RCR - Lab Management -  
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Notebook and Data Management


The management of laboratory data is an extremely important responsibility for all Principal Investigators at any university. The material below will attempt to highlight some of the most important aspects of laboratory data management. For this module we are using The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grants Policy Statement definition of “data” as “recorded information, regardless of the form or medium on which it may be recorded, and includes writings, films, sound recordings, pictorial reproductions, drawings, designs, or other graphic representations, procedural manuals, forms, diagrams, work flow charts, equipment descriptions, data files, data processing or computer programs (software), statistical records, and other research data.” This is certainly an expansive amount of information to be managed in the lab. Careful standards and procedures should be established for the proper recording and storing of data.

The focus here is on laboratory notebooks (both electronic and written). This material is primarily summarized from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund/Howard Hughes Medical Institute publication, “Making the Right Moves A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty.” The main topics to be covered include: