Electronic Lab Notebooks


What are lab notebooks?

Lab notebook entries are primary records of research. Researchers use laboratory notebooks to document their hypotheses, experiments, and initial analysis or interpretation of these experiments. The notebook serves as an organizational tool and a memory aid.


What additional benefits come from keeping an electronic lab notebook?
Electronic lab notebooks (ELNs) are computer program versions of traditional paper lab notebooks. Electronic lab notebooks can offer solutions to strengthen the role of lab note taking including:
  • Barcode generation
  • Integration with storage solutions like Google Drive, Box, or network drives
  • Detailed indexing
  • Searchability through notes, and records within the ELN
  • Collaboration at a group or lab level
  • Workflow customization
  • Secure record storage

When choosing an ELN, ask yourself the following questions:
  • Do I want to use this tool as an individual, as a member of a group, or as a PI for my entire lab - and is this ELN scalable for my intended use?
  • Is this ELN web based or installed on my machine?
  • What is the cost of this tool?
  • What service tiers does this ELN provide and which is relevant to my use?
  • What are the storage limitations of this tool, both in total data storage as well as max file size in an upload?
  • Which file types does this ELN support?
  • How will this tool integrate with my current workflow?
  • How does the ELN ensure its contents are kept secure and backed up?
  • What are the ELN company’s plans for data migration upon the discontinuation of the product?


Benchling

Vendor Page

A research platform with tools for notetaking, molecular biology, sample tracking, and workflow management. It allows scientists to design, share, and record experiments in one interface.

Special Features:

• Provides a molecular biology suite and options for sample tracking and linking to a bioregistry

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LabArchives

Vendor Page

A cloud-based Electronic Lab Notebook to enable researchers to store, organize, and publish their research data.

Special Features:

• Has iOS and Android Apps
• Supports classroom integration
• Supports funding agencies' data management plan requirements 

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Scilligence

Vendor Page

A cross-platform Electronic Lab Notebook for Chemistry and Biology.

Special Features:

• Supports 2 factor authentication and added VPN security for on-premis deployment for added security
• Provides pre-set experimental templates
• Allows free form for creating, importing and sharing templates 

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Docollab

Vendor Page

A Laboratory Information Management System and Electronic Lab Notebook. 

Special Features:

• Molecular biology tools that allow you to design primers and align DNA, Visualize and edit plasmid maps
• Design CRISPR gRNAs
• Benchling Bioregistry

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RSpace

Vendor Page

RSpace is an Electronic Lab Notebook for researchers to capture and organize data; collaboration software for groups to organize and share data; a management tool for PIs to observe and manage lab workflows

Special Features:

• Free unlimited data storage
• Automatic conversion from Word files to RSpace documents upon upload

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sciNote

Vendor Page

Organize your data by projects, experiments, and tasks; and manage workflows.

Special Features:

• Workflow management by connecting sequential tasks

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eLabFTW

Vendor Page

Track your experiments efficiently, andmanage your lab with a powerful and flexible database.

Special Features:

• You can adapt the open source code of eLabFTW to suite the specific needs of your workflows

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