Conducting Your Experiment

Moving out of the planning stage and starting to collect data is exciting progress for a research project. Consider the following steps to maintain responsible & inclusive experimental work:

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Continue practicing reflexivity and considering how your personal identity is influencing your work. Are there any potential sources of bias or inappropriate practices emerging that you did not forsee in your experimental plan, which are only becoming obvious now you are conducting experiments?

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Document your experiments clearly and in detail. This is good practice and also will make it easier in the future to identify any confounding factors or biases during the analysis stage.

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Communicate any concerns about your experiments to your supervisor as early as possible. 

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Be respectful of your research participants (humans, animals) or samples throughout the experimental process.  Conducting experiments can be an intense and stressful time for researchers, but this should not impact the quality of (or care taken) during data collection. 

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If you have students helping you with your experiments, make sure you are providing an inclusive and accessible training environment for them. Just because you are a good scientist, it does not mean you naturally know how to be a good mentor, supervisor or teacher. See if your institution offers teacher training for students, and read the following:

Supervising Undergraduate Student Projects by Kaitlin Gallagher (article)

Eight Tips on Mentoring New Lab Members (article)

Abstract Texture