Electronic Lab Notebook – FAQs


Q1: What are the benefits of an electronic lab notebook (eln)?

A1: The electronic lab book facilitates the documentation of experiments, since digitally presented results, can be integrated directly into the records. Projects can be shared with colleagues, or be worked on alone. By means of a full-text search, filter and the possibility of indexing, it is easy to find related entries, even years after the actual experiments. For recurring workflows, templates can be created to save time in documenting the results.

Q2: Who can use the eln?

A2: The BIH offer is directed at all interested work groups and individual users at the Charité. The regulation of the access of MDC employees after the integration of the BIH into the Charité is still being clarified. If you have specific questions, please contact the BIH Change Management

Q3: What solution does BIH use?

A3: The QUEST Center for Transforming Biomedical Research at the BIH has opted for labfolder, the browser-based, electronic laborbuch software from Labforward GmbH. For general information about Labfolder, visit https://www.labfolder.com.

Q4: When does the project start and how can I be part of it?

A4: Interested work groups can apply here for access to the Electronic Laboratory Book.
Single user accesses can be created here

Further information on registration and the difference between group and individual user access can be found here

Q5: Are there any training and info sessions offered?

A5: Yes, there are training courses that take place regularly. You can find further information on the page: Training and Information events.

Q6: Are there any license fees the groups have to pay?

A6: No, using the electronic lab notebook at the BIH is free of charges for the workgroups.

Q7: Is the use of labfolder mandatory?

A7: No, the use of labfolder - including training and support - is only an offer to all groups at the Charité and the perspectively MDC. The use of paper lab books is also possible as well as the use of other electronic lab notebook solutions as long as they meet the requirements of Good Scientific Practice (GCP), the corresponding DIN ISO regulations and the 21CFR11 of the FDA.

Q8: Can results from clinical studies, which may include personal data, e.g. patient data, also be documented in the eln?

A8: No, the electronic lab book can only be used to document the results of laboratory research. Personal data cannot be recorded here. For questions regarding the collection of data from clinical research, please contact the Central Services of the Clinical Research Unit at BIH (only in German).

Q9: Are my research data stored in the electronic laboratory book safe?

A9: labfolder, is run on BIH's own servers. Their availability is well over 99%. Research data will never leave this protected area. The data is kept on redundant storages which are saved daily. Access to the data is only possible for registered users. Within the eln, each workgroup has its own, closed area, in which projects can be shared with individual group members or the whole group. The creator of the respective project decides for which projects this should be the case.

Q10: Who owns the data that is documented in labfolder?

A10: As with the paper lab books, the data belong to the institution at which the researcher is employed.

Q11: Is there a way to retrieve a copy of my data from the electronic laboratory book?

A11: The entries and all files can be exported at any time. The XHTML formats PDF are available for this purpose

Q12: Are there interfaces between labfolder and the laboratory information systems (LIMS) at BIH?

A12: Not so far, however, interfaces are conceivable and planned. For further questions concerning LIMS, please contact the IT department at BIH.