In today's digital age, the transition from traditional paper-based lab notebooks to electronic lab notebooks (ELNs) has gained momentum. ELNs offer numerous advantages, from improved organization to enhanced collaboration and simplified data management. There are a number of options available on the market currently and it can be challenging to choose the right ELN for your needs. In this tutorial, we will discuss some of the top options available right now.
We have listed a number of tools below. Of note, we have no affiliation with these tools - they are simply things we have used in the past and found helpful. For further details on how to use them, you can refer to the documentation and tutorials on the individual websites.
Price: Freemium model (Free limited version for academics)
Benchling is a popular ELN that offers a comprehensive suite of tools for scientific research. It provides a user-friendly interface and features such as experiment tracking, data visualization, and collaboration capabilities. It has a highly flexible interface with blank notebooks that can be structured for any purpose you like. The company offers a limited free version for academics as well as a feature-rich full version that is paid.
Price: Freemium model
LabArchives is known for its versatility and flexibility, catering to a wide range of scientific disciplines. It offers advanced data management features, electronic signatures, and the ability to create templates for experiments. LabArchives also provides strong security measures to protect sensitive research data.
Labguru is an ELN with a strong emphasis on project management and collaboration. It offers tools for experiment planning, data organization, and protocol management. Labguru supports seamless collaboration between team members, making it suitable for research groups and academic institutions.
SciNote is an intuitive and user-friendly ELN designed to enhance collaboration and streamline research processes. It offers features such as task management, team collaboration, and integration with various lab equipment. SciNote also provides integration options with other popular tools, such as MS Office and Google Drive.
Each of these tools is slightly different. We would recommend trying out each one and seeing what works best for your particular lab and your way of thinking. The most popular ones at this time are likely Benchling and LabArchives. However, there are also other new players coming into the market such as Sapio LIMS, Signals ELN, and RSpace. Overall, given that data is now largely digital, it seems appropriate to transition your lab data to also be electronic.