Table of Contents
- Code Ethics
- Data Ethics
- Authorship Ethics
- Reviewing Ethics
- Code of Conduct for the UW Geoarchaeology Laboratory and Field Research Projects
- The code
- Expectations and Responsibilities
- Big Picture
- Small Picture
- Responsibilities for graduate and undergraduate students
- Undergraduate research
- Field research expectations for students
- Policies and Guidelines
- Recommendation letters
On these pages I have documented some of my professional values, expectations, and ethics. I post these documents here, in public, so current and prospective students can know what to expect in my classes, lab, and field research. I also want to share with the broader research community what I believe to be the best practices for common professional activities.
The goal of having these documents is to help us transparently and openly manage our expectations. This make it easier for us to enjoy our learning and research work, while minimizing misunderstandings and bad assumptions. If you are a student, these are the documents that we start with when we discuss our expectations in greater detail.
Most of the content is adapted from the sources acknowledged below, so these are mostly professional norms in academia that are typical and widely held. Although not of the content here is original, it does truly express my values, ethics and expectations, and I refer to these documents regularly when working with students.
I endorse the Code is Science Manifesto and the Science Code Manifesto. I prefer open code over closed (all source code written specifically to process data for a published paper must be available to the reviewers and readers of the paper), recognise that incorrect code results in incorrect science, try to follow good coding practices from the start of the project, prefer availability over perfection (the copyright ownership and license of any released source code must be clearly stated), and that code deserves credit. I support publication of research software packages, for example in Journal of Open Source Software, and recommend the rOpenSci Guide to R Package Development, Maintenance, and Peer Review
I support the The Denton Declaration and the Panton Principles: Open access to research data is critical for advancing science, scholarship, and society. Research data, when repurposed, has an accumulative value. Publicly funded research should be publicly available for public good. Transparency in research is essential to sustain public trust. Data should be openly available only if it does not cause harm. The validation of research data by the peer community is an essential function of the responsible conduct of research. Managing research data is the responsibility of a broad community of stakeholders including researchers, funders, institutions, libraries, archivists, and the public. The FAIR and CARE principles guide how I work with data.
It is important that all authors on a paper deserve the credit. I take inspiration from the ICMJE guidelines and use the CRediT (Contributor Roles Taxonomy) for determining when co-authorship is warranted. I encourage my students to use these guidelines when working with others. I support the Bullied Into Bad Science campaign to provide a fairer, more open and ethical research and publication environment for early career researchers.
My approach to peer review is based on the ethical guidelines for peer reviewers by COPE. I use the COPE flowchart when responding to invitations to peer review. In my peer reviews of scholarly literature I follow the guidelines of the Peer Reviewers’ Openness Initiative. This means that I cannot recommend a paper for publication unless data and materials are (or will be at the time of publication) openly available at a trustworthy online repository. I support the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment and make assessments based on scientific content rather than publication metrics. In my reviews I aim to follow two rules: Say what is good about a piece of work, and say how it can be improved. I encourage my students to use these guidelines when doing their own peer reviews.
Code of Conduct for the UW Geoarchaeology Laboratory and Field Research Projects
This document is primarily aimed at graduate students. Some sections are also relevant to undergraduates, please ask if you have questions about what parts are appropriate to you.
This document should be viewed as a tool to initiate discussion during the early stages of the graduate program, with an awareness that the relationship and expectations will evolve with time. We use this template not only for verbal discussion but also as a written letter of understanding that will help to guide the relationship and expectations of the student, their PI, and the relevant departments/faculties. The hope is that this agreement clarifies questions that arise in the lab setting and reduces conflict or tension to make everyone’s interactions more enjoyable.
The UW Geoarchaeology Laboratory and Ben Marwick’s field research projects and on-campus class communities are committed to a harassment-free policy
We value the participation of every member of our community and want to ensure that every member has an enjoyable and fulfilling learning and working experience. Accordingly, everyone who participates is expected to show respect and courtesy to other participants at all times.
