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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 Electronic Information)

  • 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? Electronic Information)

  • 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


Which standards
Which Standards? Electronic Information)


University lab books
University Lab Books Electronic Information)

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 Electronic Information)

  • Record as you go

  • If you can’t do it as soon as you can

  • It is easy to forget


New methods
New Methods Electronic Information)

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 Electronic Information)

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 Electronic Information)

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 Electronic Information)

Equipment used list

Reagents used list


Recording the results
Recording the results Electronic Information)

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 Electronic Information)

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 Electronic Information)

  • Annotate Well

  • Reference page

  • Number the reverse

  • Stick in with sticky tape


Intellectual property ip issues
Intellectual Property (IP) Issues Electronic Information)

  • 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 Electronic Information)

  • Should be available through your institute

  • If not from Faculty Research Office

    3rd Floor Leech Building