Ground-breaking research doesn’t happen in a vacuum. In addition to the need for novel ideas, innovative experiments, successful collaborations and other intangibles, there is one essential yet under appreciated requirement: a well-maintained laboratory. Scientists are highly dependent on availability of instruments, equipment and appropriately clean environments. Especially in large academic labs of 30 or more people, breakdowns in laboratory organization, etiquette and cleanliness can seriously impact research flow.
Then there is the ever-so-hated Lab Cleanup Day. An almost compulsory holiday of sorts in virtually every research lab, LCD is the end result of a year’s worth of accrued materials and waste, and usually involves lab members dutifully scrubbing equipment, benchtops, questionable green petri dishes from the back of the fridge, expired reagents, and whatever that is growing in the corner of their safety hood. Luckily, laboratory and equipment maintenance doesn’t have to feel like a chore or be this awful. With a few simple, effective changes labs can manage smooth year-round maintenance, improve efficiency and avoid lab cleanup efforts worthy of a HazMat team. Along with implementing BioData’s lab & research management software for management and maintenance, managing duties and tasks boils down to communication, responsibilities, enforcement, and quarterly cleanups.