Disclaimer: this page is aimed for internal use, but it is openly published hoping to receive advise on how to improve our operations, to serve as guidance to whom is just starting and to be the most transparent we can possibly be on our methodologies. My team operates withing the MRC CU Director’s group and its operations are integrated into it. However, we have a broad budgeting, scientific and operational freedom. Therefore, the practices described here relate to our team, and supplement without replacing those of the broader laboratory.
Research integrity and reproducibility
We have to plan ahead and tackle any possible issue about reproducibility and good practice proactively. These issues are and will have to be a common topic to be discussed in the group. We have established guidelines below. However, I invite you to read the guidelines for good reporting and methods by Nature Cell Biology and Cell. These are just examples, but if you do not feel comfortable to follow those guidelines, it means you have to change the way you work.
- Working with cell lines
- Working with plasmids
- Working with antibodies and chemicals
- Data analysis [in preparation]
Data storage and laboratory notebooks
- How we store data
- How we store notes [in preparation]
Communication and project management
On a standard day, we ask each other several questions, in person or by email. We aim to reduce those short back-and-forward conversations that end up cluttering mailboxes. Slack is a business-oriented chat, simple and intuitive to use. Do use Slack for messaging each other rather than emails. Do install Slack on your work desktop (Slack can be found on the software management centrer) making sure it is always on (this can be set up automatically). At your discretion, you can install Slack on your mobile phone. We like this option, so that we can reach each other even when in a different lab. If you are willing to install Slack on your private phone, please set it up so to receave messages only when you wish. We do not want to wake you up in the night as we intend to use Slack more efficiently, not to keep you working at any time.
We have setup themed channels (for group meetings, general discussions, specific manuscript) and we have some channels just for fun. Do not use specific work-related channels for general things, but feel free to use Slack also for social communications.
You are free to handle your emails according to your own preference. However, handling emails is a job that could become daunting. Read this post if you wish to read a few suggestions.
E brief on our digital infrastracture