Lab Culture Guide

Hyvönen group, Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, January 2023

How we run experiments, collect data and interpret results

  • We design experiments using appropriate controls to minimise bias, with appropriate levels of replication and ensuring reproducibility
  • We use the most appropriate methods for data processing and analysis
  • We keep detailed documentation in LabArchives electronic lab notebooks, including who has done the work and when
  • We ensure all raw and processed data are appropriately named, stored and annotated
  • We analyse the results critically, minimising bias on interpretation of the outcome

How we present data

  • Honestly – with positive and negative results included and clear experimental details
  • Giving credit where credit is due – everyone’s contributions are communicated
  • With proper analysis to strive for the most honest interpretations possible and without over-interpretation
  • Without manipulation of data or its analyses
  • Providing raw data when asked or, whenever possible, in supplemental material
  • Present more information than the minimum so that the protocols can be reproduced

How we share our results

  • We aim to publish results without significant delays
  • We will at the same time respect the interests of all parties involved
  • We will aim to submit all publications to preprint servers before submission to a journal
  • We publish in open access journals whenever possible
  • We will discuss authorship openly and with generosity
  • We respond to requests for data, materials or advice positively and promptly
  • We submit data to public repositories, such as PDB, EMDB and Addgene, whenever possible
  • We will provide additional protocols and methods on our website

How we treat ourselves

  • Respectfully, fairly, acknowledging mistakes, able to accept constructive criticism
  • Have a growth mindset in how we can improve in all of these things
  • Maintain a balanced work-life schedule and self-care
  •  Set healthy boundaries and give ourselves time to relax and to recover from illness
  •  Maintain physical and mental health

How we treat others

  • We will have unbiased outlook towards people of different backgrounds (nationalities, religions, socioeconomic status, immigrant status, have a gender-neutral outlook)
  • No one knows everything right away and we will be supportive mentors for each other
  • We offer straight forward opinions, but keeping criticism constructive
  • We work collaboratively and collectively
  • We keep our doors always open for visitors and colleagues
  • We are generous in our help to others in the lab and from other labs
  • We provide emotional support, confidentially
  • We are good citizens of our department
  • We support each other when presenting and preparing manuscripts, providing feedback without delays
  • We are considerate of others’ time/schedule
  • We recognize our relative privileges and behave accordingly

How we treat our working environment

  • We treat all the equipment with care and respect as all our work depends on them
  • We take joint responsibility for our working environment and contribute actively to the organisation and maintenance of the shared facilities
  • We communicate ideas on lab organisation and issue with our colleagues
  • We seek to minimize waste, to re-use and recycle as much as possible
  • We aim to reduce our energy consumption wherever possible
  • We abide by the Departmental policies on use of genetically modified organisms, disposal of waste and other relevant H&S regulations


This document was inspired by and edited from the Ethics Statement of the Haswell lab.