… maximize institutional research capabilities

JBT-Special-IssueI think that, especially on this webpage, there is no need to emphasize, that core facilities are important for researchers to give them access to state of the art equipment, as well as cost effective, from an administrations point of view. But once in a while it is good that a journal takes up that topic and explains it in more detail. And once in a while it is good to be reminded, that “happy user” is not the only readout, when it comes down to analyzing the performance of your core facility.

Julie Auger brings out an interesting questionnaire, that aims at converting your core facility activities into numbers. It is also a kind of check list for what a core facility should be about. The activities asked for cover not only the usage of instruments and the financial management, but also  staff development and technology awareness.

Philip Hexley, Victoria Smith, Samantha Wall show that a core facility, beside being a scientific and educational unit, has to be managed as a small business unit, with a business strategy. And Sheenah Mische and  Amy Wilkerson show that Disaster and Contingency Planning is also part of that job. Michael Chang and Franziska B. Grieder then complete the issue, with a quote from NIH, that could as well serve as the motivation for setting up this network.

Recognized as a key challenge is the knowledge of what shared services and technologies, such as those provided by
core facilities, are available and where they are located. The discovery of information about core facilities can be
exceptionally difficult.

But the quote that put a smile on my face, was from somebody not related to core facility management anyway. It is a quote that reminds me of, coming back from holidays, having a plan for the week, and not having checked my e-mails for a while.

Plans are worthless, but planning is everything. There is a very great distinction because when you are planning for an emergency you must start with this one thing: the very definition of ‘emergency’ is that it is unexpected, therefore it is not going to happen the way you are planning. — Dwight D. Eisenhower