Discussing how to responsibilities and duties will be shared between CF and user allows transparency and helps keeping optimal research quality standards. The result of this discussion should also be put in writing, read and signed.
Provide written guidelines defining the rules of the facility. Explain about CF procedures, communication, safety, pricing. Give information about data management (data naming convention, data saving, data transfer, data long-term storage). Also explain the duties of the users.
Define responsibilities precisely. Who will be responsible (the CF, the user, the PI or another scientist) regarding the experimental design, sample preparation, data acquisition, data storage, data analysis, documentation and publication? The ones who carry the responsibility for doing or supervising/checking each step must be clearly defined before starting any experiments (as well as shared responsibilities). This will prevent that suboptimal results/procedures could be proceeding unidentified. Discuss these items during a meeting with the user and fill out a responsibility table.
Make sure that the designated responsible party is qualified to do so. One respondent of our survey pointed out: “Neither the researchers, inclusively the PI's are in a place to take responsibility for work with technologies that they do not understand.”