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Open Science

Open Science, Open Scholarship

Laboratory Notebooks

Lab notebooks, whether in print or electronic form (ELN), are a critical component of tracking and recording research. Consistent documentation of your research methods, calculations, and results is important not only for your personal use, but will help when you publish or otherwise share research, and when others want to reproduce what you have done.

Benefits of an ELN

Benefits of using an Electronic Lab Notebook:

  • Instantly searchable documents by a tag or a keyword, saving time
  • Enables real-time data sharing with collaborators
  • Better oversight of laboratory work by lab PI 
  • Preservation of experimental procedures and protocols for future use 
  • Enables download and storage of large data sets
  • Eliminates legibility issues related to a paper notebook
  • Facilitates reproducibility of research


What can be stored in an ELN?

  • Experimental protocols, data, results. 
  • Data from instruments, analysis, graphs
  • Email Communication, and discussions with peers, PI
  • Inventory management
  • Apparatus Documentation


ELN Features Matrix