To make clear what is expected, all participants (including myself) must conform to the following Code of Conduct:
We are dedicated to a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of age, disability, gender, gender identity and expression, national origin, physical appearance, religion, relationship status, or sexual orientation. Harassment includes offensive comments related to age, body size, deliberate intimidation, disability, gender, gender identity and expression, physical appearance, race, religion, relationship status, or sexual orientation. Harassment also includes discouraging comments, excessive negative comments, harassing photography or recording, inappropriate physical contact, personalisation of critique, stalking, sexual images in public spaces, sustained disruption of talks or other events, unwanted following, and unwelcome sexual attention. We do not tolerate harassment by and/or of members of our community in any form.
In order to foster a positive and professional learning and research environment we encourage the following kinds of behaviours in all activities and communication platforms:
- Use welcoming, supportive, and inclusive language
- Be respectful of different viewpoints and experiences
- Gracefully accept constructive criticism
- Focus on what is best for all participants
- Show courtesy and respect towards all participants
- All communication – online and in person – should be appropriate for a professional audience including people of many different backgrounds.
- Be kind and respectful to others and their opinions.
- Behave professionally.
- Do not insult or put down other lab members. Your ideas are not more valuable than others'.
- Remember that harassment and sexist, racist, or exclusionary jokes, languagege or imagery is not acceptable and will not be tolerated in this space.
Participants asked to stop any harassing or disrespectful behavior are expected to comply immediately. Participants who violate these rules – no matter how much they have contributed to the UW Geoarchaeology Laboratory, field research projects or classroom activities, or how specialized their skill set – will need to meet with Ben and/or other faculty and staff. If inappropriate behaviour persists after a discussion with Ben, the perpetuator will be asked to discontinue their participation.
To report violation, you can do any of the following:
- Please feel free to talk to me or other UW faculty person.
- Report to the Chair of the Anthropology Department or the University of Washington ombud office.
- Make an anonymous report and get advice from the UW SafeCampus Office
Expectations and Responsibilities
Science is hard. But it’s also fun. In the Geoarchaeology Lab and during Field Research, we want to make sure that everyone experiences a positive, engaging, supportive, challenging, and rewarding environment. To maintain that environment, we all have to do a few things.
- Work on what you’re passionate about, work hard at it, and be proud of it. Be so proud of it that you have to suppress bragging (but it’s ok to brag sometimes).
- Scientists have to be rigorous and careful. Don’t rush your work. Think about it. Implement it. Double and triple check it. Incorporate sanity checks. Ask others to look at your code or data if you need help or something looks off. It’s ok to makes mistakes, but avoid mistakes due to carelessness or rushed work. Don’t hesitate to seek new information, and update your plans accordingly.
- If you do make a mistake, you should definitely tell your collaborators (if they have already seen the results, and especially if the paper is being written up, is already submitted, or already accepted). We admit our mistakes, and then we correct them and move on.
- We all want to get papers published and do great things. But we do this honestly and with integrity. It is never ok to plagiarize, tamper with data, make up data, omit data, or fudge results in any way. Science is about finding out the truth, and null results and unexpected results are still important.
- Support your peers and colleagues in our lab and during field research. Help them out if they need help (even if you aren’t on the project), and let them vent when they need to. Science is collaborative, not competitive. Help others, and you can expect others to help you when you need it. Nurture those who are junior to you.
- Respect your peers and colleagues. Respect their strengths and weaknesses, respect their desire for quiet if they need it, and for a kind ear when they need that. Respect their culture, their religion, their beliefs, their sexual orientation.
- Communicate honestly, even when it’s difficult. Avoid harmful communication. Practice good listening and recognize that your good intentions do not inoculate you from wrongdoing
- Stay up to date on the latest research, by subscribing to email alerts for journal table of contents. Also consider following archaeologists and scientists in related fields on social media.
- If you’re struggling, tell someone (feel free to tell Ben!). Your health and happiness come first. The lab and field research groups look out for the well-being of all its members. We are here to help. It’s ok to go through hard patches (we all do), but you shouldn’t feel shy about asking for help or just venting.
- If there is any tension or hostility in the lab, something has to be done about it immediately. We can’t thrive in an environment we aren’t comfortable in, and disrespect or rudeness will not be tolerated in the lab. If you don’t feel comfortable confronting the person in question, tell Ben. In any case, tell Ben.
