Policies for Users

Here is a short list of important policies that users of the EMC facilities should understand and follow.

first page of a Chris DeSantis et al. paper from NanoLetters in 2011Publication and authorship expectations: We expect to see acknowledgement of the facility and its personnel in all papers and public presentations that make use of data obtained using the EMC. In situations where staff members generate images or any other data that are included in publications and/or presentations, these efforts should be acknowledged using staff member's names, their EMC affiliation and details of their effort. In addition, we expect that any sort of intellectual contribution to a project by members of the staff will be acknowledged with co-authorship. Finally, we ask that users of the facility discuss any work done by the staff before inclusion in any publication or presentation. We will also periodically ask our users to send us their list of recent publications that have used the EMC.

Confidentiality: All work performed in the IUB EMC is confidential. The EMC staff will not discuss, share, present or publish any work without the explicit consent of all those involved in its generation. Data stored on the EMC-PPA (the facility’s web-based image exploration and archival system) is only available to the PI and lab personnel involved in generating data, but can be shared with other people when deemed appropriate by the PI. Industrial users typically complete a specialized service agreement that lists terms and conditions (including confidentiality) for services rendered by the EMC.

Conflict resolution: Users of the EMC or the principal investigator paying the user’s fees should initially direct questions about scheduling, technical issues, authorship, or data quality to the Director of the EMC. If there is no satisfactory resolution, then the principal investigator should contact the Chair of the EMC Scientific Advisory Committee. A final level of appeal is the Associate Dean for the Natural Sciences.

Prioritization of work: Work in the IUB EMC is scheduled on a “first come, first served basis” and is visible on the instrument calendars available on the IUB EMC website. Under normal circumstances, work is scheduled no more than two weeks in advance. Special events (service work, visitors from out-of-town, staff absences, etc.) will be scheduled as far in advance as possible. The EMC staff will make efforts to ensure that all work can be accomplished in a timely fashion and may adjust schedules when possible to satisfy reasonable time constraints of the users. All fee-for-service work should include an explicit outline of when work is expected to be performed, and the EMC staff is obligated to inform PI’s of all progress.

Billing for instrument time: At the moment (spring, 2017), we are billing for all reserved time on any of the microscopes, regardless of whether that time is actually used or not. In the case that the entire time is not used, we will bill the user for the entire reserved time, but at half the usual rate (and bear in mind that it is possible to cancel a reservation any time more than 24 hr before the reservation starts). If the full time is used, the user will (obviously) be billed for the entire reserved time. Even if only a portion of the reserved time is used, the user will nonetheless be billed at the full rate for the entire reservation. In the situation where a user exceeds the time that was reserved, the bill will be at the full rate from the start of the reservation until the actual time that the session ends. Also, remember that billing for the JEOL JEM 3200FS is done in units of integral hours, billing for the JEOL JEM 1400plus is done in units of 30 minutes (0.5 hr) and billing for the JEOL JEM 1010 is done in units of ten minutes (0.17 hr).

JEOL JEM 3200FS reservation calendarReservations: We are currently (spring 2015) using Google Calendars to make reservations for the 1010, the 1400plus, the 3200FS and the Vitrobot Mk3 freezing robot. Individual users are allowed to make reservations for the 1010 but reservations for the 3200FS and the Vitrobot should be made through the EMC staff. Reservations for other equipment in the facility is less formal and should be done by contacting the staff. We have been trying to cool the Wohlwend high pressure freezer at most once per week (cooling the device from room temperature to its operating temperature using liquid nitrogen is the major cost when using this device), and have set Tuesday to be that day. However, we are flexible with regard to this policy, and will accommodate users as much as we are able.

Training: Training with EMC equipment must be done under the direct supervision of a member of the EMC's staff. Experienced users of the EMC are encouraged to share their expertise and knowledge with the staff and other users, but this must not replace official training by the EMC staff nor should it occur before official training has begun. This is a quality control measure to ensure that all users of the facility have been exposed to the same basic set of instructions and to prevent dilution of training from ocurring via a chain of user-to-user interactions. Also note that while the EMC does not charge for any of the staff time spent training users, equipment fees must still be collected, and excessive amounts of training for any single individual may lead to fees for staff time. Details about the training for specific pieces of equipment can be found on the page for new users of the EMC.

Biosafety: We have established initial guidelines (described here) for handling agents rated biosafety level 2 (BSL 2) in the Simon Hall prep area of the EMC (SI 032B). Higher biosafety level agents are not permitted in any part of the EMC.