The primary goal of the Metabolomics Platform (MEP) is to provide the advisory and technical support to the research groups that wish to perform metabolomic analyses.

To sustain its activity and upgrade the level and quality of instrumentation, the MEP functions through a fee-for-service delivery system. Fees vary depending on the user’s affiliation and apply to a well defined catalog of the MEP official services listed below. The catalog of available services includes the bioinformatic data preprocessing and statistical data analyses (for more details please check the Workflow section).
The MEP does not have dedicated funding to carry out the collaborative projects. Thus all MEP users have to organize payment of their analyses according to the services and fees listed below. Exceptions are specified in the guidelines for collaborations.
We strongly encourage researchers to request funding dedicated for metabolomic analyses at the time of grant application. The platform coordinator will provide a support and suggestions for research proposal writing and prepare letters of support.


Guidelines for collaborations and scientific publications


For manuscript writing, the MEP will provide their users upon request with i) descriptions of materials and methods relevant to the experiments performed ii) comprehensive supplementary tables in a format accepted by most journals (.txt, .pdf or .xls) and iii) all the raw data if required. Unless agreed differently (see below) the Metabolomics Unit will not prepare publication-style tables and figures to be included in the main article body nor write portions of article text.


At a minimum, the work carried out by the MEP should be acknowledged in all publications which either present the data directly produced by the platform or include the results for the generation of which the work of the MEP played an important role. The name and affiliation of the platform should be fully and correctly mentioned as follows:

“Metabolomics Platform , Faculty of Biology and Medecine, University of Lausanne, Switzerland”

No specific person names need to be listed, unless desired by the authors.


In general we apply the guidelines established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and similar organizations as discussed by Huth (Huth, E. J. [1986] Guidelines on Authorship of Medical Papers, Annals Int. Med. 104 : 269-274) and Bailey (Bailey, B. J. [2001] What Is an Author? Otolaryngol. Head Neck Surg. 124 :2-3 ).

These guidelines suggest that if scientists from the MEP have significantly contributed to design or conceive the experiments, have done non-standard analysis and interpretation of data, or both, they should be coauthors of papers that use data generated by the facility. In this case facility scientists should participate in drafting the paper or revising it for critically important content, and give final approval of the version to be published. If these conditions are not met, the MEP should appear only in the acknowledgements (see above). In case of uncertainty about authorship, the investigator should clarify these issues with the platform coordinator, preferably before starting the experiments.


We define two types of collaborations:

1) User-initiated collaborations are those in which the proponent is a MEP user (usually a biomedical researcher). The MEP coordinator, in agreement with her Steering Committee, can accept to carry out such collaborative projects in which the MEP makes its technological platform available to push the limits of analyses on a set of relevant and challenging samples. Such projects are in principle subject to the same fees as routine work. The proponent should provide a written statement in advance on the availability of sufficient funding. In such projects, the personnel of the MEP engages in a closer collaboration with the user group to provide optimized support and improve aspects such as experimental design, sample preparation and data analysis. Also, the MEP team can decide to use the samples from the project to implement and test new technologies which are not yet part of the regular catalog of services. In such case, these analyses can (but must not be) be free of charge. For this type of collaborations, the MEP members involved will be co-authors of resulting publications. The details of co-authorship (position, etc.) should be discussed at the beginning of the project.

2) Metabolomics Platform-initiated collaborations: the MEP can contact biomedical investigators to propose collaborations. One of the primary purposes is to acquire challenging biological samples for the implementation, test or development of new techniques which are not yet in the regular catalog of MEP services. Such analyses are generally free of charge for the user. The MEP coordinator has to ensure, in planning such experiments, that i) the workload is compatible with the capacity of the platform, ii) that it does not interfere with the normal operation of the Metabolomics Unit service and iii) that it does not lead to a significant increase in the waiting times for other regular users. For this type of collaborations the Metabolomics Unit members involved will be co-authoring the resulting publications together with the lab providing the samples. The details of co-authorship should be discussed at the beginning of the project.
These guidelines have been written based on our experience in the last few years of operation. They are inspired by similar guidelines applied by other core facilities.

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