- If you have a problem with Ben and are comfortable telling him about it, do! If you aren’t comfortable, then tell another member of the Anthropology Department, such as the chair. If you can’t tell the chair, contact the University of Washington ombud office.
- We like to do good science and have fun. At the same time, but also separately. Have a life outside of the lab, take care of your mental and physical health, and don’t ever feel bad for taking time off work.
There are a few day-to-day things to keep in mind to keep lab and field research running smoothly.
- If you’re sick, stay home and take care of yourself. Because you need it, and also because others don’t need to get sick. If you’re sick, reschedule your meetings and participants for the day (or the next couple of days) as soon as you can.
- You aren’t expected to come into the lab on weekends and holidays, and you aren’t expected to stay late at night. You are expected to get your work done (whatever time of day you like to do it).
- Show up to your meetings, show up to your classes, and show up to lab meetings. You do not have to be in at 9am every day – just show up for your commitments, and work the hours you need to work to get stuff done.
- Be on time for your meetings with me and others: respect that others have packed days and everyone’s time is valuable.
- Make sure the door to the lab is locked if no one is inside. Turn off the lights if you’re the last one leaving for the day. Check any equipment that you’ve been using and ensure it’s safe to leave it.
- Keep the lab and field research areas tidy. It’s not safe to eat in the lab, but drinks with lids on them are fine. Put lab equipment back where you found it. Keep common areas uncluttered.
- Dress code is casual (and you can dress up if you want!) but not too casual. Ensure you have appropriate personal protective equipment, minimally long pants, enclosed shoes, a lab coat and safety glasses.
Here are some general rules of thumb to guide our communications:
- Be proactive — tell me what you need. This includes coming to knock on my door even if it seems like you are interrupting, emailing me to set up a time to meet, or catching me before or after lab meeting. In all likelihood I will not check in with you as often as I’d like, so it is up to you to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
- Write things down and remind me what we’ve talked about. Before we meet, prepare an agenda and share it with me. Take notes while we’re talking. I would love to remember everything we decided when we last met, but this doesn’t always happen. Don’t hesitate to bring me up to speed when we meet. Even if I already remember what we are talking about, a couple of introductory topic sentences will help get me in the right frame of mind.
- Read all of the lab documentation. You are responsible for knowing what the rules are, following the rules and guidelines we have set up, and notifying someone if you find incorrect information (or if you have questions).
- I can be the most helpful to everyone if you are a little bit strategic in what you ask me. Please do a little research, e.g. a Google search, before asking me a question.
Communicating effectively is a responsibility that we share.
Here are some skills that I strive to practice in my communication. By following these, it will help you take responsibility for your communications, and help you become more effective at communicating with me and other people:
- Clarity: Clear writing and speech allows me to understand your intended message. Consider your choice of words and structure to have your message as simple to follow as possible.
- Completeness: Be sure to include all required components and try to anticipate questions that I may have, and prepare answers in advance. Your message should be complete enough for me to take action and/or respond.
- Conciseness: Be brief where you can so your message is not drawn out to confuse me (I’m easily confused!). Ask yourself: is this sentence is necessary, or will deleting it make my message clearer and more direct? Be concise enough while providing all of the necessary information to be complete, it can be a balancing act.
- Concreteness: Reinforce your words with specific details to eliminate the possibility of me misunderstanding or doubting your message.
- Correctness: Make sure that the message you are sending is correct containing accurate information. Utilize reliable sources when gathering research for your message. When providing this information to me and others, be sure your grammar, spelling, and punctuation are correct as well.
- Courtesy: Respect others and remember that your communication reflects directly on you. Be sure your choice of words and approach is always professional and courteous to me and others who may be hearing/reading it.
- Creativity: Use your voice to interpret and relay information in a way that suits you best. Be creative in your approach to the message and allow for your message to reflect your personality.
Responsibilities for graduate and undergraduate students
As a graduate student, it is your responsibility to:
- Complete your degree. This includes classroom and laboratory work, which have to be conducted with professionalism, self-motivation, engagement, scientific curiosity, and high ethical standards.
- Be knowledgeable of the policies, deadlines, and requirements of the graduate program, the graduate school, and the university. Comply with all institutional policies, including academic program milestones, laboratory practices, and rules related to chemical safety, biosafety, and fieldwork.
