Sometimes, it takes a custom tool to deliver superior results in highly specialized fields – and avoid the common pitfalls of traditional solutions. Case in point, the electronic lab notebook; is a computer program devised by scientists with the express purpose of making their usual workflow easier, especially where it concerns data storage, management, and retrieval, in a laboratory setting.
Electronic lab notebooks are meant to completely replace paper notebooks. They provide a reliable, safe, and practical way to document all types of research, experiments, and general procedures that are carried out in a technical setting.
This is whether it be scientific research, engineering development, or any other kind of technical and experimental work.
What Is An Electronic Research Notebook?
An electronic laboratory notebook is not to be confused with a piece of hardware. We specialize in data management that is designed from the ground up to be used in the context of scientific research. The main objective is to provide data security for all scientific data and research data.
This includes mechanisms such as electronic signatures that are required in order to gain access to the storage and retrieval of data within available digital records.
Electronic research notebooks are also known simply as ELN software. Today, they are being used in many settings to largely replace paper lab notebooks when it comes to organizing experimental data. This provides many benefits in practical terms. This is because juggling paperwork can easily become unwieldy in such settings, especially when there’s a need to retrieve stored data from a few years back.
Having all data in electronic format enables all professionals to share it seamlessly across all their work devices as needed – and it also adds search abilities to the data backlog, which can be vastly practical and efficient. It can also be just as safe as keeping data stored on paper; in fact, one of the main benefits of specialized solutions such as Indigo ELN is how it provides top-tier security to all data within the scope of an electronic lab, while also making it accessible to just about any device – ranging from a desktop computer to a laptop or even a mobile device.
Why Use An Electronic Research Notebook?
Electronic laboratory notebooks are becoming the norm in many laboratories and research organizations because they indeed provide a host of practical benefits. Aside from facilitating collaboration among different users, an electronic research notebook will also make it far simpler to perform data backups and produce copies of any documents within the workflow on a need-to-know basis. It’s fairly easy to set up administrative access levels to ensure that not all users involved in a research process get easy access to all the research data.
This dispenses with the need to print out reams of paper that researchers would otherwise have to fetch physically and lug around. It also allows for more advanced features such as the dynamic incorporation of data.
Lab notebooks can fetch data from a technical database and incorporate fields directly from related instruments, as well as send it to a different lab notebook when needed. The data is normally stored within a database framework that allows for flexible and dynamic searches, along with all sorts of data management operations.
Such a level of integration means that various workflows become more practical and seamless, as well as reducing the waste of time and printed materials. This is also done in a secure environment that keeps the possibilities of data leaking almost negligible, while also availing ways to keep track of what data has been accessed by which users; it also keeps track of what alternations have been made along with detailed timestamps for every single data access point.
Where Training Materials Are Available For Electronic Research Notebooks?
Typically, training materials for electronic research notebooks are integrated into the software with an integrated help function. It’s not unusual for a printed manual to be provided as well. This is because most users just prefer referring to the electronic manuals as they go about getting familiar with the Electronic Research Notebook provided by their organizations.
These apps are very intuitive and easy to use. They are designed for anyone who is familiar with using computers along with having basic training in managing paperwork in a technical setting.
Rita Mooney is a keen electronics enthusiast and writer, known for her ability to demystify complex electronic concepts. With a background in electrical engineering and a passion for DIY projects, Rita brings a wealth of knowledge and an engaging writing style to the world of electronics. Whether it’s exploring the latest trends in wearable tech or guiding beginners through their first circuit build, her articles are a valuable resource for anyone looking to expand their electronic horizons.