№ 34/2013 from Mar 01, 2013
A team of young scientists, who set themselves the goal of making the benefits of the digital age useful for the everyday life of researchers, designed "labfolder." The molecular biologists Simon Bungers and Florian Hauer, who previously spent several years doing research in institutes of the Max Planck Society, shared their lab experiences to design the electronic lab notebook along with the software architect Mathias Schäffner. During the current beta phase, scientists and students can test all functions and make their own suggestions for additions and improvements that can then be integrated.
A new trend in the evaluation of research will benefit the founders: recently the National Science Foundation in the U.S., which happens to be the largest research agency in the world, adopted a new directive requiring that reviews of scientific achievements must take into account not only publications in scientific journals, but also other data published by scientists. The designers of "labfolder" took this up and developed a "protocol designer," which makes it possible to store the experimental data in a structured form so they can be analyzed and published. This should give young scientists in particular an opportunity to significantly expand the reach of their research results.