General Terms of Use for the Department of Biology’s Imaging Center

of 28th July 2017

The following statute comprising the General Terms of Use for the Department of Biology’s Imaging Center has been passed by the Faculty Council of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the University of Greifswald according to § 91.1 of the Landeshochschulgesetz (State Higher Education Law – LHG M-V) Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (in the version of 25th January 2011(GVOBl. M-V p. 18), last amended by article 3 of above law on 11th July 2016  (GVOBl. M-V p. 550, 557):

Preamble:

The Imaging Center is a joint facility for research groups in the Department of Biology at the University of Greifswald. The Facility wants to combine resources by letting the various research groups use the different imaging methods which can be carried out on equipment made available by the various institutes of the Department of Biology.

These General Terms of Use have been drawn up in line with the DFG’s (German Research Foundation) requirements for terms of use at core facilities.

§ 1 Scope

  1. These Terms of Use govern the use of the services offered by the Imaging Center. They apply both to individual use of the equipment (hereinafter referred to as “user operation”) as well as to the services rendered by the staff of the Imaging Center or research groups (hereinafter referred to as “service operation”).
  2. In addition to these General Terms of Use, the Terms of Use of the individual pieces of equipment also apply and are appended to these General Terms of Use and valid as amended. In case of dispute, the Terms of Use of the individual pieces of equipment shall prevail over the General Terms of Use.
  3. The General Terms of Use are binding for everybody using the Imaging Center’s services.

§ 2 Contact

Contact details for the Imaging Center and research groups for any queries on methods, equipment and terms of use are listed on the Imaging Center’s website (https://imaging.uni-greifswald.de) and in the individual equipment-specific Terms of Use.

 

§ 3 Equipment

Information on the equipment, including a detailed description, is available on the Imaging Center’s website (https://imaging.uni-greifswald.de).

§ 4 Users

  1. The staff and students of the Department of Biology shall have priority as regards both the time and the extent of the use of equipment and services.
  2. In addition to this, the equipment shall also be made available to staff and students of the other departments of the university, including University Medicine Greifswald.
  3. University staff and students (including the Interfaculty Institute for Genetics and Functional Genomics) may use the equipment according to the specific Terms of Use both in user and in service operations. Members of staff from University Medicine Greifswald may only use the equipment in service operation. A person using the equipment in user operation shall hereinafter be referred to as “operator” and a user in service operation shall hereinafter be referred to as “internal customer”.  Both operators and internal customers shall be referred to as “users”.
  4. If capacity allows, the equipment may also be used by external scientific or commercial institutions in service operation, they shall hereinafter be referred to as „external customers“.
  5. If, due to high demand, not all user requests can be met, the delegated contact on the Imaging Center’s website (https://imaging.uni-greifswald.de) and in the equipment-specific Terms of Use will allocate the use and determine the sequence in which the orders will be carried out, taking into consideration priorities as detailed above.

§ 5 Using the Services of the Imaging Center

  1. Anybody wishing to use the services of the Imaging Center should make an appointment with the contact specified on the Imaging Center’s website (https://imaging.uni- greifswald.de) and in the equipment-specific Terms of Use. During this meeting, the planned investigation as well as the experimental procedure will be discussed.
  2. In the case of operators and internal customers, a questionnaire will be filled out including information on the samples that shall be examined and the desired methods of use. Based on this, the expected costs for the user can be estimated. Costs will be charged in accordance with the respective fee regulations and the actual extent of usage. The users guarantee with their signature that they will bear the costs. In addition, operators confirm that they have been shown how to use the equipment, that they have been instructed in the relevant safety and radiation protection procedures, depending on the equipment they want to use, and they also agree with their signature that they will adhere to the stipulations of the General Terms of Use and the equipment-specific Terms of Use.
  3. If the equipment is to be used within the framework of a scientific collaboration with University Medicine Greifswald or other publicly financed research institutions, a separate agreement covering all the details will be drawn up; the General Terms of Use will be part of this agreement.
  4. External customers will receive an offer including the general terms of their order. Once this offer has been accepted in writing, the contract for services will be effective.

§ 6 Authorisation for the Use of Equipment, Access and Use of Equipment in User Operations

