Rules and Policies For All Core Users

By using the CDB Microscopy Core, users tacitly agree to follow the rules below.  If, at any time, a user is determined by Core staff to be in violation of any of these rules, particularly those marked with an asterisk (*), then Core staff reserves the right to suspend all access to CDB Microscopy Core space and equipment.

All light microscopy sessions must be reserved in advance using the Microscopy Core Scheduler.   Guidelines for reservations are:

  • Reserve only as much time as you think you will need. If you end up using more or less time than you reserved, notify a core staff member about your actual usage so they can modify your reservation accordingly. When possible cancel reservations you do not intend to use; if you're unable to cancel, notify a staff member and they will cancel for you. All microscopy use must be documented by the Microscopy Core Scheduler.*
  • The "4-hour rule": Advance reservations made on all laser-scanning confocals (Zeiss and Leica) during peak hours (8 am — 8 pm M-F) are subject to a 4-hour maximum time limit. Users wishing to reserve a block of time longer than 4 hours long must have the difference (the amount greater than 4 hours) extend into off-peak hours.  Users are always welcome to extend their session on the day of their reservation if that time is still available.
  • The "fair access rule": On laser-scanning confocals (Zeiss and Leica) individual users may not advance-reserve more than 12 hours of peak usage time per week. Users from the same lab may not advance-reserve more than 20 hours of peak usage time per week. Same-day reservations or reservations made for off-peak hours are not subject to these restrictions.

Access Rules:

  • Only people who have been trained by a core staff member are authorized to use core microscopes. Current users are not allowed to train fellow lab members or give them access to the core's equipment.*
  • The name associated with a scheduler reservation MUST match the name of the person using the microscope at that time unless core staff have been notified in advance that an exception needs to be made.*
  • Billing is based on the reservation length as recorded by the Microscopy Core Scheduler. If more or less time is spent on the microscope than was reserved, users should email Core staff so their reservation can be updated to reflect actual use.
  • Newly-trained users who do not use the microscope they were trained on within 1 month of hands-on training will have their "trained" status in iLab revoked and will be required to schedule a refresher training session with a staff member.
  • Accounts that are inactive for 8 months or more will be suspended. If this happens to you, you will be required to schedule a refresher training session with a core staff member before regaining access to the scheduler.

General Operating Rules:

  • There will be absolutely NO eating or drinking while in any microscope room.
  • Users must report any damage or mess in the room as soon as they are aware of it.
  • Users must wear fresh gloves (Core-provided or their own) while working on the microscope. Keyboards must remain covered with plastic wrap at all times. Safety glasses and/or prescription eyeglasses are highly recommended when using the eyepieces of the microscope.
  • Users must NOT dispose of samples, reagents, pipette tips, or any other laboratory waste in the microscope room trash.
  • Users must follow posted startup/shutdown instructions for each Core microscope.
  • Users must take ALL their belongings with them at the end of each session; anything left in the room may be discarded at the end of the day.

  • If you used any Core microscopes or workstations to collect images or analyze data that end up in a publication, you need to acknowledge the CDB Microscopy Core in your acknowledgements section. If a staff member spent time to help with experimental design or analysis of data, acknowledge that person by name.
  • Before submission make sure that your description of any core microscopes included in the Methods section of a paper is accurate.

  • Users are responsible for backing up their own data; our core is not equipped to automatically back up data from acquisition systems.
  • Because our acquisition computers have a finite amount of space, core staff must periodically remove data older than 3 (three) months.  This will be done without warning, so users are encouraged to upload their new data at the end of each session.
  • Except in special cases (e.g., data is on the EVOS or there is a network outage), portable USB drives/flash drives/thumb drives are not allowed on acquisition computers. Users must upload data to a server or cloud storage such as Penn+Box, DropBox, or GoogleDrive, or to another University server that can be accessed from our system.

These rules are in effect until further notice and are in place to make all of our microscopes and workstations as safe as possible to use.

  • Users should cancel reservations and stay home if they have ANY symptoms of illness at all including (but not limited to) COVID-19 symptoms
  • Users MUST adhere to their reserved time. While using less time than reserved is acceptable, using more time than reserved is only acceptable if the required time gap can be preserved AND if the user notifies Core staff of their extra use.
  • Users must wear a face mask and fresh gloves while they are using any microscope or workstation. Safety glasses or prescription eyeglasses must be worn when using any microscope with eyepieces.  The core will continue to provide gloves in each room.
  • Users must follow all posted procedures for cleaning before/after their session and for minimizing contamination during microscope use.
  • Users should minimize the number of items (besides samples) that are brought into the room. Any pipette tips, waste containers, pipettors, or other supplies should be taken back to the lab at the end of each session.