Part 3: Spring 2016 Labs

39 LabArchives (Electronic Lab Notebooks) with John Puccinelli — 03.11.2016

John-PuccineliIn the Active Teaching Lab on March 11, 2016, John Puccinelli from Biomedical Engineering shares how he uses LabArchives (Electronic Lab Notebooks) to replace traditional lab notebooks in his research, courses, and life.

Key Takeaways

  • LabArchives is one of the few ELNs that can be used both for research labs and for courses, to get students familiar with authentic procedures and protocols used in the field.
  • LabArchives are a permanent record AND a living manual. Instructors can create labs ahead of time and release/rearrange new labs throughout the course, depending on student readiness. Templates can be used to standardize content.
  • Any “notebook” can export to a beautiful chronological PDF with live links that students can revisit or share with future teams.
  • LabArchives is quite inexpensive — $7.50 for students/per course; about the cost of a blank paper lab notebook. (It is free for personal/research use.)
  • LabArchives is set up to conform to standard patent/copyright protections, and to standard lab procedures/structures.
  • Each student can have their own notebook, so instructor can see thought development of individuals.
  • Widgets can be created (dozens already exist) for different calculations, procedures, etc.

If you’re interested in learning more to get up and running with Electronic Lab Notebooks, watch the videos below and try stepping through the worksheet we created for the session!

The Active Teaching Lab, a Faculty Engagement program, provides a safe space for structured explorations of cool teaching tools and techniques that your colleagues are using to engage students and teach more effectively. During the academic year, labs are held weekly and will be listed on the Active Teaching Lab page.

John’s Electronic Lab Notebook Story

Additional Information

LabArchives is a web-based application designed for scientists to organize and share their laboratory data with their colleagues, friends, students, or anyone across the world. A LabArchives Notebook may be shared among any number of users; access rights are controlled by the group Administrator and can be easily modified to suit the individual needs of each researcher, educator, or contributor. LabArchives can be used for all types of data, including text, images, spreadsheets, etc. Here are some reasons why LabArchives will be successful in your lab:

Organize your laboratory data. If you’re like most investigators, you have hundreds or even thousands of files of valuable data that are spread across multiple computers, files and folders. In addition, you often have several versions of the same information (some of which may be overwritten). With LabArchives, all versions of all of your files are securely stored and easily searched by a wide variety of criteria. You can quickly and easily view an older version of a file, or even view what was changed from one version to another (and which party made that modification).

Preserve all your data securely, including all versions of all files. LabArchives stores all of your data on a network of redundant servers; your information is far safer on LabArchives than on your local computers or even an institutional server. And far more secure than in a paper notebook.

Share information within your laboratory. Share selected or all information among your group. Under your control, you may allow individual “read only” or “read write” access to specific work, or to the entire notebook.

Keep abreast of developments in your lab even when traveling. As the LabArchives Administrator, you have full rights to view the entire notebook. View any data that has been produced; you can “filter” by individual, date, or combination. View any data or files from across the globe with the click of the mouse.

Collaborate with investigators by sharing selected data. Share selected data, entire folders, or your entire notebook with a colleague anywhere in the world. This individual will see only what you want them to see; they may make comments and/or, with your permission, add data to your Notebook.

Publish selected data to specific individuals or the public. Insert selected data into your personal or laboratory web pages to share with the world; including dynamic updates to any new information! With our forthcoming optional “Publishing Module”, create and publish elegant web pages that include your selected data.

Protect your intellectual property. All data is automatically date and time stamped and stored on the LabArchives server network. This preserves every version of every data entry, and provides clear evidence who completed the work and when the work was done.


Active Teaching Lab eJournal Copyright © 2016 by DoIT Academic Technology and the UW-Madison Teaching Academy; Jennifer Hornbaker; John Martin; Julie Johnson; Karin Spader; Margaret Merrill; Margaret Murphy; and Jeffrey Thomas. All Rights Reserved.

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