A pocket guide to electronic laboratory notebooks

labbookEvery professional doing active research in the life sciences is required to keep a laboratory notebook. However, while science has changed dramatically over the last centuries, laboratory notebooks have remained essentially unchanged since pre-modern science. In an article published in F1000Research, an open access post-publication immediate publication platform, we argue that the implementation of electronic laboratory notebooks (eLN) in academic research is overdue, and we provide researchers and their institutions with the background and practical knowledge to select and initiate the implementation of an eLN in their laboratories. In addition, we present data from surveying biomedical researchers and technicians regarding which hypothetical features and functionalities they hope to see implemented in an eLN, and which ones they regard less important. We also present data on acceptance and satisfaction of those who have recently switched from paper laboratory notebook to an eLN.  We thus provide answers to the following questions: What does an electronic laboratory notebook afford a biomedical researcher, what does it require, and how should one go about implementing it? Read the full article

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