FAQ

About the Online Research Notebook

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. How do I get started with the online research notebook?

    Refer to the Quick Start guide or contact orn@latrobe.edu.au to arrange a consultation.

  4. 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 orn@latrobe.edu.au.

Why use the Online Research Notebook?

  1. 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 Michele Hosking, Lead Business Analyst, Research Data: orn@latrobe.edu.au or call ext. 3467
  2. I like my physical lab notebook – why should I use the Online Research Notebook?
    1. 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
    2. Research data organised: Researchers can use the Online Research Notebook to store and link all their research data
    3. Revision history: The Online Research Notebook maintains a full history of changes made to a notebook (including date, time and username)
    4. Electronic signature: No further edits can be made once a page has been signed by the research team leader
    5. 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
    6. Searchability: The Online Research Notebook allows comprehensive searching of notebooks and of the contents of many types of file content.
    7. 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
    8. Integrations: The Online Research Notebook integrates with other applications including MS Office, GraphPad Prism, FlowJo
    9. Supervisors: Supervisors can monitor their HDR students’ progress even when out of the office

Data and security

  1. 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.

  2. 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].

  3. How many notebooks can I have?

    You can have an unlimited number of notebooks.

  4. Is the Online Research Notebook suitable for storing sensitive research data?

    LabArchives, the application powering the online research notebook, is currently being assessed by ICT and Legal for its suitability for storing sensitive research data. This FAQ article will be updated when the decision has been made.

    All data is stored exclusively in LabArchives's Australian data centres, including backups.

    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 any data cannot be stored in a cloud-based storage platform such as the Online Research Notebook.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

Devices, browsers and operating systems

  1. 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 with Safari.

  2. 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.

  3. Can I use the Online Research Notebook in the laboratory?

    You can use the Online Research Notebook anywhere, including on a computer or portable device in your lab. Appropriate biosafety measures need to be employed when equipment is moving in and out of PC1 and PC2 labs, to ensure equipment is decontaminated. For advice on the decontamination of equipment, contact Dr Tracy Stanley, Senior Biosafety Advisor (Interim), on ext 3358 or email biosafety@latrobe.edu.au.

Integration with other tools

  1. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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 Researchdata.latrobe for making research datasets publicly available.

Using the Online Research Notebook without an internet connection

  1. 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. Refer to the LabArchives Knowledgebase article for details.

Long-term storage

  1. How long will the Online Research Notebook store my notebook(s)?
    Notebooks will be stored indefinitely.
  2. What happens to my notebook(s) if I leave La Trobe?

    Staff researchers:

    • All departing staff researchers may make an Offline HTML copy of their notebook for their own future reference. Refer to the LabArchives Knowledgebase article for instructions. Please note that once your La Trobe network user account is deactivated, you will no longer have access to La Trobe’s Online Research Notebook.
    • If you are the Owner of the notebook, you should then transfer ownership to the leader of your research group (e.g. Chief Investigator, Lab Head).
    • If you are the leader of your research group, please transfer ownership of your notebook to your Head of Department or School.
    • If appropriate, the new Owner may then share the notebook with you as a Guest user; alternatively, access may be provided to you through an external LabArchives account (through your new institution or your own personal account).

    HDR students:

    • Departing HDR students may retain ownership of their notebook after leaving La Trobe. However, if you do not have an external LabArchives account (through your new institution or your own personal account), you will need to create an Offline HTML copy of your notebook. Refer to the LabArchives Knowledgebase article for instructions. Please note that once your La Trobe network user account is deactivated, you will no longer have access to La Trobe’s online research notebook.
    • HDR students who do not have their own separate notebook may choose to copy their research data into a new notebook on completion.

Training and support

  1. I have a problem; where can I get help?
  2. How can I request training for myself/my team?
    • Scheduled training is advertised on the Office of Research Infrastructure's Online Research Notebook Training and Support page.
    • To arrange a training session, contact orn@latrobe.edu.au or call ext. 3467