- Work with me to develop a thesis project for your degree. Your degree requires that you produce a coherent body of research representing a contribution to your scientific field. Ensure that your research is ultimately proceeding towards this goal.
- Be responsive to advice and constructive criticism. The feedback you get from me, your colleagues, your committee members, and your course instructors is intended to improve you. Provide feedback on my mentoring to you. Not everyone has the same mentoring needs and personalities, so there will inevitably be places where my efforts do not line up with your preferences and expectations. I trust you to let me know about this, so I can make adjustments to be a better advisor.
- Participate in the intellectual life of our local academic community. This means regularly attending talks and seminars in our program. It also means asking questions and joining in the discussion during research presentations by other scholars, including your peers. There are lots of great kinds of questions you can easily ask at seminars.
- Do some soul-searching as to what type of career you want to pursue, e.g., academic jobs that are research-focused or teaching-focused, non-academic jobs like data science or science writing. We can brainstorm ways of making sure you are getting the training that you need.
- Stay up-to-date (and keep me up-to-date, I will be happy to hear from you!) on any deadlines that you need to meet to fulfill departmental requirements. I welcome gentle reminders if the deadline is approaching and you haven’t heard from me.
- Prioritize time for your dissertation research. It is easy to get caught up in coursework or TA-ing, but eventually you need to have completed a dissertation. Actively manage your time effectively and manage your project to get your dissertation done.
As an undergraduate student doing independent research with me, it is your responsibility to:
- Communicate often. This includes face-to-face meetings, email and other methods. I expect to hear from you in some way every week. Reach out with questions as soon as they pop up. Send a follow-up message if I don’t reply in three days, I welcome gentle reminders. I’m always thrilled to receive your updates.
- Set specific goals. We will discuss the overall objective of your research, and we will negotiate how to divide this up into smaller tasks. You will organise your time to accomplish these tasks, and communicate with me if there are unexpected changes to your schedule.
- Take detailed notes. Keep a record of your work in a place we can both see it, such as a Google Doc or on GitHub. Update your notes weekly or more often. Keep notes about what we talk about when we meet.
- Participate in the UW Undergraduate Research Symposium. This is an excellent way to show the results of your efforts in a way that your friends and family can enjoy also.
- Be responsive to advice and constructive criticism. The feedback you get from me and your course instructors is intended to improve you. Provide feedback on my mentoring to you. Not everyone has the same mentoring needs and personalities, so there will inevitably be places where my efforts do not line up with your preferences. I am not infallible, but can only make adjustments when I know that they are needed.
As a PI, it is my responsibility to:
- Provide everyone under my supervision an environment that is safe and free of harassment, intellectually stimulating, and emotionally supportive. I will enforce a culture governed by collegiality that values differences in personalities, experiences, and opinions. I will meet with you regularly to discuss your research projects. The definition of “regularly” may change over time or over the course of a project, but for now, I mean once a week or more often as needed. I will care about you as a person, and not just a scientist.
- Be committed to your research project. I will help you design an independent project within the scope of the lab’s research for your thesis, or other work. I will be intellectually committed to your research. This includes helping you to generate experimental and theoretical ideas, interpreting and constructively criticizing your data and contextualizing it within a broader context, and supporting you in presenting your ideas and results to the scientific community. I will promote your work in talks and in correspondence with colleagues.
- Ensure that you receive appropriate training. I will provide resources and mentorship from both myself and senior lab members so that you have the technical skills that you need to accomplish your research. If the training you need does not fall within the lab’s expertise, we shall discuss opportunities for you to receive that training elsewhere, either through collaborations with other laboratories or by attending workshops and classes outside of this University. I will share with you my perspective on academia and issues related to professional development.
- Lead by example and facilitate your training in complementary skills needed to be a successful scientist, such as oral and written communication, applying for grants, lab management, mentoring, and scientific ethics and professionalism. I will encourage you to seek teaching opportunities, even if not required for your degree, include you where appropriate in grant writing and manuscript reviews, and provide opportunities for you to mentor junior researchers. I will enforce high standards of scientific ethics and professionalism.
