by Cameron Cook

UW-Madison nows offers an electronic lab notebook (ELN) service called LabArchives.

What is an electronic lab notebook?

An electronic lab notebook is software designed to replace traditional paper lab notebooks and allows you to contain all the different types of digital data your research produces in one place. It also makes your research easier by helping you organize, document, and share your work.

What can LabArchives help you do?

Per the university ELN website and the DoIT ELN Information, some of the available features are:

  • Organize research by structuring files and folders, as well as allow versioning and tracking.
  • Designate multiple user roles and customize permission settings.
  • Share and collaborate with other researchers whether internally or externally.
  • Integrate it with “Microsoft Office (Windows only), Google docs, ChemDoodle, PubMed, and GraphPad Prism”.
  • Attach files of many different formats.
  • Link to files living on an external server.
  • Unlimited storage on the LabArchives platform.
  • Securely access research  anywhere in the world via an internet connection.
  • Access to basic drawing and chemistry tools.
  • Export your data with ‘Offline Notebook’ or ‘Print to PDF’ options.
  • Using LabArchives through the university provides legal protections for your research like the one’s provided through UW-Google Apps and UW-Madison Box. It also helps with compliance to UW’s Policy on Data Stewardship, Access, and Retention.
How do you get it?

It is available at no cost to students, staff, faculty, and researchers upon request or approval by a Principal Investigator or other appropriate designee.

What else should you know?

If you are interested in using the LabArchives service with data that is subject to campus IRB or federal oversight, it is recommended that you consult with your IRB or information security officer. At this time, the campus LabArchives service is not considered a suitable place for sensitive data elements, such as personal health information.

For more information LabArchives and ELN best practices suggested by UW visit For more information about ELN implementation at UW-Madison, visit UW-Madison News’ recent article.