Narratives are collaborative (multiple people on your project can work on a Narrative together), shareable (you can share your Narrative with specific people or with everyone), publishable (a finished Narrative is similar to a research paper, and can be cited as a URL), and reproducible (you can repeat or even change another scientist’s computational experiment if they publish it as a Narrative). We believe that you will ultimately help both yourself and other researchers by sharing your Narratives so that others can see what you were thinking, what you did, and what you concluded from your analyses. However, rest assured that all of your Narratives are private (viewable only by you) until you decide to share them.
You can share a Narrative that you own with any set of people you choose, or with all KBase users. To share a Narrative, click the “share” button near the top right of the page. You will see the people you have already shared with (right now, only you).
If you want to share your Narrative with everyone, you can click the “make public” link near the top of the sharing panel. If you only want to share it with a few people, you can type their name or username into the “share with” box. Once you have typed something that matches a name in the KBase user database, the person’s full name will appear. Click the down arrow to the right of the “share with” box to assign permissions to that user–you can allow them only to view your Narrative, to edit it, or to edit and share it.
For example, suppose you want to share your Narrative with Meghan. When you start typing her name in the “share with” text box, a list of users that match will appear:
When you’re done selecting users with whom to share, click the down-arrow button again to see the choice of permission levels. We’ll give Meghan only “view” privileges so that she doesn’t edit or share this Narrative with others.
When you’re done, click the Share button again to close the Share panel.
You can change the access permissions at any time by clicking the Share button again. The up/down arrows next to each user’s permissions let you change the permissions.
Note that unless you alert Meghan that you have shared something with her, she will not notice until she happens to see your shared Narrative in her “Narratives that have been shared with you” tab or click on your name in her collaborator list. In the future, the Narrative Interface will alert you to new Narratives that have been shared with you.
Every KBase user has a user profile. Filling in your KBase user profile helps you become part of the social web that KBase is building, making it easier to find and collaborate with other scientists and share data and Narratives. You are not required to complete your user profile in order to use KBase, but we encourage you to.
To access your user profile from the Narrative Interface, click on the person icon in the upper right corner of the window, and then select your username from the two-item dropdown menu. A new tab will open with your profile. (Another way to get to your profile is from your Dashboard.)
Click the edit icon near the top right of the page to edit the information in your profile, such as your affiliation(s). The user profile page also lets you search for other users (and perhaps add them as collaborators) and see a list of Narratives that you have created. Your collaborators (other users with whom you have shared Narratives, or who have shared Narratives with you) are listed as well.
The user profile editor, and KBase’s social networking layer, are in rapid development. Soon you will be able to search for other researchers whose interests overlap with yours, perhaps inviting them to collaborate. You will also be able to see how many times your Narratives were run, copied, extended or cited. Ultimately, we hope that KBase’s expanding social web will help to make systems biology research more effective, collaborative, and reproducible.