- Provide financial resources to you as appropriate and according to this institution’s guidelines. To the best of my ability, I will provide the resources that you need to conduct your experiments. In addition, I will support you in trying to obtain external funding for your degree program.
- Help you navigate your graduate program of study. You are responsible for keeping up with deadlines and being knowledgeable about requirements for your specific program. However, I am available to help interpret these requirements, select appropriate coursework, and select committee members for your oral exams.
- Help you build your professional social networks, including presenting at scientific meetings. I will attempt, as funding allows, to send you to a major conference every year when you have material to present. I will also help you to identify and apply for travel fellowships to help pay for attending these conferences.
- Provide career advice and assist you in finding a position following your graduation. I will give advice and feedback on your career goals, and encourage you to explore opportunities both outside and within academia as suits your interests and progress. I will support your career development by introducing you to other researchers in the field, and promptly writing recommendation letters for you.
Undergraduate researchers play an important role in our lab, and we have a few opportunities for them to earn money or credit for their contributions. Because these opportunities require a certain degree of commitment from both the student and the lab, we generally reserve them for students who have already spent at least one quarter volunteering in lab. If this policy would prevent you from being able to work in the lab, please talk to me because we want all students to be able to pursue their research interests.
In addition to volunteering in lab, other research opportunities include:
- If you want to work in the lab and earn course credit, you can sign up for independent study. We will have to fill out a syllabus contract at the beginning of the semester. Typically you would be in the lab for at least 10 hours a week, and you would also be required to attend lab meetings, present at one of them, and write a short statement about your experiences at the end of the quarter. Note that you can enroll in independent study multiple times.
- If you want to work in the lab and earn money, you can apply for an undergraduate research fellowship. Candidates are expected to be academically strong (typically, GPA of 3.4 or above), and you would be expected to work 12-15 hours per week. Because these fellowships are intended to support your academic development, fellowship students will be strongly encouraged to participate in lab meetings.
- If you want to work in the lab, earn money, and are eligible for work-study, there may be other paid research opportunities available.
If you’re an undergraduate student and you want to pursue any of these options, talk to me.
Field research expectations for students
Archaeological fieldwork can be exciting as well as physically and mentally challenging. My fieldwork is often in remote locations with limited access to clean water, electricity, internet connectivity, and comfortable places to sit or sleep. Because of these limitations, it may not be possible to make accommodations for students with disabilities during field research, please discuss your needs with me in advance. Despite the challenging conditions, field research can be great fun, and an excellent learning experience. Here are my expectations for students joining me in field research (adapted from Sara Perry):
We commit to enjoying our experience and embrace the fun, intensity, and exhaustion that comes with fieldwork. We understand that fieldwork is challenging and that equipment breaks, people get tired, stress levels elevate, and things happen that are out of our control. I’m here to support you as we face these challenges. Plans and conditions can change rapidly during fieldwork: I expect you to be open to many possibilities and to the exploration of options. We endeavor to compromise, exercise patience and understanding, and be solutions to the problem when necessary. We commit to negotiating these challenges in a respectful and caring way, responding rather than reacting, and resolving that which can be resolved and accepting that which cannot. When communicating with me and others under difficult conditions I encourage you to use appropriate humor, use a positive, optimistic framing, and assume there will be a good outcome.
We recognise you participate in field research to learn new skills and gain experience. We commit to helping you develop new skills in the field alongside meeting the needs of the project. I expect you to be ready learn new things. If you are not comfortable in any situation at all, for any reason at all (for example, you feel you are not properly equipped or prepared, or you feel you are in danger), I expect you to tell someone immediately so we can help you. For graduate students, I expect you to be involved in post-excavation research, publication, and other opportunities following the conclusion of the fieldwork, unless we have discussed this prior to you joining me in the field.
We strongly value team work in the field: I expect you to be ready to be involved in all relevant field research activities. I expect you to take a collaborative approach to solving problems encountered in the field: use ‘we’ and ‘us’ more than ‘I’ and ‘me’ when discussing field research activities. All aspects of our professional contributions to the project are discussed and agreed upon together, and all tasks - although they might be led by individual team members - are developed through collaborative practice. Devotion to supporting the team, working as a team player, providing constructive critique to your team members, and respecting the interests of the team as a successful working group (without compromising their safety or security, as described below), are paramount.
