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Digital Laboratory Documentation Top–Trend Digitalisation Reaches the Labs – How to Make Best Use of IT

| Author / Editor: Dr. Florian Hauer / Dominik Stephan

Documentation of valuable scientific data using paperbound lab books often poses several challenges to scientists. However, with the advent of digital lab books, for instance, the labfolder, record keeping for scientific research is no more an arduous task.

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labfolder consists of specific software tools that present an interface similar to a page in the traditional, paper-based lab book
labfolder consists of specific software tools that present an interface similar to a page in the traditional, paper-based lab book
(Picture: labfolder)

Even though electronic research tools are on the rise, traditional, paper-based lab books are still predominately used in laboratories to document scientific research. Consequently, researchers have to deal with a vast collection of unsearchable data documented on piles of paper, and unorganized track records that further complicate lab work, making scientific research even more complex and time consuming.

Scattered data collection on paper and different digital storage locations bring in additional challenges while undertaking tasks related to data search, data reuse, and data exchange between scientists. In most cases, backups are also not available. So what are the viable alternatives to the traditional paper notebook? The solution is simple: labfolder, a free digital lab book that enables documentation, organization and analysis of experimental scientific data in a digital format, accessible anytime and anywhere.

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Secure Digital Notebook for Scientific Research

Being a cloud-based online platform, labfolder consists of specific software tools that present an interface similar to a page in the traditional, paper-based lab book. Without the nuisance of managing piles of paper and scribbled notes, this digital lab notebook allows its users to ensure a detailed documentation of scientific experiments, and maintain protocols, observations as well as data files all organized in one place.

For individual scientists and small groups, labfolder is free; it offers advanced functions for the management of larger groups and enterprises for a monthly fee.

Search, Store and Share Laboratory Data Online

The advantages of a digital lab book for scientists are obvious: experimental data in a digital format is searchable; it is easy to store and can be shared with colleagues effortlessly. In addition, the labfolder software promotes communication and collaboration amongst researchers. Furthermore, an integrated feature supports data linking and exchange with other platforms such as Mendeley and figshare.

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