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?

    Check out Getting started or contact the Manager, Research Infrastructure or the Library's Research Team.

  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 ICT via Ask Services.

  5. What types of links can I create in the Online Research Notebook?

    Internal links:
    - 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

    External links:
    - 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?

  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:

  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?

    While the Online Research Notebook is an ICT endorsed storage solution for research data, La Trobe’s Privacy Officer recommends that researchers proposing to use it to store personal, confidential or sensitive data should apply additional encryption to such data for maximal security. Advice about encryption is available from ICT through Ask Services.

    Permanent deletion of material is generally not supported in the Online Research Notebook. Any data that must be permanently deleted at some future point (in line with obligations to a funding agency, human research participants or another party) should not be stored in the Online Research Notebook. Instead, a link may be created in the Online Research Notebook to such data; refer to the user guide Linking to a file or folder on your computer or the La Trobe network [DOCX 1.9MB].

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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 on Macs and with the Safari browser.

  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?

    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.

  4. 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

  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.

    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.

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?

    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

  1. I have a problem; where can I get help?
  2. How can I arrange training for myself/my team?

Troubleshooting

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
    and
    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.