  1. The equipment may only be accessed in user operations after authorisation by the delegated contacts on the Imaging Center’s website (https://imaging.uni- greifswald.de) and in the equipment-specific Terms of Use.
  2. The specific regulations authorising the use of equipment as well as access to the equipment are stipulated in the equipment-specific Terms of Use in the appendix.
  3. Unless indicated otherwise in the equipment-specific Terms of Use, the following General Terms of Use shall apply for all pieces of equipment:
    1. In order to be able to book the equipment, operators will first have to be shown how to use it and have received instructions on the safety and radiation protection procedures. If the respective device can be booked electronically, operators will be set up in the system and may book and use the equipment on their own. In all other cases access may only be granted by the contacts specified on the Imaging Center’s website (https://imaging.uni-greifswald.de) and in the equipment-specific Terms of Use.
    2. If demand for the equipment is too high, staff and students of the Department of Biology will have priority as per § 4 on prioritisation of different user groups.
    3. Only authorised operators will be granted access to equipment and rooms.
    4. Access to the equipment for internal and external customers as well as third parties is only allowed on specific permission and if accompanied by a delegated contact or the person responsible for the equipment (cf. § 2).
    5. The operator shall be responsible for the equipment during the period of use. If the operator discovers that the equipment is damaged or deficient before s/he starts using it, or if the work area is found in an untidy condition, this should be reported to the contact mentioned in § 2 immediately. Complaints will not be accepted at a later stage.
    6. The work area must be left clean and tidy after use.
    7. It is forbidden to use the computers connected to the equipment for internet searches or any other activities not directly related to the running of the equipment.
    8. Operators are obliged to adhere to the following regulations:
      • All equipment can only be used for the intended purpose. Operators may only use methods and operating controls for which they have previously received instruction.
      • The safety and radiation protection regulations must be adhered to.
      • The equipment can only be used as instructed during the safety briefing. No changes must be made to the equipment.
      • The operator must inform the person responsible for the equipment immediately in writing (via email) about any defects or safety issues arising on the equipment and cease working with the equipment immediately.
      • If operators witness any possible hazards, especially the uncontrolled discharge of fluids from the experiment or other types of contamination, they shall contact the person in charge of the equipment immediately and be available to answer any questions in relation to the biological, chemical and work safety hazards and also help with the clearance of the hazard if this is possible without any risk to their own personal health.
      • The operator shall fill in the logbook at the end of the utilisation period and sign it. The logbook can be found beside the equipment. If only a digital logbook is available, the entry must be signed with a legally binding digital signature.
      • The operator must follow the instructions of the person responsible for the equipment as specified in § 2.
      • The person responsible for the equipment must be informed at least 24 hours in advance if a booking for the use of equipment is cancelled.
      • The operators must meet the costs as specified in the equipment-specific fee regulations for the use of the Imaging Center’s equipment and services. This also applies in cases when a booking was not cancelled in time unless the equipment was successfully allocated to somebody else.
    9. Operators are not allowed to
      • access information belonging to other users without special permission,
      • attempt repairs or adjustments on their own,
      • install software,
      • exchange any parts of the equipment or remove it for use with other equipment.
    10. The operator is expected and required to adhere to the guidelines for laboratories, safety at work regulations, biomaterial regulations, the Gentechnikgesetz (Genetic Technology Safety Ordinance) and all other relevant health and safety regulations in connection with the use of the equipment.
    11. If the operators’ employment is terminated, if they move to a different working group or if a scientific project is finished, they must immediately report this in writing (via email) to the contact specified on the Imaging Center’s website (https://imaging.uni-greifswald.de) and in the equipment-specific Terms of Use.

§ 7 Data and Data Storage

  1. Operators are personally responsible for the data they have collected as well as all measurements, conclusions and uses thereof.
  2. The Imaging Center is not obliged to save user or external customer data. The contacts specified in § 2 are not in any way responsible for any data.
  3. The data generated by the operator may only be saved temporarily in the file specified during the equipment briefing. The Imaging Center is entitled to delete the data when the application is finished. The operators are responsible for archiving their own data.
  4. Internal and external customers are given the data in digital form (e.g. email, USB stick, cloud). Once this data has been handed over, the Imaging Center is no longer obliged to save it.
  5. The Imaging Center’s contribution to the collection of the data must be acknowledged in accordance with good scientific practice regulations (cf. DFG, German Research Foundation). The fact that a user fee is payable for services supplied by the Imaging Center does not exclude co-authorship. If the scope of the work carried out by Imaging Center staff justifies co-authorship in the publication of the data that has been generated as part of the services supplied (i.e. if the microscopic images form the basis for an interpretation of the data or the images are to be published), then this must be acknowledged in the manuscript.
  6. If operators publish data they have collected, the Imaging Center must be mentioned in the acknowledgments section (Imaging Center of the Department of Biology, University of Greifswald). However, if an Imaging Center member of staff has made a substantial intellectual and/or experimental contribution to the data generated by an operator and this is to be published (e.g. participation in planning the experiment, development of methods, interpretation of results), that member of staff must be acknowledged as co-author in the manuscript.
  7. The data generated by users at the Imaging Center may be used for teaching purposes if the source is cited, unless the user has specifically objected to this in writing.

