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Dahlgren Memorial Library

Scilligence ELN

This guide will provide you the basics of what an Electronic Laboratory Notebook is, the benefits of using Scilligence ELN, and how to make the most of your account.

Welcome to the Scilligence ELN LibGuide

Welcome to the Scilligence Electronic Laboratory Notebook (ELN) resource guide. This guide has been created to assist with the usage of Scilligence ELN, will explore the basics of a laboratory notebook and basic functionality of the Scilligence ELN. 

                                                                          

              https://openclipart.org/download/2007/Sefjo-phenolphthalein.svg

What is a Laboratory Notebook?

A laboratory notebook is a "complete set of procedures, reagents, data, and thoughts to pass on to other researchers. It helps to explain why experiments were started, how they were performed, as well as the results of those experiments" (Ryan, n.d.)

According to Kanare, the "guiding principle of a laboratory notebook is that a researcher should be able to pick up the notebook at a date in the future, repeat the work based on the written descriptions, and make the same observations originally recorded" (1985). 

A laboratory notebook can be either in print or in electronic format. The Print Laboratory Notebook and the Electronic Laboratory Notebook sections will provide more detailed information regarding each. 

 

Kanare, HM (1985). Writing the laboratory notebook. Washington, DC. American Chemical Society.

Ryan, P. Keeping a lab notebook: basic principles and practices. National Institutes of Health, Office of Intramural Training and Education, n.d. 

Print Laboratory Notebooks

According to Ryan, "Print Laboratory Notebooks can be either bound/stitched or as a loose leaf binder" (n.d). The bound notebook is traditionally the most common type of print notebook used. This type is usually the more trusted of the two as it can't be tampered with as easily. Some disadvantages of the bound print notebook include "having to go elsewhere for some referenced information as well as the organization is not as logical" (Ryan, n.d.).

The loose-leaf binder can help with organizing by experiment as well as being able to store large volumes of documents. It is however much more difficult to authenticate. 

Overall disadvantages to using print notebooks are "legibility, location, access, and continuity" (Varner, 2015).  

Below is an example of a print laboratory notebook from David Baltimore in which he outlines his discovery of reverse transcriptase. 

 

Perkel, JM. (2006). The discovery of reverse transcriptase. (undetermined). Scientist, 20(6): 96‐96. http://www.the‐ scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/24057/title/The‐ Discovery‐of‐Reverse‐Transcriptase/

Ryan, P. Keeping a lab notebook: Basic principles and practices. National Institutes of Health, Office of Intramural Training and Education, n.d. 

Varner, D; Greene, K; McCann, J; Van Keuren, L. Informatics at the Bench: Collaboration between Researchers and Librarians to Deploy an Electronic Laboratory System. 2015. 

Electronic Laboratory Notebooks

According to the Collaborative Electronic Notebook Systems Association an electronic laboratory notebook is a "system to create store, retrieve, and share fully electronic records in ways that meet all legal, regulatory, technical, and scientific requirements" (found in Varner, 2015). 

ELNs allow for easy retrieval of experiments, collaboration, importation of chemical sketches, and better task management. 

Some disadvantages of ELNs include "cost, security, interoperability, and format standardization" (Varner, 2015).

 

Varner, D; Greene, K; McCann, J; Van Keuren, L. Informatics at the Bench: Collaboration between Researchers and Librarians to Deploy an Electronic Laboratory System. 2015. 

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