Electronic lab notebooks are becoming commonplace in labs – Things to know

Electronic lab notebooks have recently become commonplace in most labs. Thanks to this development, a large number of functionalities and functions have been made accessible to most researchers, streamlining their regular activities. Nevertheless, as with any other transition, you use a electronic lab notebook also comes with several things to consider. If you’re someone who owns a lab and you’re considering getting a digital lab notebook, here are some things to keep in mind. Keep reading to know more. For more information you can visit labguru.com

What is an Electronic Lab Notebook?

An ELN is a tool that replicates an interface similar to a page from a paper lab notebook. In the case of an electronic lab notebook, you can enter digital observations, protocols, notes and various other data using your mobile or your laptop. Being completely digital, there are many advantages over the conventional paper notebooks. Keep scrolling to know more about it.

Digital lab notebook – What are the costs?

Several digital lab notebooks have been available online for a few years now. While there are some like SciNote and LabGuru that are the clear winners in this space, but they both require a paid subscription to bring you the benefits of their common features and functionality.

Rather, the existing software that comes for free that you already have is Evernote or OneNote, which are also used in labs. Due to the plethora of options, it is imperative to make the right choice for a digital lab notebook based on the features you actually need.

What does your lab need from an ELN?

To make it easier to understand exactly what your lab needs from an ELN, here are a few questions to ask yourself.

  • Do you only want to make digital notes or do you also want other functions?

An effortless way to organize and delete digital notes is provided by tools such as A note, as mentioned above. But this may not be enough for you. Most ELNs are lab-friendly and they help you take notes and organize them in the right place in the data structure. If you are familiar with the structure and logic of the software, annotation becomes intuitive.

  • Is the ELN user-friendly?

As a smart lab owner, it is recommended that you select a digital lab notebook that does not require extensive training or complicated integration before you are completely ready to use it. Before choosing an ELN, check out the website you are interested in. You can find videos and screenshots that can help you with the basic way the software works. There are companies that offer functional versions of the digital notebook for free.

  • Since your data is in ELN, does it provide the search option to search through all the data?

Is it possible to find your data easily? Does the software display search results in a comprehensive manner? One of the biggest advantages of ELNs is advanced search compared to paper notebooks. If the data is organized in one place, you can find and access your saved data by typing the keyword. The benefits of this can be seen when the person is out of the lab. Instead of having to search for the notes, you can just use the search option.

  • Is it possible to create reports using ELN?

The easiest way to summarize your project results for meetings, partners, supervisors and reports is through an ELN. Who likes to spend time writing? View the options enabled by ELN (more information) when it comes to reporting data? Is there an automated process for designing reports with the ELN? What data is in the report if you want to use it in the ELN?

All the above questions must therefore be answered before you start using an ELN for your smart lab.

Last updated: February 18, 2022