Electronic lab notebook pilot

Electronic lab notebooks (ELNs) provide you with a digital solution for recording procedures, observations, conclusions and attaching images and data files when conducting laboratory work.

The University is conducting a pilot to test how we can use ELNs at the University, as well as give you an opportunity to contribute to their development.

The pilot will run for three months from March to May 2014.

Handier than a paper lab notebook, ELNs are effective at:

  • Searching - ELNs are designed to be searched by keyword. You can also tag and annotate pages in the ELN, making it easier to find and retrieve information in the future.
  • Sharing your research with collaborators – You can connect to more researchers and provide access to your research data by simply choosing to electronically share all or parts of your online notebook within your research team, and with external collaborators.
  • Research data management – ELNs promote good practice by keeping protocols, observations and digital data all in one place. You can add tags and other documentation to your research projects, making it easier to find and interpret your data in the future. You can also print and take your notebook pages, lab protocols and standard operating procedures (SOP) to the bench with you.
  • Portability – ELNs are much easier to port around than a physical notebook. You can access your electronic notebook anywhere, anytime, from almost any device as long as you have an internet connection.
  • Record keeping - ELNs can be used as a source of evidence of inventorship and authorship for patents and publications. However, unlike a traditional notebook, they are not susceptible to fire or water damage, and are much easier to store and maintain.

What does the pilot involve?

As a participant in the pilot, you will:

  • Substitute your paper lab notebook with the electronic lab notebook and enter live data as part of a research group over a 3 month period.
  • Participate in training and information sessions to learn how to use your notebook as well as share your experiences with others participating in the pilot.
  • Provide feedback to help inform how the University and your research team will implement ELNs if the pilot is successful.

How can I get further involved?

You can get further involved by:

  • Holding an information session for your lab or school
  • Providing feedback on how you are using your ELN
  • Contacting the for more information on the pilot
  • Asking questions or sharing tips with the pilot group by emailing the list