5.2 Guidelines for Research Lab

(Updated by Research Committee, February 2018)

Use of the Space

1. The Communication Research Lab in Switzler Hall is divided into two spaces: (1) A Media room (Switzler 308, with computer stations, video game stations, a projector, and a conference table) and (2) a Focus Group Room (Switzler 304). The Reception Area is a common area and is meant to be shared by either space (i.e., if studies are running simultaneously in the Media room and the Focus Group Room, the Reception Area is to be shared by both parties.)

2. The lab is primarily to be used for teaching and conducting research. The Chair of the Department of Communication must approve the use of this space for instructional purposes. Instructional use of the lab space is a valid use of the space but must be infrequent enough to allow for sufficient use of the lab space for research. We encourage all Communication faculty and graduate students to use the lab on a first-come, first-served basis. However, in instances in which more than one department member needs the lab at the same time, we privilege, in ranking order:

(A) Graduate courses with a regular assignment to this space for instructional purposes.

(B) Research that requires the use of the space and/or equipment in the lab.

(C) Research that does not require the space and/or equipment and could be reasonably conducted elsewhere.

3. The Reception Area of the lab can be used for comprehensive examinations, but only as a last resort. Please sign out other viable testing sites first. If the room is signed out to a student for comps, an investigator who needs the space to conduct research reserves the right to bump the student who is comping.

4. The lab is not to be used by undergraduate students, unless they are working with or for a graduate student or faculty member who is using the Research Lab.

5. Changing the format or function of the lab space (e.g., installing new equipment) requires authorization by the Research Committee. It is important that any changes to the lab benefits everyone, or, at the very least, poses no inconvenience to other faculty and graduate students who use the space. If you would like to change the format or function of the lab, please submit a proposal to the Research Committee of the Department of Communication with the following information:

(A) rationale for why it is necessary to change the format or function of the lab space

(B) how long the space will be changed

(C) how the changes will impact other people who will utilize the lab space

(D) if the submitter is a graduate student, identify the faculty member who is overseeing the project

The Research Committee must approve any changes to the lab before they are undertaken.

Procedures and Etiquette

1. Signing up for the research lab will be managed through public calendars via Outlook. To sign up for the space, open Outlook, File > Open > Other user’s folder. When the “Other user’s folder” box comes up, put “MU AS Switzler 308” in the name for the Media Room or “MU AS Switzler 304” in the name for the Focus Group Room, and “Calendar” in the folder type and click OK. You will enter your information directly onto the calendar. Alternatively, you may ask the Department of Communication’s Administrative Assistant to sign out the lab for you. When signing up, you need to enter three pieces of information:

(A) Your name and the name of all collaborators

(B) Brief title of your research project

(C) The time you need the room

* Mac Users: You cannot access the public calendar through iCal. You have to use Entourage or Outlook.

2. Please request only the amount of time and the room that you know you will be using. In other words, do not sign up for a block of time if you know you will need the space for a shorter amount of that time, and do not sign up for the Focus Group Room, if you know that you only require the Media room (or vice versa).

3. Please leave the lab the way you found it after every research session. (An exception would be if you KNOW that you are the next person signed up for the space, and the next session is in the near future.) If you have permission from the Research Committee to move furniture in the lab, you must move it back to its original location after your use of the lab.

4. Do not tape signs to the walls, furniture, or equipment. Notify the Research Committee if you need to post signs in the lab space.

5. Whenever leaving the Media Lab – even if just for a few minutes – you must ensure that all computers have been logged off to protect data and allow subsequent users convenient access to the facilities. This is to say, do not remain logged into the computers when you are not in the room.

6. Please remove your files from the computers in a timely manner. If files are found on the computers, they will be removed.

7. Please lock all doors after you are done with the lab. (Some of the doors need to be locked with a key.)

8. If you encounter any problems with the equipment, furniture, or space, please report them ASAP to Cathy Illingworth at illingworthc@missouri.edu.