Top 10 Strategies to Improve Scientific Reproducibility

Reproducibility is the benchmark of good science.  We are taught the scientific method is to do research following the five basic steps: observation, question, hypothesis, experiment, and record. The goal of scientific research is to prove a hypothesis and record the results of the experimentation used in the proof in such a way that the experiment can be replicated by someone else with the same results.  Thus, reproducibility is essential for any research to be taken seriously. In this article, we will look at the top ten strategies to improve scientific reproducibility with LabArchives ELN for Research.

1) Organization

When all your data is in one place, it’s easier to organize and analyze data to make research useful. This also helps to maintain its validity. Your electronic laboratory notebook (ELN) for Research from LabArchives is a breeze to customize to your needs and your lab’s workflow. When data and findings are easy to find and follow, the likelihood that your research can be reproduced increases.

2) Documentation

LabArchives ELN for Research makes it easy for you to upload lab notes, images, chemical structures, documents, and videos from any device as well as add links and metadata to categorize and connect research data. From there you can organize these items however you’d like or your lab can agree on an organizational structure which all researchers can use. The ability to add all of these different forms of media makes it easier to convey exactly what happened in your lab. Rather than having pages describing what happened or documenting your lab setup, for example, you can have a video or image that actually shows it.

3) Automated Data Capture

LabArchives ELN for Research captures experimental data from lab equipment making it easy to capture data and keep it error-free. If your data is heavily focused on lab equipment, having all those readings automatically captured by your ELN is very useful. And, it can ensure all data is captured. 

4) Complete Revision History

Research activity is logged permanently in LabArchives ELN for Research so your research will stand up to review better. With a complete revision history, you can track all the changes made by each user to the minute. Every change to your LabArchives ELN for Research is documented with an immutable time stamp. This functionality enables you to review all actions and changes made, and for others to review not only exactly what you did, but also when you did it. 

5) Workflow

Within LabArchives ELN for Research you can build scientific workflows that help to keep everyone on the same page as you begin to experiment. Notebooks can be customized to denote phases and progression of the research project while also standardizing data collection with customized templates and widgets.  This can also serve as a base guide for the reproducibility of your project. In the simplest sense, your workflow can be updated to show the process of your experiment. The rest of the functionality of LabArchives ELN for Research fills in the rest.

6) Search

LabArchives ELN for Research has the ability for you to search through all of the data in your ELN–and across multiple ELNs–including documents, spreadsheets, presentations, PDFs, and chemical structures. As your body of research grows, this functionality becomes an absolute lifesaver. The ability to search for and find the exact information you need dramatically improves efficiency.

7) Permission-based sharing and access

LabArchives ELN for Research includes sophisticated access management tools. With these tools you can grant permission-based access to multiple levels of your data. Access rights can be granted in a hierarchy of four levels (Owner, Administrator, User, Guest) with permission to any level of data (notebook, folder, page, entry) with two levels of privilege (read or read/write). The potential combination enables a powerful set of access and data management tools for your use when collaborating with others or protecting your laboratory data.  Use these roles to ensure everyone in your group has the right level of access at the right time for maximum collaboration. 

8) Data Reuse / Distribution

Research Data Management plans require a statement of how data will be distributed or made available for use by others.  LabArchives ELN for Research ensures that it is easy to publish your data (within your institution’s guidelines), so others can begin to test the reproducibility of your research when you are ready.  This can be done through a public URL (also called a DOI) which is generated by the ELN itself and can be referenced in posters, presentations, or published articles.

9) Compliance

Ensuring that LabArchives ELN for Research users meet the multitude of regulatory requirements that span industries and geographies means that your ELN can support your organisation’s needs. LabArchives ELN for Research has been evaluated against the controls required by many global standards so you can be confident that you are compliant with those that impact your research. A full accounting of our compliance posture is available and we will continue to expand and update this page with new information regularly. 

10) Robust Security

Security, including all three of its primary facets – confidentiality, integrity and availability – are built into the core structure and operations of LabArchives ELN for Research from the ground up. Data is always encrypted at rest and in transit, access to that data is determined solely by notebook owners, systems are monitored for security and operational concerns around the clock, regional deployments with redundant data centres are our standard, and backups of your most trusted data are made and tested on an ongoing basis.

LabArchives ELN for Research has everything you need to organize, document, and secure your research easily and effectively. It also has everything you need to get that data ready for the world. LabArchives ELN for Research helps to improve the scientific reproducibility of your research, and is trusted by over 610,000 users.

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