Rules and Expectations and Goals

There are any number of reasons to establish lab rules incuding safety, philosophy, and expectations. This is how I want my research group to operate:

General Rules

  • Do good science by asking questions early and often, planning ahead, and collaborating.
  • Give credit where credit is due.
  • Students should be the first author of papers coming from their thesis work. Authorship should be discussed early and generally follows the ESA’s Code – see also the advice of Schmidt 1987, Hunt 1991, and Weltzin et al. 2006
  • Be safe and help others be safe by thinking about what types of training are needed.
  • Publish in Open Access venues whenever possible, noting there can be different requrements from each funder.
  • Deposit all publications and technical reports on a preprint server such as bioRxiv, EarthArXiv, ESSOAr, etc.
  • All data must be organized and stored on the group’s GitHub repository with the metadata template completed.
  • Make available all data and code for each publication via a service like GitHub+Zenodo, Pangaea, etc.
  • Have fun.

Specific Rules

  • It is important to interact with others in the group and although our work hours can be very flexible. it is important to be around between 9:30–14:00.
  • We have routine lab meetings except during the middle of field season and attendance is expceted. It is an opportunity to present ideas and plans for new research, to show and discuss new data, and to practice presentations. People spend their attention and time to help so please respect this and come prepared.
  • Everyone should attend at least one conference or workshop per year if funds are available and time permits. All are expected to apply for additional funds to support attending conferences and workshops. Please send your abstract to all the coauthors at least one week in advance so no one is suprised and people can provide feedback.
  • Everyone needs to complete WHMIS training. Everyone doing field work needs to complete Standard First Aid is working close to populated areas and Wildness First Aid in all other cases. Everyone using a boat needs to obtain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card. Everyone needs to complete a set of risk assessment forms and provide emergency contact information to be kept on file in the department. No one does field work alone.


Here is the list of onboarding things to do to help integrate new people into the research group:

  • Get a OneCard and email for access to CCRWS and SRC buildings
  • Arrange for Standard First Aid or Wilderness First Aid, typically in May
  • Arrange for firearms safety course, if appropriate
  • Take the WHMIS and compressed gas training, available online
  • Get and make a copy of your Pleasure Craft Operator Card
  • We use git and GitHub to keep track and control of our data, code, and papers:
    • Make a GitHub account and get it added to the appropriate teams
    • Discuss the importance of and use of databases for dealing with the variety of data we generate
  • We use R and RStudio for organising, analysing, modelling, plotting, etc. our data. Sometimes we use Matlab, and others as needed
  • We use Slack to chat and organise meetings: lab workspace, formbloom, lugnuts, and samms.