§ 8 Usage Costs and Invoices

  1. There is a charge for the use of the Imaging Center’s services and equipment as per § 3.
  2. Usage of the equipment is billed per hour or part thereof. Calculating the usage fee for services requested by internal customers is based upon the questionnaire and the actual usage time as per the equipment’s logbook. In user operations, only the actual usage time from the logbook is taken into account when calculating the user fee. If the equipment is not used and the booking was not cancelled in time (cf. § 6.3.h), the usage fee is calculated as per the original booking. External customers will be charged as per the original offer.
  3. Usage fees are calculated using the following scale:
    1. Fee Group 1: Institutes at the University of Greifswald including the Interfaculty Institute for Genetics and Functional Genomics (with exception regulations for users who made the application for the respective piece of large-scale equipment)
    2. Fee Group 2: University Medicine Greifswald and other publicly financed research institutions (especially other universities, faculties of medicine and institutionally-funded external research facilities)
      Fee Group 2 may only be applied if use of the Imaging Center’s equipment and services takes place within the framework of a scientific co-operation based on a separate co-operation agreement and if users are not accessing the services as part of their commercial activities, in which case Fee Group 3 applies.
    3. Fee Group 3: University Medicine Greifswald and other publicly financed research institutions outside of existing co-operation agreements or if users are using the equipment as part of their commercial activities; other external customers, especially commercial enterprises.
  4. Up-to-date fees for the Imaging Center’s individual services are specified in the fee tables of the equipment-specific Terms of Use, i.e. for the Laboratory for Electron Microscopy (LEM), the fluorescence microscopes, the X-ray computed tomograph and the transmission electron microscope. They are appended to the General Terms of Use and valid as amended. The fee tables are available on the Imaging Center’s website (https://imaging.uni-greifswald.de).
  5. By signing the questionnaire (cf. § 5.2), operators and internal customers agree to cover the fees. Unless agreed otherwise, fees are charged either when the project is finished or every quarter.
  6. Fees charged within the framework of  a scientific co-operation with University Medicine Greifswald or another publicly financed research institution are set out and agreed in a separate agreement as per § 5.3.
  7. External customers will be charged after completion of the services requested on the basis of each individual offer.
  8. The Imaging Center’s steering committee may change the fee table to reflect general cost trends without prior notice. Changes in fees take effect once they have been published on the Imaging Center’s website (https://imaging.uni-greifswald.de) and apply to all services and usage agreed to from then on.

§ 9 Tasks, Rights and Duties of the Delegated Contacts

  1. The contacts listed in § 2 agree to carry out the following tasks:
    • They will record any user permissions granted to operators and all services requested by internal customers as specified in the questionnaire (§ 5.2).
    • They will record the times when the equipment was used.
  2. The persons responsible for the equipment can temporarily limit or interrupt usage of the equipment when it is being maintained or repaired or when it is broken. Users affected must be informed via email.
  3. The persons responsible for the equipment are entitled to check on the progress of measurements and the preparation of microscopic images at any stage during the operators’ use of the equipment and to call off the trial if malfunctioning occurs.
  4. If deemed necessary, the contacts specified in § 2 are entitled to view the data generated by users.
  5. The contacts specified in § 2 must treat all data generated by operators or during service operations confidentially.

§ 10 Liability

  1. If the equipment is damaged in user operations as a result of improper or faulty use by an operator, or because of operators breaching their obligations or not following  instructions given by the contacts as specified in § 2, they, or the organisational unit they belong to, are deemed liable and must cover the repair costs.
  2. Breaches of these General Terms of Use or the equipment-specific Terms of Use may result in being banned from using this particular item of equipment. Operators have no compensation rights if they are being banned from using the equipment or have their permit revoked or restricted.
  3. If required, the contacts named in § 2 will help operators and customers interpret the performance data. Nevertheless, the interpretation of data is the sole responsibility of the operator or customer. No warranty is given as to the correct and complete interpretation of the data collected or their suitability for a specific purpose. Operators and customers are not entitled to make any claims against the Center’s delegated contacts arising from the interpretation of the gathered data.
  4. No warranty is given that the equipment (§ 3) is always in perfect working order or can be used without interruptions.

§ 11 Entry into Force

These General Terms of Use will take effect on the day following their publication by the Faculty.

Appendices

Equipment-specific Terms of Use for the following:

  • Laboratory for Electron Microscopy (LEM) in the Department of Biology,
  • Fluorescence Microscopes at the Institute of Microbiology,
  • Fluorescence Microscopes at the Zoological Institute and Museum,
  • X-Ray Computed Tomograph at the Zoological Institute and Museum,
  • Transmission Electron Microscope at the Zoological Institute and Museum

Issued following a resolution by the Faculty Council of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences on 26th April 2017 and reviewed by the Senate of the University of Greifswald on 28th June 2017.

Greifswald, 28th July 2017

The Dean
Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
of the University of Greifswald
Professor Dr. Werner Weitschies

Made public at the University on 2nd August 2017

The translation of these regulations is to be seen as a reference and to be used for the understanding of the corresponding German document. Only the German version of the original document is legally binding.

Wherever used herein, gender-specific terms should be understood as referring to both genders.