Electronic Lab Notebook

What is the aberration amid Microsoft SharePoint and an Cyberbanking Lab Notebook (ELN)? While both are advised to abundance and allotment data, appropriately adopting business advice and collaboration, an ELN has the added advantage of getting abnormally advised to amuse the needs of the accurate community’s workflows, advice viewing, and congenital acquiescence with authoritative requirements such as 21 CFR Part 11.

Microsoft’s SharePoint allows a array of abstracts to be accessed, beheld and edited by assorted users. Its appearance cover automating business processes and workflows, check-in/checkout, adaptation control, certificate organization, ascendancy of arrangement privileges, and active generation. With accustomed accoutrement such as the web and Microsoft Office, basal abilities and bureaucracy are adapted to use SharePoint.

However, issues with SharePoint exist. Certain appearance are accessible alone with Office products; relying heavily on Microsoft banned the alternative of Web servers and database servers. SharePoint is not able to accede with the authoritative requirements of accurate laboratories after all-encompassing customization. SharePoint does not basis all content, authoritative the seek for every section of accordant abstracts impossible. Abstracts cannot be preserved from appointed or ad hoc deletion. Also, queries cannot acknowledgment all data, and complex, scientifically allusive queries cannot be generated. Finally, the costs and requirements in architecture and customizing such a arrangement can far beat an organization’s budget.

Research organizations face this accommodation often. “It artlessly [was] not an advantage for NAABB to use circuitous artefact suites from vendors who are accountable to physique custom solutions. We knew that LIMS or CMS like SharePoint or Documentum would be too cher to configure and customize,” said Meghan Starbuck, Director of Economic Sustainability and Abstracts Administration at Danforth Labs. Starbuck led the ELN alternative board for NAABB, the DOE-funded bio-fuels analysis consortium.

ELNs aswell accommodate agency to abode and allotment information. However, clashing SharePoint, ELNs can abduction and almanac beginning data. The abstracts anatomy in an ELN mimics that of an agreement set out in a archetypal cardboard lab book, a accessory an ELN is advised to replace. Added differences are evident:

  1. All abstracts in an ELN may be absolutely searchable and retrievable.
  2. ELNs are readily configured to accede with the requirements of a adapted environment, such as Title 21 CFR Part 11.
  3. An ELN backs up abstracts to anticipate accidental deletions.
  4. Instrument abstracts can be anon congenital into ELNs.
  5. ELNs can be standalone programs, use a client-server model, or be absolutely web-based.
  6. Scheduling options are accessible for such tasks as accessories accomplishment and abstraction accompanying timelines.

One arch ELN is IDBS’ E-WorkBook. It has one all-encompassing ELN platform, which promotes controlled abstracts administration beyond departments, sites and alien collaborators. Out-of-the-box abutment is provided for Microsoft┬« Office, angel formats and Adobe┬« PDF. Abstracts can be exported to Microsoft Word with one click. Powerful seek and concern accoutrement are available. Abstracts can be beheld in altered ways, decidedly impacting analysis development. Its cyberbanking and agenda signatures are certified by SAFE-BioPharma, the biologic industry’s signature standards body. IDBS offers added artefact modules for constructed allure workflows and for bioanalytical abstracts administration (BioBook). There are belvedere limitations, however. First, abutment is alone provided for an Oracle database. Second, E-Workbook cannot be installed on Mac machines.

Another arch ELN, Rescentris’ CERF, is able to plan with any database and is installable on both Mac and Windows machines. CERF is accordant with Microsoft Office book types, and boasts added benefits:

  1. The defended CERF server consists of a server application, a book arrangement absolute raw data, and a referential database. By amid the database and book system, CERF does not apathetic down as abstracts accumulates. Abstracts in the book arrangement charcoal in its original, built-in book formats, acceptance for simple abstracts extraction. The referential database contains alone advice about files so it rarely exceeds 5-10 GB in size.
  2. The CERF applicant software is free; organizations alone pay per user.
  3. CERF has simple accomplishing models and basement needs and CERF requires basal IT maintenance.
  4. CERF is based on accessible industry standards, including W3C semantic web technologies, authoritative updates to anachronous modules and IT technologies, and additions of new ones, easy.
  5. Any item, from tables, captions, and images to screenshots, documents, and articulation annotations can be abject and alone anon to CERF, giving acceptation and abyss to metadata that adeptness contrarily be unsearchable.
  6. Metadata is automatically generated and associated with every book and access as they are added.
  7. Relationships a part of experiments, abstract and documents, and the change of data, can be tracked and viewed.
  8. Change of user behavior is minimized because CERF works the way around all workflows and admired applications already do.

SharePoint and ELNs both accept their advantages. SharePoint is geared added against the needs of the accepted business association while ELNs are added able to baby to the needs of the accurate community. There are aswell some ELNs congenital on a SharePoint platform; however, for a lot of analysis organizations, these accept the aforementioned limitations as SharePoint itself, accurately that after a affluent and alternate applicant application, there is bound adeptness for scientists to advance their own desktops and applications to productively conduct their work. Instead, web-based systems are added adapted as advertisement environments in which to upload or download abstracts that scientists accept authored or calm on their desktops. In conclusion, there are abounding ELNs from which to choose, and labs should accomplish decisions based on abounding factors, including operating systems, types of analysis and workflows, and the akin of IT abutment required. Two of the arch ELNs that anniversary accept their own claim are CERF and E-Workbook.

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