Enterprise-Wide, Cross-Disciplinary Electronic Laboratory Notebook Solutions
Classified according to how specifically their capabilities cater to a particular group of researchers, ELNs can be divided into two categories. "Specific ELNs" contain features designed to work with specific applications, scientific instrumentation or data types. "Cross-disciplinary ELNs" are designed to support access to all data and information that needs to be recorded in a lab notebook.
An example of a cross-disciplinary electronic laboratory notebook is the Infotrieve (www. infotrieve.com) ELN, a system that can be deployed at large or small organizations to securely store data and protocols, protect intellectual property, enhance security, and facilitate collaboration. It uses industry standards for file types, recording features, formatting, storage, and architecture. It can be adopted across many departments at an organization and meet the diverse needs of researchers. It also provides flexibility to supplement or replace existing discipline-specific toolsets if alternative versions are desired, whether or not they are foreseen at the point in time at which the ELN is initially deployed.
Specifically, Infotrieve's ELN employs industry-standard technology, Oracle databases and the BEA WebLogic application server, and supports a variety of operating systems and hardware platforms. Cross-disciplinary features allow scientists to search against any data entered into the system. Searches can be conducted using several different parameters, including project or experiment title, text within the experiment, the name of the scientist responsible for the experiment, or user-defined parameters.
The ELN is designed to handle data from multiple experiment types, from high throughput data to other nonstandardized forms of entry, and it allows users to import data from many sources and disciplines. The client architecture is based on the Windows platform, so the user interface is familiar and experimental data may be entered into an ELN entry using drag-and-drop capabilities.