The IMF offers easy access to a selection of highly capable and expensive characterization instrumentation 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and serves a number of researchers and many students, all with nominal staffing and operating funds. The continued operation of this facility depends as much on the courtesy and care our users show for the equipment they are using as on the actual services provided. Our success is due in large part to the cooperation and support of our users. We have established a laboratory culture where people ask for help when needed, report problems with equipment promptly, clean up after themselves, and generally show that they appreciate having the facility here and are aware of how important small gestures can be when sharing equipment with others. As much as we have relied on and genuinely appreciated this cultural element of the facility, we do have a few basic policies, summarized below, that we can fall back on and — when necessary — enforce.
1. Policy on Damage Incurred
Accidents happen. That is to be expected — though not frequently — and we do realistically expect a certain number of minor accidents to occur during each year. Too often, however, things get broken because of a lack of basic competence on an instrument; not following operating procedures, safety procedures or other guidelines or limits such as what types of specimens one can analyze in the SEMs, TEM or XRD; or general sloppiness or risk-taking with our equipment. In these cases, we will charge your account for damage incurred, whether to an instrument or to the laboratory involving chemicals or tools, or even any theft that occurs due to misuse of your access card or propping doors open, allowing anyone to come in.
2. Policy on the Use of Chemicals in the Facility
Our policies on the use of chemicals in the laboratory are spelled out clearly in the Labatory Safety booklet. Briefly, this policy states that acutely hazardous materials cannot be used in this laboratory; your chemicals cannot be stored in the facility; we do not dispose of your chemicals for you; and you are responsible for knowing how to use, store and dispose of the chemicals. You must carry an MSDS sheet of any chemical brought into the facility.
3. Policy on Food in the Laboratory
No food or beverage may be consumed or stored anywhere in the facility.
4. Policy on Specimens Left in the Laboratory
Do not leave your specimens in the facility. We cannot guarantee their safety or security. Specimens left in the facility for more than 14 days will be disposed of. Any cost of disposal will be charged to your account.
5. Policy on Non-University Work Performed in the Facility
The university has strict policies on personal or commercial uses of university facilities. For the purposes of this facility, a simple definition of such activities would be those that cannot be recharged to a UC Merced account. The facility’s policy is that no such work can be done by users using IMF equipment.
6. Policy on Publishing Data Acquired Using the Facility
We require that all publications/talks/posters acknowledge the IMF at UC Merced. Acknowledgement of any facility personnel is at your discretion. Please submit paper copies or PDF files. They will be used for tracking purposes and will become part of the facility’s year-end report.
7. Policy on Cheating and plagiarism When Using the Facility
Cheating and plagiarism will be subject to disciplinary action according to University policies. All instrument training questions are consider tests. Coping others work or working together is not premited. Individuals found to do so will not be allowed to train.