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Electronic Lab Notebooks (ELNs): Home

A guide to picking and using an electronic lab notebook

Making the switch?

Is your lab interested in making the switch to an electronic lab notebook? Contact the author of this guide to learn about options and for help with set up and training. 

What are Electronic Lab Notebooks (ELNs)?

Electronic Lab Notebooks (ELNs) help facilitate data storage and organization in today's highly computerized lab environment. While it takes on the same features of typical hand-written notebooks for allowing the recording of procedures and results, ELNs provides more advanced features that allow for long term data storage, searchability, data integration, data analysis, and the ability to share among collaborators. This is highlighted in the examples of below.


Pictured below: Digitized Laboratory Notebook of Francis Crick. Circa 1950/1960. Courtesy of CSHL Archives. This is a rare example though. The likelihood that most lab notebooks are able to be safely stored, preserved, and legible for multiple years is rare. ELNs help address these issues and more as shown below.


Pictured below: Examples of an ELN Interface (LabArchives)