We are committed to prioritising and championing the people and communities that host us. Fieldwork does not occur without public, community, and stakeholder support. From the permitting process through to fieldwork, there are many who assist us. We are always guests on someone else’s land/water and we are often studying someone else’s culture. We will respect local needs, interests, and customs and develop meaningful relationships with our partners and hosts that reach beyond our permitted time. We will endeavor to be inclusive and collaborative in all aspects of our work with the community and partners. We attend events and participate in activities that are organised by our host communities. We respect, care for and create long-lasting friendships with our hosts. We aim to abide by local expectations around dress and custom, and if working in communities where the primary language is not our own, we are committed to learning the language. We maintain links with our hosts after the project ends and we support their future professional endeavours.
We are committed to the working hours, professional expectations and responsibilities defined by the overall project directors. We typically work as part of a larger project team guided by wider goals than ours alone. We are aware of their responsibilities, we have read the necessary guidance documents, we have understood and signed the necessary insurance and risk assessment documentation, and in all cases, we respect and abide by the instructions given by the directors. This includes zero tolerance in relation to behaviour that compromises the wellbeing, equality, security or dignity of other human beings, as described below.
We are representatives and extensions of the University of Washington and its staff, and of the professional bodies to which we and our project leaders are subscribed. We recognise our duty of care to, and our responsibility for professionalism in, not only the communities where we work and reside, but the university and surrounding organisations to which we and our project leaders are accountable. Our behaviours reflect on these institutions and we acknowledge that our direct supervisor is (and therefore we too are) bound by the ethical and professional codes of both UW and our other institutional affiliations (the Society for American Archaeology, and others). Considering these obligations, you agree with the following:
I will come to my direct supervisor the moment that I experience problems, challenges or trouble of any kind. I will keep them informed of any issues that I feel may manifest themselves in relation to myself, my teammates or affiliates while in the field. If I feel I need support beyond my direct supervisor, I will turn to the 2nd lead for their advice. I have already disclosed to my direct supervisor any potential matters of concern (which may include matters relating to health, psychological and physical wellbeing, security, equality, confidence, interpersonal relations, previous travel or fieldwork experiences, etc.) so that they are aware of them and can mitigate them prior to departing for - and during - fieldwork. If I have not yet disclosed such matters, I agree to do so as soon as possible. I have shared this information in confidence, with an expectation of complete privacy unless urgent medical, safety/security or other legal intervention is required.
We recognise that fieldwork can be intense, emotional and challenging. I understand that things can go wrong, that we may need to compromise, and that in exceptional circumstances, we made need to shorten or modify your work on site to help manage these circumstances. In such cases, we will have a series of conversations about how to deal with difficulties, led by your direct supervisor. If the difficulties are not resolved within 7 days of identification, we will consult with the university for their guidance. If it is agreed with the university that the difficulties are unresolvable in the field, we will help you to organise your safe return home.
We have the right to a safe, secure and non-threatening working and living environment. We do not tolerate any form of discriminatory, abusive, aggressive, harassing, threatening, sexually- or physically-intimidating, or related problematic behaviours that compromise the wellbeing, equality, security or dignity of other human beings (whether those humans are our peers, colleagues, supervisors, collaborators, local community members or any persons at all). Our supervisors are trained in supporting those who have experienced or are experiencing harassment. They are obliged to investigate and respond to observed, implied or directly reported harassment. Considering this zero-tolerance policy, you agree to the following:
I will not engage in behaviour that compromises the wellbeing, equality, security or dignity of other human beings. I recognise that if I am implicated in such behaviour I will be required to leave the project at my own expense and may be subject to criminal investigation.
If I witness others being subjected to such behaviour, I will report it immediately to my direct supervisor. If I feel I cannot speak to my direct supervisor, then I will contact the University of Washington’s Department of Anthropology Chair.
If I myself feel unsafe or uncomfortable, I will report it immediately to my direct supervisor. My supervisor will support me and will implement actions to keep me safe while working to stop the behaviour. If I feel I cannot speak to my direct supervisor, then I will contact the University of Washington’s Department of Anthropology Chair.
