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Science in the 21st Century: Digital and Networked

Spin-off from Freie Universität Launches Test Version of Electronic Lab Notebook "labfolder"

№ 34/2013 from Mar 01, 2013

Former scientists of the Max Planck Society, with assistance from Freie Universität, have made a public test version of an electronic lab notebook available for free use on the Internet. The Internet platform "labfolder" allows researchers to record data and notes in all formats in accordance with scientific standards, as well as to index and organize the data. It is possible to share the data with colleagues and publish them in a quotable form. Compared with conventional laboratory notebooks made of paper, which up to now have served as the documentation for scientific experiments, "labfolder" offers significant advantages. Experimental data are available more quickly and can be put in a meaningful structure. The project is supported by profund, the start-up support agency of Freie Universität, and through an EXIST spin-off grant from the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. To register for use of the test version, see www.labfolder.com

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.

Further Information

Dr. Simon Bungers, Managing Director, labfolder, Tel.: +49 30 838-70947, Email: sb@labfolder.net

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