The open lab book

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Main concept

An open lab book that can be shared across the globe with all value networks. This is built on a p2p platform. At first, it is a repository of information, but can be enhanced with other tools for matching, searching, forking and remixing, semantics, etc. Another function is to log contributions to R&D projects.

This tool can also be used in academia. In fact, it would be nice to get some interest form academia in order to gather support on development. This idea goes further than the open labook idea (see wikipedia link below). It is in fact a blend between the value network model, allowing amalgamation of contributions and recognition attribution, with the idea of transparency, which is instantiated by open notebook science. In other words, the value network model can be applied to science. It can in fact revolutionize sharing of scientific and technical data, information and knowledge.

Source(s): The open lab book

Some important ideas

Electronic lab notebooks used for development or research in regulated industries, such as medical devices or pharmaceuticals, are expected to comply with FDA regulations related to software validation. The purpose of these regulations is to ensure the integrity of the entries in terms of time, authorship, and content. Unlike ELNs for patent protection, FDA is not concerned with patent interference proceedings, but is concerned with avoidance of falsification.

External links

There's a lot of literature about the ELN. Some people here compare wiki, Google docs, and ELN

ELN based on Drupal, On soundforge, Github

The ELNs I see are for specific purpose (biology, chemistry, with databases of chemical compounds per example). I feel we will have to design our own general ELN and interface it with the VAS.


This topic was discussed for the first time by Tibi, Bob and Francois, during an infrastructure meeting on Monday 26, 2012. This was in response to Bob's call for a leap, a new idea about managing R&D contributions.


SENSORICA's current practices

Project documentation: Each R&D project has its own page on SENSORICA's website. See project list here. Moreover, each R&D project has a folder associated with it in the shared database, which is a shared but not public Google Drive. The evolution is documented in a main document. These main documents are linked within the value accounting system (see below). The problem is that there is no systematic way to distinguish who documented what.

Contribution log: The Back Office Catalog contains a list of projects and activities (activities are becoming work types in the new system). This list of projects and activities appear in the forms used to log time contributions. This is how the system records different activities associated to different projects. The log also contains a short description of the work done, and can contain links to the main document of the project. Anyone can go back from the time contribution log, reading the short description of the activity associated with a specific project, and go to the project's webpage to see the context. This movement from the log to the context of the project is necessary for the evaluation of the contribution.

The problem with this system is that the context is separated from the contribution log.

SENSORICA's new prototype

See our new prototype for R&D projects. This new prototype provides better integration between the time contribution log and the context of the contribution.