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Workgroup members: Roland Nitschke, Silke White, Hella Hartmann, Felix Bestvater, Anje Sporbert, Stefan Terjung

Master plan

Workgroup 1 will define guidelines on how to set up and run a biological imaging facility. This includes:

  1. Operation and access rules
  2. User management and scheduling systems
  3. Instrument / staff ratio
  4. User number / staff ratio
  5. How to acknowledge facility work properly

Current state

1. Operation and access rules

Links to the Operation and Access Rules of many facilities can be found in our List of Facilities. Standardised Operation and Access Rules provides a STARTING point for newly established Facilities, when developing their own operation and access rules.

2. User management and scheduling systems

We have collected information on 10 different software packages. The list will be updated with links to contact persons in Facilities already using these Booking systems.

3. Instrument / staff ratio

We are currently collecting data from the Facilities concerning the instrument /staff ratio. We specifically ask for ratio differences depending on the instrument types: widefield, confocal, manipulation systems, superresolution etc. Compared with the data from the 2011 German BioImaging survey, this is rather high ratio.
In addition some Facilities provide support from an image processing specialist or they are linked to specialists at other Faculties.

4. User number / staff ratio

We are currently collecting data from the Facilities concerning the user number /staff ratio. This will be published shortly after the questionary on the GerBi website.

5. Why and how to acknowledge facility work properly

We have collected examples from Facilites and advice provided by Funding Bodies.

Existing recommendations

ESFRI The scientific success of research groups is typically measured by peer reviewed publications. Since the mission of core facilities is to support research, their evaluation should be based on the science they enable,which may only be evidenced by acknowledgments in publications or the degree of usage and the quality and productivity of the users. A standardized adequate evaluation and reward system for core facilities and their staff needs to be developed, which is one of the goals of Euro-BioImaging.

Collected examples and workout recommendations (Please report to the Workgroup 1 if you would like to see your text here,too).

From LIC Freiburg :

Acknowledgment of the Life Imaging Center in publications

The use of instrumentation in the LIC has to be acknowledged in an appropriate way in each publication containing images or other data obtained in the LIC. The LIC staff will proof read the microscopy methods part of these publications to assure the appropriate description of the used methods and equipment. PDF files of all publications with LIC acknowledgement have to be sent by the responsible author after final publication to the LIC (A bonus system in form of some free usage hours for each acknowledgement is under development). This proof of excellence is extremely important for the LIC as these publications will be part of the reviewing process of the LIC by the ZBSA advisory board as well as other funding organizations of the LIC. Co-authorship on publication or patents is only warranted when substantial scientific input contributes to the publication, this has to be discussed in advance between the LIC and the principal investigators.

To start out, let us collect how we are dealing with these issues in our home facilities currently. This can be the basis for our further discussion.



1. To become user of the LMF one has to sign three documents
Document Content

Operation and access rules

The LMF is part of a "Service and Device Pool" (SDP) that has its own rules. The main points are as follows:

  • Mission statement
  • Definition who can become user of the SDP
  • How to book instruments including booking rules
  • How to use an instrument (introduction, safety, data storage, working times)
  • Instrument charge
  • How to use a service
  • Service charge
  • General user duties
  • Exclusion of user

LMF specific rules

  • Booking modifications and cancellations (incl. “SIFFY”-emails)
  • Booking restrictions
  • Data storage and automated deletion procedure
  • Safety instructions for Mercury Lamps (HBO, HXP, X-Cite, ...)
  • Safety instructions for the LSMs and TIRF microscope

Declaration that the cost will be assumed

The groupleader of the new user signs enabling the use of a specific instrument or the LMF in general.

Instrument/Staff ratio
Instrument/Staff ratio (taken from 2011 German BioImaging survey)
User/Facility (taken from 2011 German BioImaging survey)
2. User management and scheduling systems

We are using phpScheduleIt a freeware booking system that is run by our system administrators. LMF staff has administrative rights enabling e.g.

  • Creation and modification of resources (in our case instruments and facility staff)
  • Creation of user accounts
  • Assignment of user rights to book instruments (after introduction)
  • Manipulation of bookings in the past.

The data in the booking system is the basis for accounting.

3. Instrument / Staff Ratio

At the moment we are 3.25 people running 22 instruments (4 wide field, 4 ApoTome, 3 Live Cell, 9 LSM, 2 AFM).
This means the instrument/staff ratio equals 6.7. Compared with the data from the 2011 German BioImaging survey, this is rather high ratio.
In addition the LMF provides one image processing specialist for image analysis support.

4. User number / staff ratio

In 2011 170 active users were recorded. Please see image for comparison. This means each staff member is dealing with about 50 users.

5. How to acknowledge facility work properly

There is no official rule if and how facility users have to acknowledge the LMF.
We are kindly asking our users to mention the LMF in their publications.
The way to implement this (materials and methods or in the acknowledgement) is up to the users.