How to Choose Efficient Technologies for Your Research
There are many tools and technologies that have been designed to help scientists with their research. Choosing which technologies to adopt may not be as straightforward as it seems. Follow these tips to help you make the most efficient choices:
- Use shared network drives, Google Drive or file sharing and storage services (e.g. Dropbox) to share up-to-date files among lab members.
- Use an online calendar system (e.g. Google Calendar) to facilitate booking of shared equipment.
- Use a reference manager software (e.g. Mendeley, EndNote) to keep relevant papers organized. Each software is different so review their features carefully and choose one that most easily integrates into your established workflow and meets your needs.
- Subscribe to publication alerts (e.g. PubMed) or curation services (e.g. Science News) to save time finding papers relevant to your research.
- When choosing equipment and instruments, prioritize items that will be used frequently by multiple lab members and ultimately increase both the quality and quantity of research. Consider models with smaller footprints. Reducing the amount of space taken up by large equipment allows you to maximize usage of existing space and increase your lab’s efficiency.
- Consider purchasing pre-made materials such as pre-cast gels or buffer concentrates rather than making reagents from scratch yourself. This approach will save you time where your budget permits.
- Adopt technologies that allow you to accomplish more with less time and effort. Try products that have shorter protocols or require less hands-on work to get the same or better results compared to your current procedures.
- Automate your research where possible (e.g. using RoboSep™ instruments to perform your cell isolations). Automated solutions will help you free up your time for other tasks and reduce user variability in experiments.
- Peironcely, J. 3 Mandatory Tools For Digital Scientists. Retrieved from www.nextscientist.com