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Objective: Electronic Laboratory Notebooks (ELNs) are widely used in industry but little is known about their use in academia or the extent to which they are licensed or supported by research institutions or academic libraries.

Methods: This paper describes an environmental scan conducted to determine whether major research institutions in the United States are providing enterprise ELN licenses to their users, which products they are licensing, and what role of the institutional library is playing in licensing and supporting ELNs.

Results: Of the 35 universities included in our scan, 8 (23%) had an enterprise-wide license for an ELN and 10 (28%) provided some kind of support for ELNs. Of the 10 institutions that offered support for ELNs, 9 involved the library. A literature review revealed a number of barriers to adoption—from costs to the diversity of needs—that may be limiting the adoption of ELNs within research institutions.

Conclusions: This research provides evidence about the current landscape of ELN support within academic institutions and the role of libraries in these initiatives.


Electronic Lab Notebooks, ELNs, Academic Libraries

Corresponding Author

Franklin Sayre, Bio-Medical Library, Health Science Libraries, 314 Diehl Hall, 505 Essex Street S.E. Minneapolis, MN, 55455; fdsayre@umn.edu

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Copyright Sayre et al. © 2018

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Appendix_1140.pdf (494 kB)
Appendix: Top American Research Universities List & ELN Products and Links