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Archive : January 2023


Portrait of a Young Scientist in The Laboratory

A modern cloud-based Electronic Laboratory Notebook software is a game-changer for any laboratory looking to elevate its workflow and enhance data accessibility. Imagine having all your laboratory data, from samples and experiments to workflows and notes, in one seamless platform accessible to all scientists at the touch of a button. This is laboratory management’s future, starting with modern ELN software integrated with a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS).

1. A Single, No-Code Platform

Gone are the days of clunky, separate systems for sample management, materials management workflow automation, experiment templates, instrument data results and interpretation. A modern lab notebook software should be integrated with LIMS, allowing for a seamless experience that connects all aspects of laboratory management in one platform. This eliminates the need for separate logins, training, and data transfer, saving time and money while boosting team collaboration.

2. Easy-to-Use User Interface

Modern ELN software should have an easy-to-use SaaS user interface, allowing laboratory staff to navigate and find the information they need quickly. This eliminates the need for extensive training, saving time and money while increasing productivity.

3. Experiment Templates

Reusable, editable experiment templates are a crucial electronic notebook feature. This allows laboratory staff to quickly set up experiments and ensure all necessary information is captured, saving time and reducing the risk of errors. It also makes it easier for scientists to replicate experiments and compare results.

4. Embedded Sheets and Documents

Embedded MS Office-compatible sheets and documents are a must-have feature of modern laboratory notebook software. This allows laboratory staff to easily create and edit documents, such as spreadsheets, within the ELN, without switching between different software programs. This saves time and improves productivity while ensuring all relevant data is captured and stored within the ELN software.

5. Notebook and Note Taking

A notebook and free-form note-taking are essential ELN features. This allows laboratory staff to take notes naturally, free-form, rather than constrained by predefined fields. This is especially useful for capturing observations and insights that may not fit into predefined fields while making it easier for scientists to share information and collaborate. Ideally, you can talk to the ELN, which will transcribe your notes.

6. Built-In Apps & Visualizations

Built-in science-aware functions, such as tools for designing molecules, reactions, plasmids, or finding CRISPR targets, are valuable to lab notebook software. ELN’s should have built-in analytics that are productivity accelerators, such as flow cytometry data analysis and scientific charts and stats like IC50, etc. These functions can save time and improve accuracy, making it easier for scientists to understand, search, analyze, and visualize data.

7. E-Signatures

Document e-signatures are an important ELN feature that can ensure that all experiments, data, and documents are properly reviewed and approved. This is especially important for laboratories that are regulated or that need to follow specific protocols, as well as for patent protection in an R&D environment.

8. Materials Management

Material registration, tracking, and management are critical electronic notebook features. This allows laboratory staff to easily track samples, compounds, proteins, reactants, and reagents, saving time and reducing the risk of errors.

9. Instrument Integration

Instrument results transformed into structured data is an important ELN feature. This allows laboratory staff to easily control instruments and then import and analyze data output from instruments, ensuring it has scientific context alongside other data in the system. This saves time and improves data accuracy.

10. Scientific Data Management System

Finally, a Scientific Data Management System (SDMS) with pre-built integrations to instruments and third-party systems is a must-have notebook feature. This allows laboratory staff to easily integrate scientific data, including documents, images, and instrument output. Tools should then be provided for easily navigating and finding data and then visualizing or analyzing it quickly.

So there you have it, the top 10 electronic laboratory notebook features. With so many features available, it can be challenging to cover them all in this one article, but we hope you found them helpful.

Scientists Working in The Laboratory

Looking for the best LIMS software and want to know which features to look for? Here is a quick guide to the best features to get you on your way.

Today’s Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) is a cloud SaaS (software-as-a-Service) platform designed to manage the data and processes associated with laboratory sciences work. Its primary purpose is to automate laboratory workflows, maintain data integrity, and enhance laboratory and science staff collaboration. This platform must be configurable, easy to use, use a modern web user interface, integrate with a wide variety of scientific instruments, and allow scientists to easily access and interpret the data.

The best LIMS software platforms are made up of several key features, like these:

  • Automated workflow
  • Request management
  • Sample management
  • Sample processing
  • Science data analytics
  • Work queue management
  • Instrument integration

One of the critical features of best-in-class LIMS software is automated workflow. This feature allows laboratory staff to design workflows, ideally with drag-and-drop, and manage custom workflows that reflect their laboratory’s specific processes and procedures. These workflows can guide staff through the various steps of a test or experiment, ensuring that all necessary steps are completed in the correct order.

Another essential feature of LIMS is request management. This feature allows laboratory staff to manage and track requests for laboratory services, such as testing or analysis. This ensures that all requests are handled promptly and efficiently and that the results are delivered to the appropriate parties as soon as they are available.

Sample management is another key feature that ranks high in the best LIMS software. This feature allows laboratory staff to track and manage the samples that are being tested or analyzed. This includes tracking the location of samples, managing sample storage, and keeping track of sample information, such as the sample type and the date it was received.

Sample processing tracking allows laboratory staff to track the progress of samples through the laboratory, while 3D plating enables laboratory staff to create and manage multilayer plate layouts.

The LIMS software must enable scientists to access, analyze and interpret the data produced by the workflows – a must-have feature. Platforms must offer powerful, cross workflow and system data search, science knowledge graphs to provide structure and context to navigate data, graphical data querying tools, and onboard data visualization and analytics tools, such as machine learning and best-fit curve tools.

Work queues, sample processing tracking, and 3D plating are other essential capabilities of a LIMS. Work queues allow laboratory staff to manage and prioritize their work, ensuring that the most critical tasks are completed first.

Without instrument integration features, there can be no LIMS.  This capability allows laboratory staff to integrate their lab instruments with the LIMS software, allowing them to transfer data between the instruments and the system quickly. This helps to ensure that all data is accurate and up-to-date and that there is no duplication of effort.

In conclusion, best-in-class LIMS software is a powerful tool that can help laboratories improve their efficiency and productivity while ensuring that all data is accurate and up-to-date. By automating laboratory workflows, managing requests, tracking samples, and integrating laboratory instruments, a LIMS can help to ensure that all laboratory staff are working together effectively and efficiently. This can ultimately lead to faster turnaround times, improved data integrity, and more accurate results, benefiting the laboratory and the business as a whole.