LabArchives has an extensive support site and provides front-line support to you as a researcher.

Q1: What is LabArchives?

A1: LabArchives is a web-based collaborative tool that was specifically designed for the storage, organization, sharing, and publishing of research data.

Q2: What is the cost?

A2: Free to anybody with a valid Columbia UNI.  The cost is being covered by the Libraries and CUIT.

Q3: What are the storage limitations?

A3: Columbia University users have unlimited storage and the ability to create as many notebooks as they want.

Q4: What kind of data can I upload?

A4: Data can be uploaded as Word Documents, Excel sheets, PDFs, Text files, Image files, and any other data desired. The maximum file size that can be uploaded is 4GB. For files that exceed 4GB you can link to the file from another server.  See Research Data Storage Options for a list of options available to Columbia University researchers.

Q5: How can I utilize LabArchives?

A5: Users can use LabArchives to replace traditional paper notebooks, use as a collaboration space and share with collaborators even outside the University.

Q6: Are there version controls?

A6: Yes, LabArchives provides automated version control at the entry and page level tracks and stores ALL revisions, by users, for every entry. No entry can be deleted. Each entry is time stamped utilizing NIST.

Q7: Is this archival space?

A7: Notebooks cannot be deleted once created. In a way it creates an archive, however, researchers may wish to use an additional data storage service for archiving. See Research Data Storage Options for a list of options available to Columbia University researchers.

Q8: Can I export information from my research notebook?

A8: Yes, you can export as a PDF either the entire notebook or any portion. You can also choose to create an offline notebook, which creates a zip drive with HTML files for the pages in the ERN and directory of attachments.

Q9: What are the advantages of using an Electronic Research Notebook?

A9: Here are just a few of the highlights:

  • Elimination of paper notebooks and need for large amounts of shelf space
  • Ability to access your notebook from anywhere
  • Easily comply with Data Management and Data Sharing Federal and publication requirements by sharing DOIs or public URL
  • View/ manage group members’ notebooks and retain them even when they are no longer at Columbia University
  • Intellectual property controls (versioning, timestamp, electronic signature that is FDA Title 21 CFR Part 11 compliant)

Q10: What entry formats are supported?

A10: Rich text data, tables, images, sketches, as well as annotations of images

Q11: What features are integrated?

A11: Integrates with GraphPad Prism, MS-Office, PubMed, and provides for easy customization. There are other widgets available for added flexibility.

Q12: What operating systems support LabArchives?

A12: Supports Windows, Mac (including mobile devices), Android, and Linux

Q13: How do I start my account?

A13: Go to LabArchives and select Columbia University as your institution. You will be automatically redirected to Columbia’s UNI login screen. Sign-in using your UNI and password.

Q14: Are there trainings?

A14: Columbia University will have periodic informational sessions on LabArchives, visit labnotebook.columbia.edu for information. There are online tutorials and webinars from LabArchives knowledge base. 

Q15: Can I use it for PHI/PII data? Is it secure?

A15: Columbia has a BAA with LabArchives. It is certified as a secure application with CUMC-IT Security, RSAM #5644. LabArchives is approved for PII, RHI, and PHI data across the University. Contact your ISO if you have questions.

SSL certificates provide full-time HTTPS security interactions for all users with the application and all data is encrypted. It in integrated with Columbia’s Shibboleth authentication systems. All network traffic is logged and monitored for any suspicious activity. Servers are kept in a secure, primary data center with a separate disaster recovery data center. Servers are protected by redundant, industry standard firewalls and security devices.

Q16: Who can access my account and my data?

A16: 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.

IF YOU SHARE OUTSIDE of Columbia University, it is your responsibility to ensure that they follow the appropriate policies and have the appropriate data sharing agreement in place. See your departmental IT if you need additional information about data sharing agreements. 

Q17: Can Columbia University view my notebook?

A17: No. No University Employee (including Officials) can view your laboratory notebook without your permission and/or knowledge.

Q18: Does LabArchives integrate with Quartzy?

A18: No. However, in Summer 2020, LabArchives announced a new Inventory module that is licensed separately from the research notebook. We are currently evaluating interest. Please feel free to express your interest to us at [email protected].

Q19: How do I use LabArchives on my mobile device?

A19:  LabArchives functions within the browser on most mobile devices and there is also an Android and iOS app.  See Using LabArchives on Mobile Devices.  Because LabArchives is integrated with Columbia University authentication via Shibboleth, you will need acquire a password token for your device.  See instructions.

Q20:  Collaboration:  Who can I give access to my content?

A20:  You can give Columbia and non-Columbia people access to your notebook or parts of your notebook via their email address.  When you add them, a link will be emailed to them.  If they are a Columbia person, they will authenticate through their UNI/password.  If they are external to Columbia, they will be prompted to set a password and it will create a "Free-edition" account.  For more information see Adding Users.  You control whether they have read or edit access. 

Q21: What happens if the contract with LabArchives terminates or LabArchives goes out of business?

Q21: The contract between LabArchives and Columbia University is covered by CUIT and the Libraries. If, for any reason, the contract is terminated, LabArchives agrees to maintain all of the Columbia data in a 'read-only' format and allow users to export the data for a period of 3 (three) years from the date the subscription terminates. The data remains the sole and exclusive property of Columbia University.