How to choose an electronic lab notebook ?
The outputs of the Electronic Laboratory Notebooks working group were first published in French in 2022 and are now available in English. These provide criteria and recommendations for choosing and implementing a solution adapted to the context of use.
The Electronic Laboratory Notebooks working group was set up under the French Committee for Open Science, its aim being to make recommendations for the selection of electronic laboratory notebooks (ELN). The group has established a shared vision on the definition, framing, uses and functional scope of the ELN while also providing a set of recommendations on the interoperability between ELNs and other tools or information systems that are already in use. Laboratory notebooks must be able to be integrated without difficulty into existing IT environments (including data repositories). The group also issued a set of recommendations on the criteria for choosing a tool, according to working needs, disciplines and research areas, as well as institutional constraints.
The final report includes a comparative list of existing tools according to recommended criteria to measure their performance and/or relevance in different contexts of use. It also contains a set of recommendations for the successful implementation of an ELN.
In addition to the report, the working group has provided a criteria grid which is a practical tool for the choice of an electronic laboratory notebook solution.