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Recording Your Research (Lab Books, Research Diaries and Electronic Information). Dr Richy Hetherington, Dr Catherine Exley and Dr Dan Swan. Outline. General Guidance Recording Lab Work Research Diaries – Recording research outside of the lab environment Electronic recording

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recording your research lab books research diaries and electronic information

Recording Your Research (Lab Books, Research Diaries and Electronic Information)

Dr Richy Hetherington, Dr Catherine Exley and Dr Dan Swan

outline
Outline
  • General Guidance
  • Recording Lab Work
  • Research Diaries – Recording research outside of the lab environment
  • Electronic recording
  • Sharing information – What you should share and how to share it
why do you need to keep records
Why do you need to keep records?
  • For Your Progress Panel and Viva
  • For Your Supervisory Team
  • For Anyone Who Continues Your Work
  • For Academic Integrity
  • For Intellectual Property
  • For Your Sponsors
  • Most of all for you: Writing your thesis and your publications will be easier the better your records are
university lab books
University Lab Books

All should be

  • Hard bound
  • Have continuous numbered pages
  • Have a table of contents
  • Entries should be made permanently in Pen
  • No correcting fluid or tipex should be used
  • A single line should be put through any errors
when to record
When to record
  • Record as you go
  • If you can’t do it as soon as you can
  • It is easy to forget
new methods
New Methods

Always describe thoroughly a new procedure

For example

“Solution B was made by adding 500µl of water to 1.02mg of substance B, in 1.5ml microfuge tube, the solution was vortexed for 30 minutes to ensure Substance B was dissolved.

Would be better than

“A 2mg/ml of Solution B was made from substance B”

established methods
Established Methods

Once methods are established it is fine to refer back to them

Eg.

“Samples B1-B16 were tested using method A (see 14th June 2007 RH/B1/ p14)”

Obviously note any deviations, intentional or otherwise

recording deviation
Recording Deviation

E.g. (accident)

“Samples B1-B16 were tested using method A (see 14th June 2007 RH/B1/p14). Deviating from the method Samples B13-B16 were centrifuged twice at 14.2g for 5 minutes in stage 2, all other samples were centrifuged once as per method A.”

Or

E.g. (design)

“Samples B1-B16 were tested using method A (see 14th June 2007 RH/B1/ p14). Deviating from the method all samples were centrifuged at 14.2g for 10 minutes at stage 2, to ensure a compact pellet formed.

equipment reagents and samples
Equipment, Reagents and Samples

Equipment used list

Reagents used list

recording the results
Recording the results

Make note of anything anecdotal or unusual.

“The cells appeared to be more irregular in shape, than in previous experiments”

“The interview room was very warm; some of the subjects seemed slightly unconformable”

seemingly unimportant things may become important later
Seemingly unimportant things may become important later

Eg

“Centrifuging for 10 minutes at stage 2 had no perceivable effect on the compactness of the pellet. When repeating increasing the rotor speed to produce 15g may help compact the pellet”

…later…

“Excessive centrifuging of samples B1-16 reduced enzyme activity, solids in stage 2 must be collected by filtering”

results from machines
Results from machines
  • Annotate Well
  • Reference page
  • Number the reverse
  • Stick in with sticky tape
intellectual property ip issues
Intellectual Property (IP) Issues
  • Lab books must be signed off

(at least fortnightly)

  • All experiments will need to be reproducible
  • Lab book will become a legal document if a patent is applied for
faculty lab books
Faculty Lab books
  • Should be available through your institute
  • If not from Faculty Research Office

3rd Floor Leech Building

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