Why using an electronic labjournal
Writing down your experiments in a hand-written labjournal is probably not the most efficient way to organize your work in the lab. Especially considering that most of the experiments you do result in digital data, such as photo´s, scans, movies, charts and numbers in an excel sheets. This often means taping printouts of photo’s or charts in your labjournal, while the actual raw data is stored on USB-sticks, CD’s or hard drives. Overall, you may spend up to 20% of your daily time in the lab writing down and properly organizing all data in your labjournal. Even if your labjournal is well organized, it remains difficult to find all details about your experiments after sometime, especially by colleagues as soon as you leave the lab. Also for the long-term storage of data in the lab, a traditional handwritten labjournal is not the most efficient way. Usually, labjournals just ends up on a dusty self in the lab while CD’s eventually get lost and hard drives are formatted. Taking into account that more and more sophisticated experimental techniques and equipment are being developed and used in the lab, organizing your experiments and data in your labjournal will only take more and more time.
Organizing the lab
Besides the burden of properly organizing your labjournal, there are many other things in the lab that keep you distracted from doing experiments. Just think about how much time it takes you to find your plasmids, strains, primers or other samples back in the freezer or fridge. And how much time it takes to browse through manuals or web pages looking a suitable protocol, to find the right catalog number of the chemicals or enzymes you want to order, finding the responsible people when equipment is broken and requires maintenance, to schedule group meetings, or finding out that the chemicals you need are used up and were not reordered. These things are frustrating your work and if you think about it, there seems no reason why this cannot be better organized in a centralized system that works for the whole lab.
Currently there are not many suitable means to fulfill the specific requirements needed to organize the complete workflow in academic laboratories. Either too complex, too expensive or simply not up to dealing with the highly flexible and less routinized work flow in academic labs. In an effort to make your work in the lab more efficient we started to develop eLabJournal.
eLabJournal is an online platform that helps you to organize your work in the lab and enables you to communicate with other scientists. Eventually, eLabJournal will provide the tools to fully replace the traditional labjournals and makes it possible to organize, store and share your experimental data in a secured online environment. Always and everywhere access to your data and easily share data with colleagues or report to your group leader. If you leave a lab, simply transfer all data to allow others to easily find back your data. By creating or joining a group, you are able to share data or information with others. This not only enables you share data when collaborating in projects but also to share communal stocks of chemicals, enzymes or antibodies.
The first released feature of eLabJournal, named eLabProtocols, helps you to organize all your protocols. You can use eLabProtocols to find, download and print protocols from our public database or create, import and store your own protocols. Keep your protocols in your personal collection or share them in a group with all the members of your research group. Using eLabProtocols you will be able to customize your protocols in a few mouse-clicks. You can access you protocols everywhere at anytime and wherever you go.
eLabInventoryA more recently released feature of eLabJournal is eLabInventory. Use eLabInventory to organize the inventory in your lab. Store predefined sample types, including bacterial strains, cell lines, vectors, enzymes, antibodies, chemicals, DNA- and RNA samples or customize your own sample type for your lab. Create storage units, like freezers, refrigerators, safety cabinets, cupboards, shelves and sampleboxes to store samples and chemicals. Invite all members of your lab to store and view samples in shared storage units. eLabInventory support 1D and 2D sample barcodes to track- and trace samples in the lab
We are updating site regularly and will soon come with more features and new releases for eLabJournal, eLabProtocols and eLabInventory. Follow us to be updated. Request for a feature? Let us know.