Data Management

This information addresses recommendations for organizing and naming your folders and files within your Electronic Lab Notebook, attaching/uploading files to your notebooks, and data export. For more information about research data management (RDM), visit Research Data Management.

Folder Hierarchy

  • Create a coherent and easy-to- decipher folder hierarchy system to organize information
  • The top-level folder or directory should include the project title, unique identified, and date (year)
  • Directories/folders within the substructure should be divided by a common theme. For example. each folder may contain a run of an experiment or a different version of each dataset.

Naming Folders and Files

  • Folder and file names are often the most basic information provided about the content. Make sure that that information is effectively searchable (think tags), is useful, and provides context and ways to effectively distinguish one file from another
    • LabArchives does not currently allow to browse through folders chronologically, therefore it is important to include dates
    • Include date, initials and description of “what” at a minimum within file name
    • Adopt the same file naming conventions for data files that are 
    • Examples:
      • Notebook title: UserInitals-YYYY- Project
      • Experiment entries: NotebookName-ExperimentName-UserInitials-YYYYMMDD
      • Data file names: NotebookName-DataDescription- UserInitials-YYYYMMDD

Uploading Files

  • Able to upload a single file to an attachment entry on a page
  • Data files up to 4GB can be uploaded
  • Entry will display attached file name with the option to enter a description of the data file (metadata)
  • When new versions of a new file are added to same entry, LabArchives retains all prior versions with option to revert to the original
  • Create a separate attachment entry for raw data, then “worked-up” data should be added as a new entry to ensure raw data is maintained in the HTML export (see below)
  • HTML export only includes the most recent version of data files uploaded
  • For files >250MB or multiple files, you are able to create links within rich text entry. LabArchives does not verify link, therefore ensure files are in a secure location. Within the entry, the file name and location directly in the event the URL link does not work.
  • For more on file naming, see tips at Exadox

Exporting and Archiving

  • LabArchives exports as a PDF or HTML
    • PDF – similar to scanned notebook pages. Can be created for single entry or entire notebook. Includes:
      • Text entries
      • Thumbnails of images and widgets
      • Annotations
      • Descriptions of attachments
      • User name
      • Time/date stamps
      • URLs may work depending on application used to view PDF
      • DOES NOT INCLUDE: attached files, version history of attachments or comments
    • HTML – Exports entire notebook, each page is a separate HTML file and most recent version of attached file is included. URLS may work depending on application used to view file. DOES NOT INCLUDE: version history of attachments or comments.