Electronic Lab Notebooks: ECAR-WG Technology Spotlight


Electronic lab notebooks (ELNs) are software-based tools to replace paper lab notebooks. Scientists and other researchers use laboratory notebooks to organize their data, and ELNs move the notebook into the digital world, which offers additional benefits, including easier search, organization, and linking to content and data. In addition, backing up and sharing data with other researchers (including in cases of collaborative work) are simplified with electronic notebooks. Higher education institutions that support researchers and science programs will want to ensure that their students and staff have access to the tools necessary to do their work. ELNs may also help institutions meet regulatory compliance requirements. Understanding what products are available—and at what cost—will be essential as higher education labs move to ELN systems.

This bulletin is one of a series of papers from ECAR working groups designed to help institutional leaders learn about and understand the implications of emerging technologies in higher education. These technologies have been identified as the “Top 10 Confusing Technologies” in the ECAR report Higher Education’s Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2015. Other papers and related resources are available at the research hub for Higher Education’s Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2015.

CITATION FOR THIS WORK: Wetzel, Karen. Electronic Lab Notebooks: ECAR-WG Technology Spotlight. Research bulletin. Louisville, CO: ECAR, April 9, 2015. Available from http://www.educause.edu/ecar.  

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