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In the context of the replication crisis, the use of an electronic laboratory notebook (ELN) is considered an effective measure to strengthen Open Science (OS) and Responsible Research & Innovation (RRI). In ELN, research workflows and observations can be linked to research data, which is thought to increase research transparency, and facilitate the co-production and transfer of knowledge [1]. Hence, BIH QUEST Center for Responsible Research runs a programme for implementing ELN at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, one of the largest university hospitals in Europe. As part of the ELN implementation support programme, Charité offers ELN software licences. In addition, BIH QUEST Center provides ELN training and support.


In the BMBF-funded project, BIH QUEST Center, together with Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg, Germany, employ a participatory, impact-oriented evaluation design [2, 3] addressing the following key evaluation questions:

  • To what extent does the ELN meet the expectations of researchers at Charité?
  • How do researchers evaluate the quality of the ELN implementation process?
  • To what extent does the use of ELN improve the documentation of research processes?
  • To what extent does the use of ELN contribute to a more transparent and cooperative everyday laboratory routine?
  • To what extent does the use of ELN support a transparent management of research processes?

While the formative phase of this evaluation will inform the further development of the ELN implementation to better tailor ELN programme services to researchers’ needs and requirements, the objective of the conclusive evaluation phase is to assess the overall value and benefits of adopting ELN at Charité, especially its contribution to transparent documentation and management of research processes and data.


In RE-PLACE, we apply mixed and multi-method approaches [4, 5] based on pre-defined evaluation criteria and indicators embedded in QUEST’s Monitoring & Evaluation System COMPASS.


[1] Gerlach, B. et al. (2019) doi.org/10.1007/164_2019_287

[2] Bryson, J.M. et al. (2010) doi.org/10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2010.07.001

[3] Gerstler, P.J. et al. (2016) doi.org/10.1596/978-1-4648-0779-4

[4] Tashakkori, A. & Teddlie, C. (2010) doi.org/10.4135/9781506335193

[5] Goertz, G. (2018) doi.org/10.1515/srsr-2018-0081

Expected results / Implications / Perspectives

  • Data collection instruments (questionnaires, interview guides)
  • Evaluation data, reports & recommendations for further programme development

Publications & Downloads

Wetzel, C. et al. (2020) doi.org/10.36197/DUZOPEN.021

Wetzel, C. et al. (2022) doi.org/10.14512/tatup.31.1.35


Logo RE-PLACE and Logo BMBF

  • Dr. rer. nat. Christiane Wetzel

    Collaborative/Project Manager RE-PLACE | Project team leader QUEST Program Evaluation

    Contact information
    Phone:+49 30 450 543 668
  • Ina Frenzel, Dipl. Soz. tech.

    Research fellow

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