ELN – An ideal replacement for Paper Notebooks

What is ELN?

ELN is developed to replace paper notebooks so that scientists and researchers can record and search their records much more easily and archive  their data onto another electronic device. An ELN allows lab professionals  to access, share, and analyze data using a computerized system. Electronic Laboratory notebook software is an advanced application that allows lab professionals  to maintain critical experimental information in digital form, making it easily retrievable, more secured, and reusable for future experimental needs instead of adopting outdated and manual approaches.

Cloud-based ELNs provide new flexibility

Cloud ELNs are evolving to a new generation of experimentation, data collection, and proof of findings. The capabilities of web-based ELNs are numerous because they are not bound by the limits of an office or even a computer. An ELN replaces manual operations and allows your team to collaborate with dispersed teams while keeping track of notes. 

Why Your Lab must prefer ELN over paper-based operations

Even though many labs invest in advanced instruments and methods to collect data, the relevance of the viewer’s observations should never be ignored. It is impossible to completely comprehend the data without the researcher’s notes.  That is why properly and securely storing all your observations is so important.

Here’s how ELN facilitates paperless operations in a laboratory:

Transparency

All information and modifications are recorded in the ELN. It is feasible to determine who entered or changed the data and when it occurred. Everything is captured and recorded automatically. All procedures connected to data storage are transparent with ELN.

Security 

The lack of security is one of the major drawbacks of using paper notebooks. It is easily accessible by unauthorized users and transmitted to illegitimate sources. Paper notebooks can also be readily misplaced or damaged. This is not the case with Electronic Lab Notebook. To start with, accessing the ELN without a valid user id and password is not possible. Each user has unique credentials and a strong password for access. 

Limited risk of human error 

Data is misplaced or misspelled. Often, it is impossible to repeat the experiment due to cost factors or a lack of test samples. Technical issues may also cause the test results to fail. Such risks can be eliminated using ELN.

The system saves the findings as predictions, and if the input results deviate significantly from the projected ones, it will prompt you to validate the correct information. The ELN will not let you finish the operation without entering the required information. You can be confident in the stored data and ensure that everything has been properly documented when you use Logilab ELN.

Productivity 

Using manual notes is unproductive and difficult because there is a lot of time involved in creating and storing them.  But on the contrary, all of the findings and accompanying data are catalogued in one location in ELN. With such a data structure in place, any employee may process without the risk of losing their results or notes. Managers may also readily control their employee’s productivity and error rates, which aids in future employee reorganization decisions.

Improved operational efficiency

Today’s paper notebooks are mostly made up of random sheets of paper placed into paper notebook pages, with handwritten elements that are signed, attested, and dated. After the notebook is finished, it is usually “backed up” through photocopying or scanning into an electronic format. They are subsequently placed in a corporate vault, which is ineffective in terms of increasing and sharing knowledge inside an organization. The collective knowledge inside an R&D firm can be turned into explicit knowledge by shifting to an ELN and using social media tools, establishing the foundation for an overall corporate knowledge management strategy. Electronic notebook technologies have delivered considerable productivity improvements of 10-30% and more, and researchers can be more effective in terms of effectiveness because they can use electronic tools (Word, Excel, etc.) known to them within the ELN. 

Explore

  • The capacity to search for previous information can leverage new work and examine whether it hasn’t worked in the past, leading to a higher probability of success and considerably decreasing or eliminating redundant effort.
  • Since paper notebooks are not effectively indexed and data capture consistency is not enforced, less effort will be spent searching for and decoding information that is known to exist someplace in the organization.

Reporting

  • ELNs can decrease or eliminate the requirement for reports by making information available in real-time to those who need it.
  • The preparation of reports can be automated, and it can be saving them time.

Data security/archiving

  • The time-consuming task of archiving and scanning paper notebooks is no longer necessary.
  • Since the information is electronic, the record’s archiving and preservation are automated, thus eliminating the need for a manual process. 

Work together

  • Whether the team is across the area or the global, real-time collaboration can help to develop project teams. 

More rapid decision-making 

  • Results can be achieved faster and better with the use of consistent formats and workflows, as well as instant access to higher-quality information and the removal of time-consuming, manual activities. ELN allows you to move the data to the next level or reject or return it to the previous state.

Conclusion

ELN environment uses semantic web and cloud technologies to serve as a bridge between paper lab notebooks and electronic documents created by scientists. Companies will get the most out of their software investment if they have a complete, well-defined strategy. As paper-based laboratories go away, the multidisciplinary solution presents a compelling option for organizations looking to integrate the best of the ELN world. People will be amazed in the future that we never did chemistry or other science without capturing it electronically. 

 

Try out Agaram Technologies’ Logilab ELN now! schedule a demo here