Rigor starts with lab organization
This is an important consideration in our work. Over the years we have developed lab approaches to enhance rigor and reproducibility, which is a well known problem in biomedical research. We will be adding some of these approaches in this page. There are a few guiding principles of our approaches:
- All lab information should be digital (leave those trees alone).
- Any one piece of information should be input only once (into a central database).
- Information must be readily accessible (with only a few clicks).
- Experiments should be executed with predefined protocols that are run by computers (automated), if possible.
- Analyses should be coded (scripted) from start to end (keep up that spaghetti programming).
- Compliance (IACUC, Drugs, etc) should be built into digital lab information systems.
A central system for all basic lab organizational information
A server, SQL databases, and a wiki are used to store and access all animal and specimen basic information, including surgeries, controlled drugs, chemicals, materials, computers, drives, data file links, scripts, how to protocols, compliance, ordering, etc. This assures that any questions about “what was done” or “what is happening now” should be answerable with just a few clicks. Data files are accessible by a single-click. If you have read so far, let us know if this sounds like something that would be useful (necessary) in your lab.
Does such a system sound useful (necessary) for your lab?