August 3, 2017

May 23, 2017

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Data handling in research work



1)  Data transparency always - ask yourself these questions.


-  Where is your data?


-  Is this available generally or locked away in some account that no one knows about.


-  If you’re reluctant to have it available to the PI and other group members, ask your self why is this?  Lack of organization (a very poor excuse)?  Concern about the quality?  If you are not transparent about your data sources, for all intent, it doesn’t exist in my eyes.  


2)  Analysis, experiments and results - consider these points.


-  How are you documenting your experiments or analysis?


-  Are there notes or files that indicate the exact order?


-  Where are your notes be it hard copy in a lab note book or electronic?  For example, if you have analysis notes on a computer, does anyone else have access to them?  If the answer is no, there is a problem - indicating a lack of backup or analysis summaries.


-  Can you demonstrate to any other person exactly how you conducted an experiment or conducted an analysis?  


-  Can you point to an analysis or experiments done 1 year ago and show me or anyone else, exactly how you conducted it?


-  If you answer no to any of these questions, you as a researcher have a serious problem that will set you up for disaster in the future.


3)  Organization of samples, notes and results - being a “science slob” is never a good thing.


-  Where are your samples, data sets, code and results?


-  Can you explain to any other group member exactly where these items are in less than 1 minute?


-  Do you insure that this data is publicly available to the group and the research community after publication?


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