Electronic Laboratory Notebook (ELN)

Definition

An Electronic Lab Notebook (ELN) is a software tool that digitally replicates paper lab notebooks traditionally used in the sciences to record experimental results. It allows scientists to access, search, and share results from an experiment. In an ELN, researchers can document protocols, lab activity, observations, notes, and other data in an electronic format and from a variety of devices. ELNs offer several advantages over traditional paper notebooks and facilitate good research data management practices, providing for data security, auditing, and collaboration. 

 

Examples

A bench science research lab uses Benchling as their ELN of choice for project documentation, sample management, process management, and reporting.

Tools

This list of available Electronic Notebooks is organized alphabetically and provides discipline-specific notes.

Further Resources

This article provides an overview of Research Data Management and ELNs:  http://www.ijdc.net/article/view/10.1.163

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