Electronic laboratory norebooks produce data instead of information

Laboratories ­ mostly R&D laboratories ­ accumulate vast amounts of data utilising electronic laboratory notebooks (ELNs). ELN users need ways to be able to better analyse that data, identify correlations and draw better conclusions. In real life, the flood of data often overstretches users. Most ELNs lack adequate search facilities and simple full text search capabilities, such as those ofassemble useful information from the data an Internet search engine, are not enough to assemble useful information from the data.

Most of today's available ELNs provide information fragments as a result of a query. But if you would like to assemble valuable information from your data, you need to specify a precise query.

Based on the precise formulation of the query we can derive five decisive ELN features: the ELN must be adaptable to the work processes of the lab; the means of setting search criteria for each database field; full text search features must be available for experiment reports; any arbitrary combination of full text search and database field search must be possible; the ability to save complex queries for routine use is required.

A suitable ELN will allow any arbitrary combination of search criteria. Any database field, as well as full text search features, must be allowed as a search criteria.

Entering search criteria must be as simple as possible for the user.

AAC Infotray AG is based in Winterthur, Switzerland. www.infotray.ch or www.limsophy.com

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