Electronic Lab Notebooks

Lab notebooks are good for writing down procedures, observations, conclusions and for drawing flow charts and diagrams by hand. However, in order to accommodate the increase of digital data collected, researchers have taped instrumentation and computer printouts onto the pages of their notebooks, or cross-referenced larger data sets by recording file names and locations in the notebook.

An ELN (electronic lab notebook) is a software tool that in its most basic form replicates an interface much like a page in a paper lab notebook. In this electronic notebook you can enter protocols, observations, notes, and other data using your computer or mobile device. This offers several advantages over the traditional paper notebook.

The number of available ELN tools is increasing and the functions of each are quickly changing. As a result, it may be confusing to evaluate all of the advantages and limitations of each when looking for the right solution for your project.

The Electronic Lab Notebook Matrix created by the HMS DMWG aids researchers in the process of identifying a usable Electronic Lab Notebook solutions to meet their specific research needs. Through this resource, researchers can compare and contrast the numerous solutions available today, and also explore individual options in-depth.

View the ELN Matrix below or full product information pages at:  https://datamanagement.hms.harvard.edu/electronic-lab-notebooks

ELN Matrix Image