Protocols and SOPs

Create a template

Every day you rely heavily on reusing protocols and templates for your research. Labfolder allows you to create, edit and integrate your protocols directly in your electronic lab notebook. You can also even share them with your colleagues or external collaborators.

To create a template for your experiments, simply:

Make your own templates within the ELN

 

  1. Go to Manage > Templates.
  2. Click the +Add button.
  3. Select Add new template.
  4. Name your template and choose which folder to save it in.
  5. Once created, you can click on the template and start adding elements to it, just like a regular entry.

 

Loss managment iconYou can also generate templates from pre-existing entries and for that just click on the gearwheel present on the right-hand side of the entry header and choose Save as template.

 

Incorporate Word files

If you have saved your protocols as Word documents, you can simply insert them into your digital lab notebook and start working immediately. When you upload these Word documents to your ELN, it is able to recognize the content of the document (text, tables, images) and extract it into the appropriate input element.

  1. Upload your Word file of interest.
  2. Hover over the element and click on the extract icon that appears at the top-right corner.

Use Data Elements

By offering a common structure for the specification of physical quantities, Labfolder’s Data Elements help you to organize your experimental parameters. Together with the option of linking to the inventory (Material Database) this provides a perfect tool for structuring data in a common way and can increase reproducibility. You can find the icon for data elements in the entry header next to the Text, Table, Sketch, and Upload icons. Here, you can list different parameters by using:

  • a Numerical Data Element for physical quantities and units;
  • a Descriptive Data Element for any qualitative data;
  • a Data Group in order to cluster different experimental parameters;
  • Material Elements, that refer to items collected in your material database.

 

Loss managment icon Note that the Material Elements option will only appear once the Material Database app has been activated from the Apps view. See how to use the Material Database here.

Numerical Data Element

Enter a single DE

  1. Click on the Data Elements icon and select + Numerical DE
  2. Add a Data Element by specifying:
    • Data element name;
    • Physical quantity (mandatory);
    • Amount;
    • Units (mandatory).
  3. By clicking the Save icon in the top right corner, your data entry will be saved and close automatically.

 

Descriptive Data Element

Descriptive Data Elements

    1. Click on the Data Elements icon and select + Descriptive DE
    2. Add a Data Element by specifying:
      • Data element name (mandatory);
      • Data element description.
    3. By clicking the Save icon in the top right corner, your data entry will be saved and close automatically.

 

Data Group

Create a Data Element group

  1. Click on the Data Elements icon and select + Data Group.
  2. Add a name to the data element group (e.g. PCR).
  3. Now you can add more data elements to the group by dragging existing elements or clicking the + icon next to the group name.
  4. By clicking the Save icon in the top right corner, your data entry will be saved and close automatically.

Use a template

According to the rules of Good Laboratory Practices (GLP), you must either rewrite a protocol each time you use it or name the page on which it was first described. This takes a lot of time when it is done on paper, but thanks to Labfolder it is now easy. To insert the required template, go back to your notebook.

You can make changes to your templates

  1. Click on the +Add button and select Use Template.
  2. Select the desired template from your templates folders.
  3. Click the Use Template button and off you go!

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Update a template

In research, protocols are always being changed and optimized. With Labfolder, you can alter your templates whenever you want and they will be automatically updated for your entire team. No more will you accidentally use a protocol that is outdated or contains incorrect information. You can make changes to the template, safe in the knowledge that previous entries using the template will not be affected.

You can make changes to your templates

  1. Go to Manage > Templates.
  2. Select the template you want to make changes to.
  3. Simply edit it as you would do with an entry.
  4. Click the Save icon in the top right corner and your changes will be saved.

Share a template

When you are working with a team in the lab, you are likely to share experiments and sometimes need to do the same ones. This is where Templates come in handy. By creating a template, you already select which template folder to save it in. Likewise, when you create a group in the ELN, a group template folder automatically appears. Templates in the group folder are accessible for all group members.

Create shared templates within a group

  1. Go to Manage > Templates.
  2. Hover over the to-be-shared template and click on the gearwheel that appears to the right.
  3. Choose Share settings in the dropdown menu.
  4. In the pop-up window, check the square in front of members who you would like to share the template with.
  5. Confirm the changes by clicking Save.

 

Loss managment iconUsers of the Advanced version can customize the share settings for individual templates or template folder. This ensures that selected people will have the right to access this content and no one else.

Reuse entries

Imagine you want to repeat an experiment that you have documented in your ELN. This can easily be done using the Copy to End option in the item’s menu. This will replicate the entry. You can then edit it and change all the values in it to the data of your new experiments.

Create shared templates within a group

  1. Open an entry and click on the gearwheel icon in the upper right corner.
  2. Select Copy to end from the drop-down menu.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, you will see an almost identical entry, only the creation date is different.