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Policies and Procedures

Facility Use

  • Users without a key fob are required to sign in at the front desk.
  • Users with key fobs are not permitted to allow access for others in the facility.
  • Users must not leave doors open for any reason.
  • Food and drinks without lids are not permitted in the instrument rooms.
  • Please help us maintain a clean and efficent environment.
  • Policies and procedures for using the Cryo-Electron Microscopy facilities at CEMAS, please click here.
  • All users must follow Ohio State's Working Alone Safety Program when applicable. We discourage users from working alone.

Equipment Training

  • Training is required before users can use the equipment at CEMAS.
  • Training must be requested using the Facility Online Manager (FOM). Training is subject to usage and labor rates.
  • Users may only operate the equipment and the capabilities that come with it when qualified by a CEMAS staff member.

Equipment Scheduling

  • Equipment reservations are booked using the Facility Online Manager (FOM).
  • Users may only use the instrument during their permitted time. 
    • Daytime access: Monday-Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm
    • Anytime access: Any day and time
  • Users must reserve instrument time on the FOM scheduler prior to using the instrument.
  • FOM automatically logs users in at the start of the reservation time.
  • Users must log off their reservation on FOM when their usage is complete. A forget log off fee will be charged if a user fails to log off. 
  • Users may only reserve time for themselves; booking on behalf of other users is not permitted.

Equipment Use

  • All users must have funding available to cover the fees for use of CEMAS equipment.
  • Training from an instrument manager is required in order to be qualified to use the instrument(s).
  • Equipment use must be logged in the Facility Online Manager (FOM).
  • Users may only reserve time for themselves; booking on behalf of other users is not permitted.

  • Users may not use another user's session. If a user cannot make their session, they must cancel and allow the other user to reserve a session under their name.


  • All users must have funding available to cover the fees for use of CEMAS equipment.
  • If there is a billing question or issue, please contact us at Billing adjustments cannot be done through FOM or by contacting the Instrument Managers.
  • FOM will automatically log you in at the start of your reservation, however it is the user's responsibility to log off at the end of the reservation. Charges will be assessed from log in until log off.

Cancellation Policy

  • The cancellation policy exists to increase the availibility of CEMAS equipment and minimize no-shows.
  • Users have until 12 hours before the start of the reservation to cancel without a fee.
  • If a reservation is canceled within 12 hours preceeding the start of the reservation, a cancellation fee will be charged.
  • Failing to cancel a reservation will result in a no show fee.
  • Cancellation fees may adjusted due to unforseen circumstances, such as illness. Please contact if this situation occurs.

Safety Training

  • This training is mandatory, even for personnel who do not work in a laboratory or handle hazardous materials, and should be completed as soon as possible.
  • Visit EHS's Online Training site and log in with your Ohio State credentials to access the online safety programs. 
  • Click here for more information about requirements and our commitment to safety.

Sample Preparation

  • All users are expected to follow basic lab safety procedures.
  • All solvents are to be kept and used in the hood.
  • Waste solvents are to be placed in the solvent waste container in the prep room. Do not put electrolytes or acid containing material in this can.
  • All samples must be properly prepared to maintain the integrity of the instruments.
  • Samples to be examined in electron microscopes must be completely cleaned and thereafter handled only while wearing gloves. They must be stable in the high vacuum of a microscope sample chamber.
  • Volatile samples can only be examined after consultation with the equipment managers when a protocol for doing so has been established.

Tools and Supplies

  • Tools for manipulating samples, sample holders and gloves are provided in each instrument room. They may not be transferred to another instrument without permission from an Instrument Manager.
  • Please leave them in a tidy and orderly fashion for the next user.


  • No software is to be run or installed without proper approval.
  • Software that may be run on instrument computers is limited to that which is the user interface (instrument control) and supplemental software such as is used for x-ray analysis and orientation imaging.
  • Browser use is limited to access of the FOM website for reserving and logging out of sessions.
  • Flash drives (memory sticks) are not to be used with instrument computers.
  • Computers in microscope rooms are for exclusive and sole purpose of microscopy – no web browsing, email access or other use permitted.

Data Storage

  • The CEMAS instrument file server is intended for short-term storage  only. It is expected that users will retrieve their data immediately  following their instrument session. Data will be erased from the file  server on a routine basis to ensure ample storage capacity for all users.
  • Data is to be stored on the CEMAS file server and accessed remotely.
  • Acquired images and data must be transferred to the central CEMAS file server. Instrument PCs are for temporary image storage and files left on them will be deleted periodically without warning.
  • CEMAS is not responsible for maintenance or retention of research data.
  • Images should be stored in an uncompressed format. (e.g. “.TIF” and not “.JPG”)

Data Retrieval

  • All CEMAS instrument users may retrieve their instrument data by visiting the website This site provides a user-friendly web-interface for accessing and downloading instrument data and is accessible from any modern web-browser both inside and outside of CEMAS.
  • Instructions for accessing may be found here.


  • Digital Imaging Ethics:
    • Images are data and must be treated carefully.  It is expected that all CEMAS users will abide by ethical guidelines in the handling of images and other data. 
    • Manipulation of images should always be done on a copy of the unprocessed image data file.
    • If you have any questions on dealing with an image, ask a CEMAS instrument manager. 
    • Images must be saved in a lossless format (NOT .JPG). Use .TIF, .DM3, or TIA formats, preferably as 16 bit images.
    • As long as intensities are not critical, adjusting the displayed image with brightness, contrast, and gamma is acceptable without annotation. All other image processing steps should be documented.
  • Published data must include an acknowledgement to CEMAS such as: “Electron microscopy was performed at the Center for Electron Microscopy and Analysis (CEMAS) at The Ohio State University.”