Electronic Laboratory Notebook (ELN)

Definition

An Electronic Lab Notebook (ELN) is a software tool that digitally replicates paper lab notebooks traditionally used in the sciences to record experimental results. It allows scientists to access, search, and share results from an experiment. In an ELN, researchers can document protocols, lab activity, observations, notes, and other data in an electronic format and from a variety of devices. ELNs offer several advantages over traditional paper notebooks and facilitate good research data management practices, providing for data security, auditing, and collaboration. 

 

Examples

A bench science research lab uses Benchling as their ELN of choice for project documentation, sample management, process management, and reporting.

Further Resources

There is a list of ELNs on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_electronic_laboratory_notebook_software_packages 

This article reviews how to pick an electronic laboratory notebook: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-05895-3 

This article provides an overview of Research Data Management and ELNs:  http://www.ijdc.net/article/view/10.1.163

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