My commitment to creating and maintaining safety and security for all extends to my online (web and social media) and mobile phone interactions, and I recognise that the process for reporting and acting on threatening online/mobile phone behaviours is the same as above.
Policies and Guidelines
Accommodations for students with disabilities
For students with disabilities or specific medical needs, we will meet to discuss what accommodations should be made to your work schedule or lab responsibilities to facilitate your productivity in the lab without compromising on your physical or mental health. Before we talk, you should have already made contact with the UW Disability Resources for Students (DRS) Unit. If changes in your needs occur over time, we will meet again to revise this accommodation. My aim is to prioritize your health for the good of the lab community.
Lab meetings will occur weekly, unless interrupted by a research meting or a holiday. Attendance is required and it is important that you come prepared when it is your turn to share. I will notify you of changes to the schedule at least a day in advance. In addition, I will meet individually with graduate students on a weekly basis to discuss progress and help when needed. The timing of these meetings may change depending on projects, pending publications, and your graduate defense. We will address this as needed.
It is your responsibility to maintain a detailed, organized, and accurate record of your research. Lab notebooks are lab property and therefore must be maintained to a standard where they can be interpreted by others. Any computer code that you generate must be properly documented and archived to ensure its reproducibility not only by others, but also by yourself when time passes.
To the best of our ability, we practice open science; the default is set to ‘open’. We recognise that not all archaological data is suitable for the public domain, so our general approach is ‘as open as possible, as closed as necessary’. Where possible, all raw data, metadata, analyzed data, figures, and code developed in the lab to accompany published papers will be organised into a research compendium, and freely available online according to best practices. Minimally, these materials must be accompanied by a ‘README’ file that gives details about what is in the compendium, and how to use it. We use the Open Science Framework for public materials and lab-only materials. Here are some of my favourite short guides to writing reproducible research papers: The British Ecological Society’s Guides to Better Science: Reproducible Code, the Association of Geographic Information Laboratories in Europe’s Reproducible Paper Guidelines and The Alan Turing Institute’s ‘The Turing Way’
Under my guidance, you are expected to be able to present your work in department seminars and external meetings as soon as you begin generating data. You will engage fully in the scientific program of the conferences that you attend. You should aim to present at program and departmental seminars 1-2 times per year in addition to attending one scientific conference per year. We also encourage blogging, writing for public audiences, and open, professional discussion of research on social media. When preparing your abstract for a presentation, please follow this ‘how to’ by Nature, and circulate it to me for feedbacks at least one week before the submission deadline.
When designing your slides, please use sentence headlines and visual evidence. A rough rule-of-thumb for planning that seems to work for many types of presentations is to have approximately one slide for each minute that you have to present. This works best when your slides are mostly graphics and visuals, with sign-post slides to divide up major sections of the presentation, and a few progressive builds (a build is when you present only a portion of the slide then click to reveal remaining portions). Here are some of my favourite pieces of advice on preparing and giving presentations, please take a look before you begin your preparations: Ten Simple Rules for Making Good Oral Presentations, Successful vs. effective research presentations, How to give a great scientific talk, Scientific presentations: A cheat sheet, Ways to give an effective seminar about your research project
Depending on your experience and level of comfort with writing a scientific manuscript, my level of engagement related to writing will change. It is often the case that the first manuscript is written largely by the PI and/or by any other more senior author who had contributed to the study, with lots of input from you, the trainee and first author of the manuscript. You will, for instance, be asked to make figures, help outline the flow, and edit the text. However, I expect you to be largely responsible for the writing of a second manuscript. Aim to write accessibly and with style. The simplest way to do this is use short sentences. I have many resources to help with writing that I love to share, here’s a short guide I like, an inspiring video and a folder of PDFs that I often refer to myself.
Manuscripts should include a paragraph at the end of the methods section with the heading “Reproducibility and Open Materials” that gives the DOI to where the reader can find the code and data used to produce the figures, tables, and statistical results presented in the paper. It should also give the licenses used for those materials (e.g. MIT for code, CC-BY for figures, CC-0 for data). Always show a manuscript (or revision) to all authors before submitting it, giving them the opportunity to comment and approve. Go over page proofs carefully, including the references. There is almost always a mistake (ours, or introduced by the publisher).
