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Lehigh University Libraries - Library Guides

Research Data Management Services at Lehigh

Use of Confluence for Electronic Lab Notebooks and Project Management

Electronic lab notebooks (ELN) function like paper notebooks, but in a more advanced and efficient way. They allow users to input and record text, tables, numerical data, hyperlinks, equations and images into electronic storage (computer, cloud or server) from a keyboard, a sketchpad, a mouse, or directly from scientific instruments. Most web-based ELNs also work as an ideal collaboration tool, facilitating quick communication among collaborators in different geographic locations for joint experiments and research programs. 

In terms of data management, ELNs can help scientists:

  • Input, edit and access lab notes any time in any location and eliminate the problem of hard-to-read handwriting
  • Incorporate hyperlinks, computer files, plots, audio/video clips, etc. into their lab notes
  • Search for information and track experiment progress
  • See project arcs and probe correlation
  • Eliminate physical barriers to sharing information inherent in paper notebooks among researchers
  • Manage lab inventory, protocols, and other lab resources
  • Archive and preserve lab notes

For Lehigh users, the team collaboration software Confluence can perform well as an ELN. This web-based software has many great features with respect to editing and searching notes, adding attachments, making comments, exporting records, access and version control, adding tools and extensions, etc. First-time users, please see the Confluence resources below.

Concerning use of Confluence for ELN and other research management purposes, see the paper by Prof. Dmitri Vezenov (Chemistry Department), Ting Wang (CLIR Fellow), and Brian Simboli (Science Librarian) on Use of a Wiki-Based Software to Manage Research Group Activities.

To meet a member of Lehigh's web and mobile services team to discuss setting up and using Confluence for research purposes, please go here, scroll down to Web and Mobile Apps Development, and submit a consultation request.


    Giles, J. (2012). Going paperless: The digital lab. Nature, 481(7382), 430-431.
    Machina, H. K., & Wild, D. J. (2013). Electronic Laboratory Notebooks Progress and Challenges in Implementation. Journal of laboratory automation.
    Rubacha, M., Rattan, A. K., & Hosselet, S. C. (2011). A review of electronic laboratory notebooks available in the market today. Journal of the Association for Laboratory Automation, 16(1), 90-98.

Open Science Framework Software and Preregistration Challenge

Open Science Framework

"OSF is a free, secure web application for project management, collaboration, registration, and archiving. Stop losing files, improve collaboration, and integrate OSF projects with the tools you use (e.g., Dropbox, GitHub, Figshare, Dataverse)."

Preregistration challenge from Center for Open Science
"Preregistration adds credibility to results by documenting in advance what will be tested. If you have a project that is entering the data collection phase, preregister now."

"Why Preregister?

    Makes your science better by increasing the credibility of your results
    Allows you to stake your claim to your ideas earlier
    It’s easy and you can win a $1,000 prize for publishing the results of your preregistered research."