LabArchives Video on YouTube
LabArchives Video on YouTube
LabArchives Video on YouTube
LabArchives Video on YouTube
More how-to videos are available on LabArchives' YouTube channel.
The University of Pittsburgh offers a cloud-based Electronic Research Notebook service–formerly referred to as Electronic Lab Notebooks (ELN)–to all University students, faculty, researchers, and staff. LabArchives research notebooks can be used to organize and manage laboratory data safely and conveniently using multiple platforms and devices. Whether managing a research lab as a principal investigator or reviewing students’ lab work as an instructor, LabArchives can be used to ensure effective research data management plans and help improve student learning.
Activate your account using one of the following options:
You will receive an email invitation to a course. Follow the instructions provided in the invitation. Click Activate Your Account Now.
Make sure to select the University of Pittsburgh as your institution, then click Go to Your Institution's Login.
Note: Electronic Research Notebooks uses multifactor authentication.
As a My Pitt user–select Electronic Research Notebooks (LabArchives) on the right-hand side of the page.
As an AskCathy user–click Start on the right-hand side of the page.
Make any updates to your contact information, then click Update.
Note: You will also receive an activation email.
When you are done with any updates, click the folder bearing your name. Follow the on-screen prompts to start using Electronic Research Notebooks.
Enhance your Electronic Research Notebooks experience:
The Mobile app for iOS or Android devices features an updated appearance (user interface) and page navigation. It has the ability to take and upload video and audio files, use a sketch tool, and provides fully functional assignment entry so that students can submit work via the app.
To use the LabArchives mobile app:
More information can be found about mobile app features here.
Use your Electronic Research Notebooks:
Choose one of these secure options to log in using multifactor authentication through Pitt Passport:
Note: You can also access LabArchives.com. Select Sign In, choose University of Pittsburgh from the list of institutions, click Go to your Institution's Login, then authenticate using multifactor authentication through Pitt Passport.
Take a quick tour to see how the Electronic Research Notebook service works.
What is LabArchives as opposed to Electronic Research Notebooks?
Electronic Research Notebooks is the name of the University's enterprise lab notebook service that is accessed via the My Pitt website or via AskCathy and requires a University Computing Account username and password. The service is powered by LabArchives, a leading cloud-based electronic notebook provider.
Is there a cost?
The University has negotiated an institution-wide LabArchives site license that entitles all faculty and staff to Professional licenses at no cost to departments. Students can access LabArchives under the Classroom edition license at no cost.
How do I log in to Electronic Research Notebooks?
You can log in to LabArchives by clicking the Electronic Research Notebooks (LabArchives) link from My Pitt or log in via AskCathy. You can also log in from the main LabArchives.com webpage. If you are logging in from an off-campus location, you will have to select University of Pittsburgh from the list of participating institutions.
How much storage space do I have?
There is currently no limit on the amount of storage space a person may use with LabArchives cloud storage. However, individual file sizes can be no larger than 250 MB.
Should I update the to the latest version of LabArchives on my mobile device?
Where will my data be stored?
All lab notebook data is saved on the secure LabArchives cloud storage site, where it can be accessed from anywhere on the internet. Data sets are tagged and dated so that older or accidentally overwritten data sets can be recovered by opening an earlier version of a notebook.
What is the maximum file size I can upload?
LabArchives cloud storage is not capable of supporting the upload of files larger than 250 megabytes (MB). If you need to reference a data set or image that is larger than 250 MB, you will have to consider using another cloud-based storage service, such as pitt.box.com, and linking the file to your LabArchives notebook.
Where do I obtain support for Electronic Research Notebooks?
For general access and interface questions, contact the 24/7 IT Help Desk. In-depth tutorials on the LabArchives interface, quick start guides, and interactive chat support is available via the LabArchives support page.
Where training materials are available for Electronic Research Notebooks?
A number of helpful introductory videos are available on the LabArchives Video Tutorials YouTube page.
Is LabArchives for labs only or can individuals use it, too?
The LabArchives interface is designed as a collaborative platform to support lab research activities. However, individuals with no lab affiliation can take advantage of the data storage and tracking capabilities as well. The creation of a notebook is not dependent on an associated lab, project, or course. All you need is a University Computing Account username and password.
Will I be able to use Electronic Research Notebooks with collaborators outside my lab or from other institutions?
Yes. Lab notebooks can be shared with other collaborators. To delegating access click the three-line Menu options icon, Notebook Settings, then User Management. In order to grant another individual access to a notebook, you will need to know the email address that they use to log in to LabArchives. For University users, this will be their Pitt Email address. You should familiarize yourself with the various roles that can be assigned to collaborators and what permissions those roles include. More information on roles that can be assigned is available on the LabArchives knowledgebase entry on adding users
Why should I use LabArchives instead of Box, Google Drive, or a similar service?
