No More Messy Notes: Modernizing the Lab Notebook


Scientists have long depended on pen paper to record their observations, filling volumes of lab notebooks with their work. While Charles Darwin’s drawings diagrams or Albert Einstein’s equations may be inspirational, the reality of handwritten notebooks is that they can stifle, rather than encourage, scientific progress.

Keeping a lab notebook up to date is a tedious time-consuming task, which tempts some scientists into taking shortcuts. For example, when researchers repeat an assay, they may rewrite their protocols in a way that is messy unclear, or they may skip this step completely not record the small modifications that made their experiments a success.

New technologies high-throughput analyses make experiments more complex increase data output. Scientists add data to their lab notebooks in the form of handwritten values, printed pasted graphs images, or references to large data files stored on a hard drive. With this strategy, finding the right piece of data turns into searching for a needle in a disorganized haystack, hastily written notes can be unreliable misinterpreted months or years after an experiment was conducted.

Storing protocols data in lab notebooks also complicates sharing that information with others. If a researcher needs to repeat a former team member’s experiment, they often waste time interpreting unclear handwriting incomplete instructions. Additionally, research collaborations are more difficult when using handwritten lab notebooks. To share protocols results, researchers must spend precious time organizing their data building reports to communicate with those outside of the primary lab.

Flipping through messy, handwritten lab notebook pages losing precious data by misplacing physical books is becoming a thing of the past as researchers move to electronic lab notebooks (ELNs). SciNote is an efficient ELN that boosts laboratory productivity by joining data organization project management. SciNote simplifies data protocol storage, which makes experiments more reliable reproducible. Users upload store notes, spreadsheets, checklists, data images, videos, external links, other supplementary files. Additionally, researchers can copy paste often-used protocols to avoid sloppy imprecise rewriting. SciNote offers flexible data organization that fits individual researchers’ preferences. For example, the ELN organizes protocols data by project, researchers can quickly find what they are looking for with the robust search function.

SciNote goes beyond the standard lab notebook with its project management communication features. Users can track inventory, post comments, tag team members. A team dashboard allows project managers to delegate tasks control user access to specific portions of the ELN. SciNote also fosters collaboration as researchers from across the globe can immediately access the stored information from their computers or mobile apps. With these features, scientists may analyze data from anywhere, including the comfort of their own homes. Finally, SciNote meets 21 CFR part 11 requirements to ensure that electronic documents are secure with password protection, authentication steps, determined permissions for each user.

SciNote gives researchers the ability to securely organize trace their data, while efficiently managing team projects within the lab across the world.  With this ELN, messy handwriting, unclear protocols, missing results are a thing of the past.



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