Authorship will be discussed prior to the beginning of a new project, so that expectations are clearly defined (see my ethics statement elswhere here for more details on this). However, changes to authorship may occur over the course of a project if a new person becomes involved or if someone is not fulfilling their planned role. In general, I expect that graduate students and postdocs will be first authors on publications on which they are the primary lead, and I will be the last author. I encourage the posting of pre-prints on non-profit pre-print services such as https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/ and https://arxiv.org/.
I expect you to be productive in your research and the other elements of your graduate program (teaching etc.). How you achieve this is ultimately up to you and should be customized to fit your working style. If you or I feel like you are not progressing adequately, you or I should discuss the situation and work together to find a more suitable and productive working schedule. Vacations and work-life balance are important for creative thinking and good health. However, please consult with me before making plans, and understand that some activities are time-sensitive (e.g., sampling, preparing for grants, manuscripts, exams, or conferences). I am also certainly willing to accommodate sick and/or parental leave as required, and will determined this on a case-by-case basis. Before I take a vacation, I will provide the lab with at least one week notice so that we can all work around my absence without loss of productivity. When I am on vacation, I prefer to be contacted via email in the case of lab-based emergencies.
A very worthwhile use of your time as a graduate student is to actively cultivate your professional development in non-research contexts. Becoming a successful scientist requires more than just academic research. You are expected to continually develop as a teacher, as a scientific ambassador to the general public, and your scientific network. This may include taking advantage of professional programs offered through the university, active participation in external seminars, attending classes without direct applications to your research, conferences, workshops, and membership in professional societies. If your participation in a career-building course, program, or event requires you to reduce your time spent in the lab, we will discuss it on a case-by-case basis.
Flexible working hours
While I sometimes send emails outside my normal office hours, I have no expectation to receive a reply from you outside of normal business hours. Please don’t feel you have to reply to me instantly, instead use your professional judgment to determine when your reply should be sent, and take time to ensure your reply is an effective communication. The hours that members of the lab choose to work is up to them. We are each welcome to send work-related emails or communications over the weekend or late at night, but no lab members are required to reply to them outside of their typical work hours. Lab members are welcome to work flexibly for any reason. Ideally, all lab members will have at least a few hours each week to overlap with Ben in order to stay in touch on any challenges or successes, but it is the policy of the Lab that every member is already self-motivated and doesn’t need to work a traditional 9 to 5 day in order to meet their goals. If you experience any challenges related to flexible working within the lab please contact Ben Marwick. All communication will be treated as confidential.
It is part of my job (and, thankfully, quite often a pleasure) to write letters of recommendation for students. Please give me as much notice as possible, at least two weeks is ideal, and make sure I know the deadline, format (electronic? printed?), official name of the organization, what you are applying for, and so on. To get started with requesting a letter, please fill out this form to give me the essential information I need to write a strong letter. Please send me reminders by email of the due date, and create a calendar event for us so I can see the due date on my calendar. Your goal is to make it as easy as possible for a letter writer (in this case, me) to complete the task by the deadline and without error. Your responses to this form are extremely helpful in jogging my memory and will give me more time to focus on saying good things about you. Don’t worry about being too ‘braggy’; I have no problem toning things down if need be. Like everything else, communication is key, and when in doubt, ask!
The text here includes material from:
- Daniela Saderi’s Code of Conduct for Research Laboratories, which credits the Freeman Lab Manifesto, the Klassen Lab Mentoring Expectations for Graduate Students, and the Kirstie Withaker Lab Code of Conduct
- Corina Logan’s Lab Code of Conduct
- Titus Brown’s Lab Code of Conduct and Lab philosophy, who cites the original source and credit: http://2012.jsconf.us/#/about & The Ada Initiative
- Mariam Aly’s lab manual: https://github.com/alylab/labmanual & commentary
- Maureen Ritchey’s lab manual: https://github.com/memobc/memolab-manual
- Jonathan Peelle’s lab manual: http://jpeelle.net/peellelab_manual.pdf
- Sara Perry’s Code of conduct for teams on field projects
- Jennifer F. Mckinnon’s Fieldwork Expectations Agreement.
- The Seven C’s of Communication from the College of Charleston Center for Student Learning
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.