Electronic Laboratory Notebooks | Challenges and steps to solutions

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03 Mar 2022

Electronic Laboratory Notebooks | Challenges and steps to solutions

Submitted by Björn Brötz

Meeting objectives: 

A large part of the scientific work in general takes place through experimental research, for example in laboratories, on field campaigns or through remote sensing. One challenge facing every scientist is the adequate documentation of scientific work in order to keep the resulting research data traceable and reproducible. A number of tools for electronic laboratory notebooks, both proprietary and open source, are available to the scientific community to assist with this task.



Universities and research institutions that would like to introduce an organization-wide service of an electronic lab notebook for their scientists and students based on such available tools are faced with a number of challenges. Those challenges are for instance the diversity of the requirements of the different disciplines (Chemistry, Earth-Science, Life-Science, Engineering, etc.) or that currently, there are no well-defined interfaces to exchange data between the different electronic lab notebooks. Furthermore, the requirement of having the records in the electronic lab notebook tamper-proof, secure (also against catastrophic events) and longtime preserved is often implicitly assumed but rarely realized.


The meeting strives to bring together people that are confronted with those challenges and to find next steps towards solutions.



Meeting agenda: 

Collaborative meeting notes: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1lgpz8xyJYfLQVyRdBxe9BNcGT-dbEJLrXBWZ...

  • Welcome / Introduction (15 min / Björn Brötz / German Aerospace Center (DLR))
  • Discussion (all)
  • (If we are many: Breakout discussion and wrap-up)
Type of Meeting: 
Working meeting
Short introduction describing any previous activities: 

In the RDARI (Research Infrastructures) Interest group we had a session at the plenary 16 about this and we concluded at the end of the meeting that there are a number of open questions regarding standard interfaces and procedures in the scope of the “Electronic Lab Notebooks” that should be addressed by RDA in some way.




BoF chair serving as contact person: 
Meeting presenters: 
Björn Brötz
Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 
Contact for group (email): 
Driven by RDA Organisational Member: 
Applicable Pathways: 
FAIR, CARE, TRUST - Adoption, Implementation, and Deployment
Data Infrastructures and Environments - Institutional
Data Lifecycles - Versioning, Provenance, Citation, and Reward