and expertise, further enhancing the utility of the published protocols.

In addition to the new methods and protocols section, StemBook is undergoing a redesign of its entire website (see screen shot). The new design will make the site even easier to navigate for the readers, as well as introduce several new features including "Papers of the Week," which will connect StemBook to relevant primary literature and create an outlet for researchers to discuss the papers. The site will link to the stem-cell-related papers that have been published in the primary literature and a subset of those papers will be featured as a springboard for editor-moderated discussions with experts in the field along with reader input.

For such a highly interdisciplinary scientific domain as stem cell research, the creation of an interactive nexus, like StemBook, for researchers in the field provides opportunities for learning, interaction, synergy and community building.