Manage, Track, and Schedule Your Lab with LabArchives | Information Technology | University of Pittsburgh

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Manage, Track, and Schedule Your Lab with LabArchives

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Running a lab requires a diverse set of skills that go beyond mastery of the subject matter and designing a study. Data management, inventory management, and space/equipment scheduling are important, too. In the past, researchers used everything from sign-up sheets and inventory logs, to reems of notebooks and individual PCs to keep track of everything.

While nothing can replace the hands-on methods employed by researchers to conduct their studies, Pitt IT offers a cloud-based Electronic Research Notebook (LabArchives) system to help University students, faculty, researchers, and staff handle everything else.

Organize and Manage Lab Data with ERNs

Electronic research notebooks (ERNs) were LabArchives' original product. The core module of the technology, ERNs organize and manage laboratory data safely and conveniently using a cloud-based system that can be accessed on multiple platforms and devices. Whether managing a lab as a principal investigator or reviewing student work as an instructor, LabArchives can be used to ensure effective management of research data and help improve student learning.

With an ERN, you can add and store any type of data you choose, from tables and rich text, to attaching images, sketches, and other types of files. Everything gets backed up to the cloud and protected immediately, and can be organized into whatever folder structure you choose. Notebooks also let you share and work on content simultaneously with collaborators, as well as monitor, grade, and comment on student work to be sure they are grasping the information. ERNs support the data requirements of funding agencies and ensure continuity as people leave and join the lab.

In other words, ERNs help you manage your whole lab environment, keeping abreast of all developments in your lab even when you’re off-site. It provides a centralized location where all data can be stored, searched, and preserved.

Skip the Sign-Up Sheets with LabArchives Scheduler

Making sure that researchers and lab workers have access to spaces and equipment is essential to your lab running smoothly. It avoids the frustration and delays caused by several people wanting to use one piece of equipment at the same time. LabArchives Scheduler is a simple, but powerful scheduling solution for any lab. It allows people to reserve spaces and equipment from any location, on nearly any device, without relying on inefficient sign-up sheets or overworked lab managers.

Scheduler is simple to use. Just log into the cloud-based system, click the resource you want to reserve, select a time when it is available, and add your personal details. The system is powerfully configurable so it can work in the way your lab works. It even has a multilingual interface that supports your multicultural team in almost 40 languages right out of the box.

Track What You Use and Make with LabArchives Inventory

Keeping track of what you use and what you make can be very confusing. But nothing can bring your lab to a screeching halt like not having a needed reagent or thinking you will have necessary supplies when they have actually run out. And no one wants to waste the time of repeating a process to create samples or mixtures that have already been prepared.

LabArchives Inventory simplifies laboratory management by streamlining the organization, tracking, and ordering of lab inventory. It allows investigators to easily search and browse the inventory and view item details. It helps you stay organized by giving you access to review order requests and view their status in real time, from anywhere on any device. It helps you track inventory by allowing you to add necessary item details and usage history. And of course, it can instantly connect to your ERN so you can add notes and update records as needed.

Learn How to Get Started with LabArchives

The complete suite of LabArchives products—Research Notebooks, Scheduler, and Inventory—are here to help you manage the complex details of running a lab and organizing your study. With LabArchives’ cloud-based system, you can manage all the details from your office, your lab, or anywhere else you happen to be.

Not sure how to get started? No problem. LabArchives conducts live training webinars every week on all three modules. They are less than an hour to easily fit into your schedule. Then, when you’re ready to bring your lab on board, schedule a group training session for all your people, so everyone can get up to speed. Let LabArchives handle the details, so you can focus on the big questions.

-- By Karen Beaudway, Pitt IT Blogger