Help and Support

Webinars, Knowledgebase, and Online Support

Online Support

Get help from LabArchives online here or via support@labarchives.com.

Support at Penn

If necessary, contact your local school IT support. Additional support is available from the Penn Libraries.

Webinars

LabArchives offers training webinars on basic and advanced topics.  Browse the available sessions.

Interested in a personalized webinar?  You may schedule a customized training for your lab or research group. Send an email to support@labarchives.com

There are many online resources to help you set up and utilize your notebooks!

Frequently Asked Questions

General

What is LabArchives?

LabArchives is a secure cloud-based electronic research notebook application enabling researchers to create, store, share and manage their research data. LabArchives provides a flexible, extensible platform that can be customized to match a research lab’s workflow providing benefits to Principal Investigators, lab managers & staff, post doctoral fellows and grad students. The classroom edition provides instructors features to manage, engage, monitor and evaluate students’ laboratory work.

Who is eligible for an account on Penn’s LabArchives?

All faculty, students, and staff with a valid PennKey are eligible.

What courses are eligible to use the Classroom Edition of LabArchives?

All courses are eligible. See the LabArchives KnowlegeBase  for information on getting started. If you have questions, you may consult the Penn Libraries via this support form or via email to canvas@pobox.upenn.edu.

Why should I used the ERN instead of OneNote, EverNote, Google Drive, or Box?

Advantages of using LabArchives to store your digital research data instead of popular consumer tools include:

  • Additional legal and security protections
  • Permanency of digital data
  • Auditability
  • Assists in compliance with Penn and governmental policies
  • Searchability
  • Signing and Witnessing
  • Customization features such as templates, widgets, protocols
  • Integration with other software and services

How will I access my notebooks if there is an outage or loss of connectivity?

The LabArchives service has been in use at several higher education institutions and has a record of high availability. However, your access to LabArchives, like other web-based services, is dependent on Internet connectivity. If you are offline, or if the LabArchives service is down, you will not be able to edit or access the most recent version of your notebooks. Therefore, it is recommended that you establish a backup strategy that includes exporting and archiving notebooks (both PDF and HTML formats can be exported). In addition, keeping secondary copies of data and other types of files in another location may ensure your access to critical files in the event of an outage. Note that these are good backup strategies even if no outages occur.

How long can I count on the ERN service being available?

The campus has a multi-year site license for the LabArchives service. During the initial years of the service, a campus ERN Advisory group will evaluate how well the ERN service fits the needs of researchers and determine future direction. It is very likely that ERNs are here to stay, provided they offer benefits to researchers.

Can I use LabArchives from a Mobile device?

Yes. See this section in the LabArchives KnowledgeBase  for more details.

Does LabArchives offer electronic signatures?

Yes, and once signed, those pages are no longer editable. LabArchives is also 21 CFR Part 11 compliant for files under 250 MB in size. More information can be found here in the LabArchives KnowledgeBase .

Data

Where will my data be stored?

LabArchives hosts all of its software and customer data at Amazon data centers located in two regions: the primary is US East (Virginia) and their failover is US West (Oregon). Data is always stored within the United States and does not travel outside of US borders.

What if I have data files that are too numerous or large to upload?

The maximum file size for upload to the LabArchives ERN is 15GB. To include larger files in your ERN document, you will need to store them elsewhere and link to them from an ERN entry. It may be useful to include information about the server location and file names in the ERN entries that point to linked files. This imperfect approach does not guarantee that files linked remain intact, unaltered, and accessible for many years. Linked files are not protected or verified by the LabArchives software, so policies should be set in place to ensure that linked files are never changed or moved.

Does anyone at Penn or LabArchives have access to my research data?

No. No University or LabArchives employee can view your laboratory notebook without your permission and/or knowledge.

Who can access my account and my data?

As the owner of the lab notebook, you have full administrative control, including what is shared, with whom, and what they are allowed to view and edit within your notebook. You can maintain both private and collaborative information within your LabArchives account.

Can I export or download my notebooks? I am concerned about network or power disruptions.

Yes. You may follow the instructions in the LabArchives Knowledgebase to create an offline version of your notebook in formats such as PDF or HTML. You can then store, print, or access your notebooks as you would any other files.

I am new to Penn, and used LabArchives at another institution. Can I transfer my data?

Yes. If you need assistance, please contact support@labarchives.com.

I am leaving Penn. Can I retain my data?

Yes. You may follow the instructions in the LabArchives Knowledgebase to create an offline version of your notebook in formats such as PDF or HTML. If relevant to your situation, you may wish to review the Procedural Guidelines for Principal Investigators Leaving the University of Pennsylvania . Additionally, you can find information on transferring ownership of notebooks in the LabArchives KnowledgeBase . If you need assistance, please contact support@labarchives.com.

My collaborator is leaving Penn. Can we transfer her data to stay at Penn?

Yes. If relevant to your situation, you may wish to review the Procedural Guidelines for Principal Investigators Leaving the University of Pennsylvania . Additionally, you can find information on transferring ownership of notebooks in the LabArchives KnowledgeBase . If you need assistance, please contact support@labarchives.com.

Will I be able to use LabArchives with collaborators outside my lab?

Yes, there are several options that will allow you to use LabArchives with collaborators outside your lab. Levels of access, from read-only to full editing privileges, can be set for all users. More information can be found here in the LabArchives KnowledgeBase .

Is it okay to store Protected Health Information (PHI) in LabArchives?

At this time, HIPAA-protected information should not be stored on the Penn instance of LabArchives. As of December 2018, Penn is exploring whether LabArchives can be used for this category of data in the future. See our Data Considerations page for further information on data management and security. Consult with your department’s local service provider for further guidance.

Do you have additional guidance on data considerations?

See our Data Considerations page for further information on data management and security.

Classroom

Where can I get support for myself and my students?

LabArchives Classroom documentation is available in the LabArchives KnowledgeBase .

Information on getting started is found in this section of the LabArchives KnowledgeBase . If you have questions, you may consult the Penn Libraries via this support form or via email to canvas@pobox.upenn.edu.

For students, information on getting started is in this section of theLabArchives KnowledgeBase .

Are TAs or other instructors able to access students’ notebooks?

Yes. For instructions on giving access to TAs and other instructors, go to this section of the LabArchives KnowledgeBase .

Is there any feedback mechanism for my students’ notebooks?

Yes, instructors are able to provide feedback on their students’ notebooks via the comment feature. For more information, see the LabArchives KnowledgeBase .