I was recently asked about electronic lab notebooks (or ELNs), and found a good deal of information about this topic was available through colleagues. The following is a brief summary of what I found out about ELNs as they are used for chemistry, but it is in no way an exhaustive report on the topic. There are two good resources provided below which can be used for more information. If you have any questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- According to a colleague who made inquiries at a recent medical librarians’ conference, two popular ELN systems are Labarchives http://www.labarchives.com/ and Labguru http://www.labguru.com/. Labarchives is more frequently used by chemists, and Labguru for the health sciences.
- There is an open source ELN called LabTrove http://www.labtrove.org/ which has a following, but as with all open source programs, there is no guarantee that technical support will be available when needed. Here is an article about it.
- Another frequently used ELN is CambridgeSoft ELN (by the makers of ChemBioDraw) http://www.cambridgesoft.com/ELN.aspx?cid=80 , although there are differing views of this platform. One report said that chemists are generally happy with it, but biologists less so.
- The above are not endorsements, and are only a small sample of the many products available. Multiple factors need to be considered when selecting an ELN for your research purposes. A guide to ELNs prepared by a chemistry librarian at the University of Utah is excellent, and available here. It covers selecting an ELN and lists specific ELN products.
- Another resource is http://limswiki.org , which contains a compilation of ELN features.
Please feel free to share any resources you are familiar with in the comments section.