For the future, you might want to consider issuing Livescribe pens. These capture what's written and when you put the pen in its cradle, it is uploaded as an image.
Lab notebooks nowadays look a bit like scrap books, and a lot of the material that is stuck in them has actually been printed out from a computer, e.g. chromatogram traces. So it was digital to start with. An Electronic Lab Notebook, if properly implemented, will allow you to capture that information and add metadata to it.
What disciplines are your scientists working in? I work on software designed to support the records of molecular biologists.
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Tel: +44 (0)1925 603689 Fax: +44 (0)1925 603634
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From: RESEARCH-DATAMAN automatic digest system [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 19 January 2014 00:02
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Subject: RESEARCH-DATAMAN Digest - 17 Jan 2014 to 18 Jan 2014 (#2014-9)
There is 1 message totaling 129 lines in this issue.
Topics of the day:
1. digitizing laboratory notebooks
Date: Sat, 18 Jan 2014 14:51:42 +0000
From: Alex Hardisty <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: digitizing laboratory notebooks
There is a huge amount of digitization experience in the musuems and libraries communities to call upon. Botanical collections, for example have set up highly efficient "factory production line" like set-ups to digitize information about hundreds of thousands / millions of specimens.
Various libraries have undertaken massive digitisation activities of their paper holdings. Wellcome Library, British Library come to mind. These latter are probably relevant and can offer excellent advice.
Director of Informatics Projects
Cardiff School of Computer Science and Informatics Cardiff University
tel: +44 29 2087 4761
From: Kathleen Fear <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: 17/01/2014 18:35
Subject: digitizing laboratory notebooks
Sent by: Research Data Management discussion list
<[log in to unmask]>
My institution is exploring the possibility of digitizing our researchers'
paper lab notebooks. We've done some small-scale scanning for individuals, and are now considering a bigger, more comprehensive effort.
If you've worked on something similar, I'd love to hear about it. Did you use a vendor for scanning, or do it in-house? What happens to the paper copies of the notebooks once they're scanned -- do they go back to the PIs, or into archival storage in the library or elsewhere? Do you provide access to the digital copies of the notebooks through a repository, or do you give the files directly to the PIs, or something else?
We've really just begun to think through the possibilities for this project, so any experience you're willing to share is welcome!
Data Librarian, Carlson Science and Engineering Library University of Rochester
End of RESEARCH-DATAMAN Digest - 17 Jan 2014 to 18 Jan 2014 (#2014-9)