The LabArchives interface makes retrieving previous versions of notebooks much easier than other cloud-storage platforms. LabArchives saves all previous notebook versions so it is easier to step back through recorded data transactions to track down where a problem may have occurred. This functionality is not available on other cloud storage systems that are not tailored for research. Also, sharing notebooks with other collaborators within a University area while retaining control of the original dataset is simple and easy to do.
How will I access my notebooks if the network is unavailable?
The cloud-based nature of the LabArchives data store means that lab notebook data is accessible through any internet connection, not just via the University network. If PittNet is unavailable, you will still be able to log in to your lab notebooks from other network access points, such as home networks, other institutions, or by using the broadband access on your smartphones or mobile device.
How long must I retain my notebooks?
Retention requirements for logged notebook data will follow any data management rules in effect for the overarching research project, organizing lab, or class. There is currently no expiration on the life of notebooks stored on the LabArchives data store. If storage space is an issue, lab notebook data can be exported either to PDF or to an "offline" mode, which is essentially HTML-based but saved somewhere outside of the LabArchives system.
If I am a researcher leaving the University, can I take my notebooks with me?
The disposition of electronic lab notebooks of research staff departing the University falls under the same Guidelines for Research Data Management as other types of research data (http://www.provost.pitt.edu/documents/RDM_Guidelines.pdf). If you are leaving the University, you will need to transfer ownership of all your notebooks to another University account for recordkeeping purposes. Departing staff can use the PDF or offline notebook export functions to create portable copies of lab notebooks, if permitted.
How do I transfer ownership from a notebook I manage to someone else?
Notebook owners can transfer ownership by clicking the three-line Menu options icon, Notebook Settings, then User Management.
What types of data can I store in LabArchives notebooks?
LabArchives notebooks should not be used to store any kind of personally identifiable data and/or medical data consistent with HIPAA and FERPA standards. In addition, state and University policies may also restrict the storage of certain types of data on LabArchives. Anyone using the Electronic Research Notebooks service needs to be cognizant of these considerations before populating notebooks with research data. Data that is considered high-risk should not be logged in Electronic Lab Notebooks. The University's Data Classification Matrix has more information on different data types and how they should be stored electronically. The following links provide additional information about the proper use of Electronic Research Notebooks:
Are there any things I should consider when starting to use Electronic Research Notebooks that will make my life easier?
Students or researchers that are new to Electronic Research Notebooks should consult the University Library System's guide for research data management and the Health Science Library System's Data Management page before beginning to log data. Another good resource is the University of Wisconsin's guide to best notebook practices.
What should I do if my entire lab is closing down and moving to another university?
If you are part of a migration to another university, see that new LabArchives accounts are created at the new institution and then transfer data ownership to the new accounts before your University Computing Account access is terminated. If LabArchives is not the supported format at the destination institution, use the notebook export functions to create portable archives. Please refer to the Research Conduct and Compliance Office's General Procedures for Closing Laboratories for additional information about closing your lab.
Can Alumni use Electronic Research Notebooks?
No. Per the University's licensing agreement with LabArchives, Alumni are not eligible to use Electronic Research Notebooks. Any alumni that require access to LabArchives will need to talk to their affiliated department's Responsibility Center Account Administrator about creating a sponsored account that can be used to access the Electronic Research Notebooks service.
The Electronic Research Notebook service from LabArchives can be used to record, manage, and store a wide variety of data types in numerous file formats. Data types can include images, recordings, sketches, notes, formulas, annotations, comments and others. Raw data outputs from laboratory instruments can be imported easily and efficiently. Electronic Research Notebooks can also be used to capture field notes, video, and audio data in areas of study and research including social sciences and performing arts.
Data meeting the classification of “Low Risk” or “Moderate Risk” can be stored in electronic research notebooks. In some instances, data meeting the classification of “High Risk” are allowable. Examples of “High Risk” data include social security numbers, date of birth, Electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI), Export Controlled information under current U.S. laws, bank/financial account numbers, and others. Personal Health Information (PHI) protected by HIPAA privacy rules and student education records protected by FERPA.
Please refer to the Data Classification Matrix for additional information.
If you are working with sensitive data that meets the classification of “High Risk”, you must consult with one of our Information Security Analysts about additional controls required to use LabArchives. To schedule this consultation, please contact the 24/7 IT Help Desk at 412-624-HELP (4357).
Primary investigators need to be cognizant of restrictions and safe-handling practices required by federal law and University policy before populating electronic lab notebooks with data from research and studies.
The following links can provide more details on the proper use of electronic lab notebooks:
Currently there are no restrictions to the amount of data or the number of notebooks that can be created in the Electronic Research Notebook service. However, there is a limit on the maximum individual file size that can uploaded at one time of 250 megabytes (MB). Multiple files of less than 250 MB can be uploaded without restrictions.
The current maximum individual file upload size is 250 MB. Any files that are larger should be stored outside of LabArchives.