August 08, 2017
Choosing the right digital notebook
The demand for electronic lab notebooks (ELN) has grown substantially. Fortunately, the number of available apps on the market has also increased to more than 60. Unlike the general-purpose word processing (e.g., MS Word) and image editing (e.g., Adobe Photoshop) apps, however, it is important to note that each ELN app has its own set of unique features that meet specific demands. A broad category that can define the suitability of an ELN is the field of research. For example, a scientist working in a chemistry lab and another working in a cell biology lab each may find entirely different ELNs suitable for their research. Other criteria that may define the suitability of an ELN can include:
The availability of a huge variety of ELNs on the market makes it more likely for researchers to find a suitable solution. However, due to time constraints, it's hard to assess every single solution before settling on one. For reasons mentioned in an earlier blog post, it important that you choose the right software from the outset of the transition from paper notebooks. For this reason, we have devised a system that hopefully will be adopted by other providers of ELN software. The solution, we believe, is a short quiz that attempts to understand your needs and scores the fitness of an ELN app for your specific requirements. Since each laboratory has its unique needs, we don't believe a single app can fit all.
You can take our short quiz to get instant feedback on whether elucidaid is suitable for your research here: https://www.labnotebookapp.com
As mentioned above, using a quiz system may facilitate your decision-making when you are considering options to switch to a digital notebook for your research.
How to set up your digital notebook
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of choosing the right ELN from the outset. This is because each digital notebook will have its characteristics and flexibility concerning layout and setup. For example, the simple user interface of elucidaid mimics the design of a word-processing software so that it is familiar to the user and does not require any training to get started immediately. Whatever your final choice of ELN, we recommend following the steps below to set yourself up for success when transitioning from paper notebooks:
Choose the right ELN, be creative, have fun, and let the ELN do all the heavy lifting for you. You can always rearrange electronic notes, and use the search function to find anything you need with just one click.
Bioinformatic analysis for biologists - part 2/3
Don't forget, to save time in choosing the right ELN, take our short quiz to get instant feedback on whether elucidaid is suitable for your research here: https://www.labnotebookapp.com
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