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Anaconda - Jupyter Notebooks

Laboratory Notebooks

Lab notebooks, whether in print or electronic form (ELN), are a critical component of tracking and recording research. Consistent documentation of your research methods, calculations, and results is important not only for your personal use, but will help when you publish or otherwise share research, and when others want to reproduce what you have done.

Benefits of an ELN

Benefits of using an ELN:

  • Instantly searchable documents by a tag or a keyword, saving time
  • Enables real-time data sharing with collaborators
  • Better oversight of laboratory work by lab PI 
  • Preservation of experimental procedures and protocols for future use 
  • Enables download and storage of large data sets
  • Eliminates legibility issues related to a paper notebook
  • Facilitates reproducibility of research

What can be stored

What can be stored in an ELN?

  • Experimental protocols, data, results. 
  • Data from instruments, analysis, graphs
  • Email Communication, and discussions with peers, PI
  • Inventory management
  • Apparatus Documentation

Selecting an ELN

There is no “one-size-fits-all” electronic research notebook. Your lab will need to consider a number of different factors before selecting the ELN platform that best meets your needs. These factors include:

  • The type of science that you do and the specific features that you need
  • Your lab’s established practices and preferences
  • Your institution’s ELN policies
  • The security level of your data
  • Your budget

Useful Links

protocols.io

Protocols.io is an open access platform for the creation and sharing of detailed methods and protocols. Features of protocols.io include:

  • Share methods before, during and after publication
  • Citable; add DOI to manuscripts 
  • Versioning: protocols can be kept up-to-date
  • Run protocols step-by-step in a browser or mobile
  • Open access platform
  • Forking, versioning, and commenting features
  • Archived in CLOCKSS

UC researchers currently have free access to Premium accounts during the pilot period (May 31, 2024). Premium features include private collaboration around method development and use in classrooms. In the long term, this initiative should also increase the reproducibility and rigor of the research published by UC academics. Use your UCI email when logging in to access these features.