Best ELN Notebook

ELN Notebook, the emerging automated digital platform, has made the scientific activities so handy and easygoing. Time has gone for running behind hundreds of spreadsheets, doing copy-pasting, and searching for manually collected data.

ELNs (Electronic Lab Notebooks) are not only a substitute for paper work but an efficient research and lab management software that can handle data storing and distribution efficiently and orderly. 

Are you in a muddle whether the ELN you are intended to use can bring efficaciousness and productivity in your lab works or not? Well, to get the most out of this buzzing digital platform, you need to have precise knowledge about the lab requirements along with thorough knowledge about the service. 

To help you know about ELN to utilise its benefits utterly, I have summarised here every essential information.

Best Electronic Lab Notebooks Title image.

Electronic Lab Notebook: ELN

Let’s get an in-depth overview of this software platform to make the process of choosing the best one efficient.  

What is an ELN?

An ELN or Electronic Lab Notebook is nothing but a computerised application that can replace the paper-based notebooks of lab works to make the data effortlessly searchable and reusable for future investigations.

It allows researchers to track their works through an electronic and more secure medum by:

  • Organizing the information right from the device to an ELN
  • Analyzing the input information
  • Substituting the need to print out the essential documents by storing accommodating them in a single platform
  • and letting the specialists share their study globally to boost the effectiveness of the experimental tests

Types of Electronic Lab Notebook

An Electronic Laboratory Notebook can be of two types:

  • Specific ELNs: Specific ELNs include the facilities to operate various technical instrumentations, special application, and data research
  • Generic ELNs: Features and offers to use all information essential in a laboratory notebook

How to Use an ELN

Using an ELN notebook is not rocket science! In fact, the widespread use of digital software programs has made it easy to use this automated laboratory notebook without having prior experience.

  • Connect a device, be it a computer, tablet, iPad, or smartphone, with the internet and log-in to your ELN service.
  • ELN offers its data entry method via a text editor. You can format and organise the data in a similar process of formatting a word file!
  • You can import and export spreadsheets and files to your Electronic Laboratory Notebook.
  • If yours is a notebook supporting controlled investigations, it can examine biological activities, explanations, chemical compositions, etc.  
  • You can also get your charts, images, and graphs included and organised with the facility to produce SOPs.

How to Pick an ELN?

Cloud-based ELNs have become an indispensable part of advanced laboratories, be it for technical researches or a lab of high school experiments. ELN market is booming by leaps and bound, and finding the best one featuring the characteristics according to the needs of your laboratory is crucial.

To help you out choosing the best ELN, I am gathering here some key points you need to consider.

Understand What You Need

Before you go with a specific ELN service, understand what your present status of work demands from it and correlate your needs with the features the ELN offers. 

The Must-have Features a standard ELN should offer include:

  • Ease of use
  • Effective data storage and organisation
  •  Easy searching and access to information and group collaboration facility
  • Report generation
  • Inventory management
  • Workflow
  • Security, scalability, and upgrade

Get a Demo

When you have shortlisted a few ELNs, it’s time to get in-depth knowledge about the services and features of the offer. Going through the demo class online can facilitate the process of picking the best service, focusing on the needs of your lab/organisation.

Get a Free Trial

Most of the ELN service providers offer free versions, but they don’t incorporate all the features. But these versions help you get an overview of the features and supports ELNs offers. 

Calculate Cost

You would obviously find open-source ELNs, but a paid version offers superior facilities that may cost you £7-£15 per user each month. 

The price scheme offered by ELN services is usually negotiable, and thus you should go with the plan that is cost-effective and blends with the needs of your lab. 

Think Mobile

Boost the productivity of your lab/organisation by choosing an ELN service that complies with any device and runs on any browser you prefer. 

Benefits of Electronic Lab Notebook

The surpassing benefits come with ELN:

  • An effective substitute for paper-work in the laboratory
  • Easy and secure access to data from anywhere at any time!
  • Easy to search
  • ELN offers easy incorporation and organisation of information of the experiments
  • Offers centralised data management
  • Uncomplicated consolidation of lots, specimens, barcodes, inventory number, order, and specimen tracking, incorporating batch information, etc. 
  • Archiving experiment reports digitally for easy and secure access
  • Offers secure team collaboration for boosting the productivity
  • The license cost incorporates the fees for upgrades, maintenance, and administration
  • Facility to add pictures, charts, URLs, or RDF tags.
  • Facility to import and export files of various formats
  • Ensures security of the essential data 

ELN Best Practices

Only getting the best ELN notebook cannot ensure your laboratory is working at its highest effect. You have to be more sensible and strategic to get the best out of this automated service.

ELN best practices are:

  • Do strategic planning in implementing the ELN and understand different workflows.
  • use the Electronic Lab Notebook as the center of data integration and design the laboratory arrangement accordingly
  • Prepare a powerful approach to combine essential systems and data-sharing among the team members
  • keep an eye on the security and ensure your data is fully encrypted
  • Get training or on-site support to ensure your team is operating the software efficiently

Best Electronic Laboratory Notebook

Now that you have precise knowledge about how ELNs work and their benefits, let me gather here some top companies that offer premium quality ELN service. 

Exemplar ELN: Sapio Science

Exemplar is one of the leading, and affordable SaaS-based ELNs in the present ELN market designed by the renowned company Sapio Science to facilitate the lab works by offering integrated management of investigations and process tracking. 

The features include:

  • Requires no coding to build complex process templates
  • Incorporates integrated data visualisation, lab management, and data interpretation
  • Supports automated data capture, ideation, and sample tracking
  • Accessible from almost all browsers and requires no software installation
  • Accessible from computers, tablets, or smartphones anytime from anywhere!
  • Enables any number of users to work on a single experiment simultaneously!

Exemplar Seamless Eln is handy, cost-effective, goes beyond the conventional ELNs, and an all-in-one laboratory solution that matches the demand of the specialists efficiently!

Labguru

Labguru is a cloud-based ELN that boosts your lab efficiency by:

  • Ensuring secure data management and collaboration
  • Accessible from smartphones or tablets
  • Easy organization and search for lists

Labfolder ELN

Labfolder ELN is another quality ELN that ensures:

  • Record management
  • Data protection
  • Data entry, organisation, and searching within seconds!
  • Group collaboration

Conclusion

Incorporating a quality Electronic Lab Notebook (ELN) in advanced laboratories has become a demand of time to boost efficiency and productivity, making the process accurate and prompt.  

But choosing the best service is crucial and requires your comprehensive knowledge.

The above information and the suggestions I have gathered would help you choose the best one matching your laboratory requirements.  

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