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Laboratory Ethics. Matthew George, Jr., Ph.D. The Laboratory Notebook. Recording of Experimental Data. Essential for protecting one’s intellectual property Determining ownership of ideas Validation of results to support grants and manuscripts

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Laboratory Ethics

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  1. Laboratory Ethics Matthew George, Jr., Ph.D.

  2. The Laboratory Notebook

  3. Recording of Experimental Data • Essential for protecting one’s intellectual property • Determining ownership of ideas • Validation of results to support grants and manuscripts • Allow others to reproduce one’s work

  4. Components of the Notebook

  5. Assigning the Lab Notebook

  6. Notebook Instructions

  7. Table of Contents

  8. Numbered Pages

  9. General Laboratory Rules* • Each person in the lab should maintain a hardbound laboratory notebook with continuously numbered pages as a permanent record of his or her work and ideas • The notebooks should be kept in a safe place and not taken home

  10. General Lab Rules Continued • Notebooks and their content are the property of the University laboratory • The original notebook and all related data should be returned to the Laboratory Director when completed, upon request, or upon termination of employment • *Source: Brad Thompson, Univ. of TX, Medical Branch, Galveston and the AMGDB

  11. Additional Considerations • The lab notebook and its content are considered to be confidential • Exercise great care in preserving them • Report the loss or theft of a research notebook to your group leader immediately

  12. Each Notebook Should Include* • Table of contents-listing each experiment (page numbers) and the location of all pertinent data • Entries should be made in ink-not in pencil • Corrections should be made by making a single line-out (leaving the original legible) then adding the correction along with ones initials and the date

  13. Notebook Inclusions (cont’d) • Signature and date of who recorded the data • Signature and date of a knowledgeable person who reviewed and understood the data • *Source: Brad Thompson and AMGDB

  14. Each Experiment Should Include • Title, experiment number and date • Names of persons involved in the experiment and how they participated • Statement of purpose (list the specific question(s) to be answered by the experiment

  15. Each Experiment Should Include (2) • Experimental design. List key steps in the design. You may refer to previous experiments or recorded protocols used in your laboratory. If you deviate from what is in a prior protocol, record how it is different. Provide enough information so that a co-worker could continue from where you left off if you became ill.

  16. Each Experiment Should Include (3) • Results with original data. Include graphs or tables that summarize the data in your notebook • Conclusions. Meaning of results; problems; future plans • Remember, another person should be able to interpret and repeat what you have recorded

  17. Protection from Research Misconduct in the Laboratory- 1* • Be sure you look carefully at raw data from your post-docs, students and technicians • Watch while your technicians, students, or post-docs do research in your lab • Be sure you take concerns about data, or actual allegations, from your staff seriously

  18. Protection from Research Misconduct in the Laboratory- 2* • Be careful how you resolve disputes or break up with your former collaborators • If you find evidence of misconduct in your lab, report it and remove yourself • Don’t if you suspect misconduct, try a “trap” or “sting” without informing officials

  19. Protection from Research Misconduct in the Laboratory- 3* • Do good science, be a good mentor and show interest in your students’ work, and take responsibility for your laboratory’s research • *Source: Alan Price, Office of Research Integrity and the AMGDB

  20. Other Types of Data • Working with computer generated data • Working with data generated from “kits” • Interview and/or evaluation data • Computer and photo-editing programs

  21. Resources • • “Biochemistry Laboratory: Modern Theory and Techniques”. Rodney Boyer. Benjamin Cummings, New York, 2006 • Alan Price, Ph.D. 2002. “How to protect your faculty and department from research misconduct allegations”. AMGDB Chairs Meeting • Brad Thompson, Ph.D. 2003. “Guidelines for laboratory record keeping”. AMGDB Chairs Meeting