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Electronic lab notebooks: can they replace paper?

Electronic lab notebooks: can they replace paper?
Electronic lab notebooks: can they replace paper?
Despite the increasingly digital nature of society there are some areas of research thatremain firmly rooted in the past; in this case the laboratory notebook, the last remaining paper component of an experiment. Countless Electronic Laboratory Notebooks (ELNs) have been created in an attempt to digitise record keeping processes in the lab, but none of them have become a 'key player' in the ELN market, due to the many adoption barriers that have been identified in previous research and further explored in the user studies presented here. The main issues identified are the cost of the current available ELNs, their ease of use (or lack of it) and their accessibility issues across different devices and operating systems. Evidence suggests that whilst scientists willingly make use of generic notebooking software, spreadsheets and other general office & scientific tools to aid their work, current ELNs are lacking in the required functionality to meet the needs of the researchers. In this paper we present our extensive research and user study results to propose an ELN built upon a pre-existing cloud notebook platform that makes use of accessible popular scientific software and Semantic web technologies to help overcome the identified barriers to adoption.
Electronic Lab Notebooks (ELNs), Notebooking Software, Scientific Software, Cloud, Semantic Web
1758-2946
Kanza, Samantha
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Willoughby, Cerys
d0edb858-b47b-4a4b-b549-c38a659871fd
Gibbins, Nicholas
98efd447-4aa7-411c-86d1-955a612eceac
Whitby, Richard J.
45632236-ab00-4ad0-a02d-6209043e818b
Frey, Jeremy
ba60c559-c4af-44f1-87e6-ce69819bf23f
Erjavec, Jana
0a0fbe49-f282-4c00-a13a-42939c84b960
Zupančič, Klemen
b166b8a6-9280-4214-973a-dc9c840a7083
Hren, Matjaž
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Kovač, Katarina
346dc363-1aff-44d8-8d05-b80ae007ba3d
Kanza, Samantha
b73bcf34-3ff8-4691-bd09-aa657dcff420
Willoughby, Cerys
d0edb858-b47b-4a4b-b549-c38a659871fd
Gibbins, Nicholas
98efd447-4aa7-411c-86d1-955a612eceac
Whitby, Richard J.
45632236-ab00-4ad0-a02d-6209043e818b
Frey, Jeremy
ba60c559-c4af-44f1-87e6-ce69819bf23f
Erjavec, Jana
0a0fbe49-f282-4c00-a13a-42939c84b960
Zupančič, Klemen
b166b8a6-9280-4214-973a-dc9c840a7083
Hren, Matjaž
0cfdb5f0-33ee-4250-abb0-650de0a2b30a
Kovač, Katarina
346dc363-1aff-44d8-8d05-b80ae007ba3d

Kanza, Samantha, Willoughby, Cerys, Gibbins, Nicholas, Whitby, Richard J., Frey, Jeremy, Erjavec, Jana, Zupančič, Klemen, Hren, Matjaž and Kovač, Katarina (2017) Electronic lab notebooks: can they replace paper? Journal of Cheminformatics, 9. (doi:10.1186/s13321-017-0221-3).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Despite the increasingly digital nature of society there are some areas of research thatremain firmly rooted in the past; in this case the laboratory notebook, the last remaining paper component of an experiment. Countless Electronic Laboratory Notebooks (ELNs) have been created in an attempt to digitise record keeping processes in the lab, but none of them have become a 'key player' in the ELN market, due to the many adoption barriers that have been identified in previous research and further explored in the user studies presented here. The main issues identified are the cost of the current available ELNs, their ease of use (or lack of it) and their accessibility issues across different devices and operating systems. Evidence suggests that whilst scientists willingly make use of generic notebooking software, spreadsheets and other general office & scientific tools to aid their work, current ELNs are lacking in the required functionality to meet the needs of the researchers. In this paper we present our extensive research and user study results to propose an ELN built upon a pre-existing cloud notebook platform that makes use of accessible popular scientific software and Semantic web technologies to help overcome the identified barriers to adoption.

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Accepted/In Press date: 17 May 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 24 May 2017
Keywords: Electronic Lab Notebooks (ELNs), Notebooking Software, Scientific Software, Cloud, Semantic Web

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 412404
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/412404
ISSN: 1758-2946
PURE UUID: b87b7879-fc7a-4aa3-9f0a-d5595a4bb49b
ORCID for Samantha Kanza: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4831-9489
ORCID for Nicholas Gibbins: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6140-9956
ORCID for Richard J. Whitby: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9891-5502
ORCID for Jeremy Frey: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0842-4302

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 17 Jul 2017 13:38
Last modified: 14 Oct 2019 17:51

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Contributors

Author: Samantha Kanza ORCID iD
Author: Cerys Willoughby
Author: Nicholas Gibbins ORCID iD
Author: Jeremy Frey ORCID iD
Author: Jana Erjavec
Author: Klemen Zupančič
Author: Matjaž Hren
Author: Katarina Kovač

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