Procedures and Protocols

Research group procedures

Research group procedures (also known as lab procedures, standard operating procedures, etc.) provide information and set expectations for working in collaborative environments. They are highly contextual and will vary from group to group, but may include information about:

  • Policies
  • Workflows
  • Responsibilities
  • Space and equipment
  • Tools and resources
  • General research and data management practices

Research group procedures are not the same as a data management plan (DMP). Research group procedures outline mechanisms for collaborative work and can be helpful when a group executes a number of related projects. A DMP should be written in alignment with all research group procedures, but will be specific to a particular project and outline research data actions and responsibilities.

Onboarding and offboarding procedures

Onboarding and offboarding procedures should be established and documented for all research groups and collaborative projects. These procedures should include actions related to research data in order to standardize knowledge transfer and ensure all members of a research group have access to the appropriate information, systems, and files. This can reduce the risk of data being lost or mishandled and help ensure you and your team are following all required security standards.

Onboarding procedures for research data may include things like:

  • Reviewing relevant policies, procedures, and documentation
  • Reviewing data management expectations
  • Reviewing tools and resources
  • Reviewing or creating workflows
  • Reviewing responsibilities

Offboarding procedures for research data may include things like:

  • Transferring ownership of files
  • Updating documentation and data files
  • Selecting files for deletion or retention
  • Removing relevant permissions and access to systems/files


Library services
The library provides support for:

  • Understanding what information about research data to include in research group procedures and onboarding/offboarding procedures

External resources