About the Online Research Notebook
- Who can use the Online Research Notebook?
The Online Research Notebook is available free of charge for all La Trobe researchers, including HDR students and Honours students.
- What is LabArchives?
The Online Research Notebook is powered by the LabArchives application. LabArchives was originally developed to enable laboratory-based researchers to manage, store and link all their research data, and to share it with collaborators. However, researchers from any discipline, especially those that use research notebooks, may find LabArchives useful. Other Australian universities, including Monash University and University of Sydney, also use LabArchives for their Online Research Notebook.
- How do I get started with the Online Research Notebook?
- What is a widget in the Online Research Notebook ?
A widget is a small application within the Online Research Notebook. Widgets can be web entry forms, databases, calculators, or many other types of tool to assist you with managing your research data in your online research notebook. Numerous widgets are provided with the Online Research Notebook, or you can create your own. Refer to the LabArchives Knowledgebase for further details. To request assistance with developing a widget, contact ICT via Ask Services.
- What types of links can I create in the Online Research Notebook?
- Link to another part of the same rich text entry or widget
- Link to another folder, page or entry in the same notebook
- Link to a folder, page or entry in another notebook
- mailto link
- Link to a folder or file on your local machine or network drive
- Link to an external URL
Refer to the LabArchives Knowledgebase for details
Why use the Online Research Notebook?
- Is the Online Research Notebook the right research data management tool for my needs?
To decide whether the Online Research Notebook will meet your research data management needs, you may wish to:
- Watch the introductory video
- Discuss your needs with a member of the Library's Research Data Team, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Read the Guidelines for use of the Online Research Notebook
- I like my physical lab notebook – why should I use the Online Research Notebook?
- Ease of access: Researchers can access their notebook from anywhere with an internet connection. There’s also the option of creating an offline version of a notebook if needed
- Research data organised: Researchers can use the Online Research Notebook to store and link all their research data
- Revision history: The Online Research Notebook maintains a full history of changes made to a notebook (including date, time and username)
- Electronic signature: No further edits can be made once a page has been signed by the research team leader
- Sharing and access rights: The Online Research Notebook provides several levels of user access rights and options for sharing with other research team members or collaborators. Sharing can be at the individual entry level, or at the page, folder, or notebook level
- Searchability: The Online Research Notebook allows comprehensive searching of notebooks and of the contents of many types of file content.
- Consistency: Researchers can easily create custom templates and notebook structures so that everyone in the team can collect and store data in a standardised way
- Integrations: The Online Research Notebook integrates with other applications including MS Office, GraphPad Prism, FlowJo
- Supervisors: Supervisors can monitor their HDR students’ progress even when out of the office
Data and security
- Is the Online Research Notebook secure?
The Online Research Notebook's primary and secondary servers are kept in a secure, primary data centre in NSW, Australia, provided through LabArchives and Amazon Web Services. Regular backups of data are kept in multiple Australian locations, and all data is stored in encrypted form.
The Online Research Notebook is a fully cloud-hosted application, with a web browser-based user interface. It uses SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates to provide full-time HTTPS security for all user interactions.
- Is there a limit to the amount of data I can store in the Online Research Notebook?
You can store unlimited data in the Online Research Notebook. However there is an upload size limit of 250 MB per file. Larger files can be linked instead of uploaded; refer to the user guide Linking to a file or folder on your computer or the La Trobe network [DOCX 1.9MB].
- How many notebooks can I have?
You can have an unlimited number of notebooks.
- Is the Online Research Notebook suitable for storing sensitive research data?
The Online Research Notebook is a digital research notebook application cloud-hosted by LabArchives LLC. All data is securely encrypted both in transit (including all user transactions) and in storage. Researchers can therefore store research data in the Online Research Notebook with confidence, including sensitive data, such as personally identifiable information. However, when determining whether to store particular research data in the Online Research Notebook, researchers should consider any applicable conditions, such as ethics approvals and contracts.
If you or your research team are currently in a contract or an agreement with any external companies or bodies, including funding agencies, please check your legally-binding agreements. Some agreements may state that research data cannot be stored in a cloud-based storage platform, such as the Online Research Notebook.
- Can data be deleted from the notebook, or a whole notebook deleted?
- What file types can be stored in the Online Research Notebook?
You can store any type of file in the Online Research Notebook. However there is an upload size limit of 250 MB per file. Larger files can be linked instead of uploaded.
