Every time you step into the lab, you should have a record of it in your notebook. The Liu Lab uses the Labstep electronic notebook system. When you start in the lab, Prof. Liu will create a Labstep workspace for you and also give you access to the shared Liu Lab workspace. For each experiment you do, the following should be documented:
- Description — Before you start the experiment, summarize the Purpose and Goals of the experiment. Once you are done with your experiment, summarize the major Conclusions.
- Protocols — Include all step-by-step protocols you will use for the experiment.
- Notes –– You should enter observations, images, and/or documents as you are going through your experiment.
Methods and Protocols
It is important to pass this information on to future lab members who may need to repeat your work and/or do similar experiments after you have left the College. Two things will help this process along: (1) A clearly written Materials and Methods section that could be included in future publications on your work; (2) Clearly written protocols.
- For any student writing a senior thesis, you must write the corresponding Materials and Methods for how that data was generated. Your Materials and Methods section must include a complete Table of Strains and Plasmids, and a Table of Primers (examples are available for these under “Liu Lab PO > Templates > Thesis”.)
- For any and all protocols that you use routinely, please make an updated version that includes any helpful tips/hints that you might have for future experimentalists who will perform that protocol.