Electronic lab notebooks (ELN) are not simply the digital equivalent of paper notebooks. They have many more advantages, especially in the context of open science. For example, ELN help meeting the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Re-usable):
- By making a direct link to data that are already available digitally ;
- By aiding the documentation of research data with metadata ;
- By making it easier to access and retrieve research data, through search and filter functions ;
- By contributing to the reproducibility and reusability of research data.
Furthermore, ELNs are embedded in a networked, digital research environment. Ideally, the ELN should be able to connect with other research tools: measuring instruments, data repositories, Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS)… This should facilitate data and metadata flows, avoid information loss and thus ensure data quality.
Source: ZBW Mediatalk