- Can I store large files in the Online Research Notebook?
There is an upload size limit of 250 MB per file. Larger files can be linked in the Online Research Notebook instead of uploaded.
The comprehensive revision history and the ability to revert to previous versions of a page or entry, or to restore previously deleted folders and notebooks, makes permanent deletion of material difficult, but not impossible.
When sensitive data needs to be permanently removed from a notebook, the minimum unit that can be deleted is one page. The deletion is accomplished by LabArchives personnel emptying the Deleted Items bin for the notebook, so everything in Deleted Items will be purged - it is not selective. Similarly, whole notebooks can be deleted, but also requires written authorisation from the administrators to LabArchives Support.
Devices, browsers and operating systems
- Can I use the Online Research Notebook on my Mac?
Yes, the Online Research Notebook is a web-browser-based application that can be used on Macs and with the Safari browser.
- Can I use the Online Research Notebook on my mobile and tablet?
The Online Research Notebook can be used with the LabArchives app, which is available in iOS and Android versions. Refer to the user guide for details.
- Can I use the Online Research Notebook in the laboratory?
The Online Research Notebook can be used on computers, laptops and other portable devices. When considering the use of the Online Research Notebook within the lab, biosafety procedures must be followed, particularly for portable devices entering and exiting the lab. The La Trobe Institutional Biosafety Committee (LTIBC) is currently considering appropriate procedures. Researchers wishing to use the Online Research Notebook in their laboratories should seek advice on biosafety procedures from their School’s Laboratory Services Manager.
- Which web browser should I use for the Online Research Notebook?
The Online Research Notebook works with all commonly used web browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge and Internet Explorer. LabArchives LLC advises that Chrome will deliver the best experience.
Integration with other tools
- With which applications does the Online Research Notebook integrate?
- MS Office: There is a plug-in for MS Office for both Windows and Mac. Refer to the user guide for details
- MS Office files stored in the Online Research Notebook can also be edited in MS Office Online
- GraphPad Prism: Export projects from Prism into a notebook
- FlowJo: Earlier versions only (Pre 2017)
- Vernier Logger Pro data-collection and analysis software
Refer to the LabArchives Knowledgebase articles for details.
Sharing and collaborating
- Can I use the Online Research Notebook to collaborate with researchers outside La Trobe?
Yes, you can invite your collaborators in to view or contribute to part or all of your notebook. Refer to the LabArchives Knowledgebase article for details.
- Can I share my Online Research Notebook publicly?
While LabArchives does have this capability, it has been disabled for the Online Research Notebook. La Trobe University provides Opal for making research datasets publicly available.
Using the Online Research Notebook without an internet connection
- Can I work with the Online Research Notebook without an internet connection?
You can create a read-only, offline version of a notebook, either as an offline HTML version of the whole notebook, or as a PDF version of part or all of the notebook.
There are several ways of uploading files that you created while offline into your notebook.
Refer to the Working offline and the Online Research Notebook user guide for details.
- How long will the Online Research Notebook store my notebook(s)?
Notebooks will be stored indefinitely.
- What happens to my notebook(s) if I leave La Trobe?
The Guidelines for use of the Online Research Notebook include guidelines for researchers on transferring ownership of notebooks to La Trobe and the various options for retaining a copy of notebook data. Refer to the Exit planning and the Online Research Notebook user guide for procedures.
Training and support
- I have a problem; where can I get help?
- How can I arrange training for myself/my team?
- I get a LabArchives Partner Site Login Error message when I try to log in to the Online Research Notebook
This may occur due to what's known as "stale" web browser sessions. To resolve the issue, clear the cache of your web browser then try again. To avoid the problem, always make sure you log out of the Online Research Notebook when you have finished working in it. Your web browser's Help will have instructions on how to clear the cache. If the problem persists, contact LabArchives Support for assistance.
- I can't create a new entry or edit an existing one in my notebook page.
This happens when you already have an entry open for editing. Saving or exiting the entry will allow you to create or edit another entry.
- LabArchives error message when trying to save from Word, Excel or Powerpoint
If you try to save a file to LabArchives and both of these conditions apply:
the file's current location is OneDrive
the file name contains an underscore
the save to LabArchives action will fail and you'll get the following error:
"The given path's format is not supported."
To overcome this error, rename the file (removing the underscore) and try again.