2013 ELN Survey Results

By Lab Manager

Electronic laboratory notebooks (ELNs), one component of a lab’s information infrastructure, help laboratories capture and manage knowledge, streamline data management, protect intellectual property and foster collaboration. Both non-specific/generic ELNs (which compete directly against paper notebooks) & application/task-specific ELNs exist, each with their own fans.

Top 6 Questions You Should Ask When Buying an ELN

  1. How local are resources and how available are resources for deployment, training and extensions? What is the timeline for availability and cost?
  2. How easy is it to extend the application? Does it require IT or super users? How long does training take to make modifications and how extensive is the API for modifications?
  3. How easy is it to get data back out of the system? Is all information indexed and searchable? Can users query and combine data from multiple experiments, not just return a list of experiments?
  4. What is the typical number of hours of admin time required to upgrade for a major release and a minor release?
  5. What level of support is offered? How many support staff are there, where are they located and what language do they support? How is the support rated by other customers?
  6. Is your IP system safe in their system? What is the chance the company will be around in five years? What is the chance that the company will switch technologies and force an expensive migration? What credibility does the company have in the past for delivering robust, scalable, secure, and 21 CFR Part 11 compliant systems?

Top ten features/factors survery respondents look for in ELNs:

Versatility 100%
Ease of use 99%
Security 99%
Service and support 99%
Price 96%
Up time 95%
Customization 94%
Ease of Installation 94%
Scalability 94%
Multi-Platform 93%


The primary purpose for the ELNs used in our readers' labs:

Infastructure for capturing,accessing and sharing experimental information 21%
Accelerating the documentation and reporting of experimentation 12%
Improve productivity 12%
Centralized data repositories 9%
Streamlined regulatory compliance 6%
Improved communication between instruments and related software 3%
Enabling scientists to collaborate effectively on multi-stage projects 3%
Workflow coordination across geographic and business boundaries 3%
Intellectual property (IP) protection 3%
All of the above 29%


Types of ELNs respondents currently have:

Client/Server 36%
Web-based 33%
Stand-alone 17%
Thin client/server 8%
Other 6%


The biggest challenge survey respondents are facing on an ELN purchase:

Data migration into the new system 29%
Staff adaptation and training 22%
Integration with other systems 17%
Investing in software that will become obsolete 13%
Demonstrating ROI 9%
System selection 5%
Other 4%

Completed surveys : 247

For more information on ELNs, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit www.labmanager.com/eln

See the latest survey results here

Categories: Surveys

Published In

The Pathway to Management Magazine Issue Cover
The Pathway to Management

Published: January 24, 2013

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The Pathway to Management

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