Sociolinguistics Lab Info

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Equipment Checkout Policies

"Lab members" are those people who are conducting research or teaching in sociolinguistics, who are supervised by the lab director or Prof. Evans, and regularly attend meetings of the Sociolinguistics Brown Bag. There is no special application required to become a lab member. Membership may be extended by courtesy to visiting students and scholars.

Equipment owned by the sociolinguistics laboratory may be either used in the lab (stationary equipment), or checked out (portable field equipment). Unless otherwise indicated by the lab director, active lab membership status, signup and training in the use of all equipment is required for both types of equipment. The lab has an online equipment reservation calendar (see below).

The policy for all four departmental laboratories (computational, sociolinguistics, LDP and phonetics) specifies that only lab members (e.g., PhD-level students working on their thesis projects) may check out equipment without requesting special permission. However, these lab members must sign out the equipment using the online calendar, and must have received training on the relevant equipment. For example, a student who is a lab member, and is conducting thesis-related research may check out equipment to him/herself without requesting permission each time they go into the field. In practice, this means that the student's supervisor, who is typically the lab's director, has approved this use of equipment, and is aware of the checkout.

The lab director, or his/her designated proxy, has to approve checkout requests that are not associated with pre-approved ongoing research (email approval is fine), and ensure that the person checking out the equipment has been oriented to the use of the equipment and been approved for its use, PRIOR to the requested check-out date. (Lab members are asked, out of courtesy to email when they check out equipment so we can notify others and thereby avoid possible conflicts). The lab director will determine whether the lab member checking out equipment does not need training: this is not to be taken at the word of the student or other individual requesting equipment. Students in linguistics courses who are doing class projects, but who are NOT also lab members MAY NOT check out equipment for a project. Similarly, lab members who are taking a non-linguistics class, but would like to use laboratory equipment for recording for that class, may not take out equipment for that non-linguistics class without the express permission of the lab director. An example of this would be students taking a language class who wish to record themselves and a language partner.

Why the strict policy?

Lab equipment is short-lived, and the lab does not have funds for equipment replacement, so limited use is the present policy to prolong the life of the equipment. Additionally, we have lost (track of) equipment totalling hundreds of dollars in the past when folks of good intention took equipment and didn't sign it out, thinking they'd just return it ... and didn't get around to it. We have also had people graduate, and forget that they had lab equipment at home. We shouldn't have to track people down to ensure the return of equipment. Linguistics graduate students who are working on an MA or PhD project, but who are NOT laboratory members (e.g., in semantics, syntax, phonology) may NOT take out lab equipment without training and consent by the lab director. Lab members are familiar with the rules of appropriate use. This is the best way to ensure everyone knows the best way to safeguard our limited resources.

We make a point of holding a few lab meetings each year about the use of existing and new equipment in the laboratory, to provide for the training of lab members. Everyone in the lab community gets a chance at a tutorial, so it's assumed they know the basics of use and care of general lab equipment.

In the eyes of the university (and the department), the labs are research labs, for the support of faculty research. They are not open computing labs. They are also not teaching labs, and for this reason are not open to students in all sociolinguistics classes as a matter of general policy: there is specific, STF-funded equipment available for students who are general lab users, but this is separate from lab equipment. Training on STF equipment is also required.

All lab equipment must be checked out via the Booked Reservation Calendar (login with your UWNetID).

Lab Computers

All lab computers have a basic account for lab users. If using one of the computers for a personal project (a thesis project, for example), please request your own computer account, login and password.

Lab Meetings (Sociolinguistics Brown Bag)

The Sociolinguistics Brown Bag is an interdisciplinary group, convened by the Sociolinguistics laboratory director, that meets bimonthly or weekly during the quarters of the regular academic year. The lab's current meeting schedule is posted online here, and a companion Canvas site (used for discussions, posting of materials, etc.) can be found here. The regular attendance of lab members is required.

Lab Website


Lab Member Profiles

Lab Members are strongly encouraged to keep their profile on the Members page up to date. Template for Lab member webpage information.

Below is a handy template you can use. Copy and paste the fields into an email to send to the Lab SA, typing in your own information. If you are OK with online images of yourself being published on departmental pages, you might also include a PHOTO we can use for the website.

All the information here is public. Please don't include your web address if you don't want people finding it by navigating to the lab's website.

(Type a Link to a photo/ ATTACH photo file Here) Name

Home Department

Email: (Type Here)

Webpage: (Type Here)

Research Interests: (Type any number of linguistic subfields or topics of interest Here)

Lab Use Rules

  1. No open drinks are allowed in the computer area. Drinks in spill-proof cups ARE OK at the table and at computer workstations. Meals are ok in containers at the table and on the bench.
  2. Please keep the door closed at all times (even when you are in the lab). There have been equipment thefts. We do not have funds to replace stolen or broken equipment.
  3. Students may not store personal files on the computers. While students are working on a project, they are invited to create a user folder for themselves labuser account to use for the duration of the project. However, this is not their primary workspace. We do not assume responsibility if files are lost when the lab computers are updated. Students must back up their work and store a copy on their own media.
  4. See "best practices" tutorial in the sociolab wiki for more information about care and keeping of your data.
  5. The TV/VCR/DVD is for academic use only. This also goes for the printer.
  6. The books on the shelves constitute the Sociolinguistics Lab Library. We have a database of all holdings on Chesterton (same login as lab computers). If you are using a sociolinguistics library book in the lab, you don't need to check it out. If you are going to leave with it, it MUST be checked out in the database on Chesterton. If there are 3 or more occasions when you don't bring it back by the date specified, you will lose checkout privileges. The last person checking out a book is responsible for its replacement if it goes walkabout!