UK ERN Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you do not find information you are looking for in the following FAQs, please go to:

    LabArchives FAQs

    About LabArchives®

    What is LabArchives®?

    The University of Kentucky (UK) supports a LabArchives® Electronic Research Notebook (ERN) institutional license for the UK research community. It is a web-based application designed for scientists to create, store, share and manage their research data. A LabArchives® Notebook may be shared among any number of UK users; access rights are controlled by the Notebook Owner/Administrator and can be easily modified to suit the individual needs of each researcher or contributor. The platform is flexible and can be customized to support multiple different research workflows.

    What are the benefits of an ERN system like LabArchives®?

    The University of Kentucky (UK) has an interest in adopting a centrally-support ERN system in support of improved data management practices. The LabArchives® ERN system has the following benefits:

    • Access your research notebook entries anywhere
    • Data are searchable
    • Saves space by reducing/eliminating paper notebooks
    • Unlimited data storage (up to 4GB max per individual file uploaded)
    • Secure storage of research data in a central location
    • Support collaboration within research groups, including external (non-UK) collaborators
    • Flexibility in setting user roles and customized permissions for research notebook viewing and editing
    • Able to customize templates, protocols and processes for different research workflows
    • Integrates with multiple programs including Microsoft Office, UK Single Sign On, Google docs, ChemDoodle, PubMed, GraphPad Prism, and SnapGene.
      • If you identify other programs you would like to connect with LabArchives®, please contact
    • Able to store a variety of file types, including images, video, spreadsheets, etc.
    • Allows signing, file versioning, and activity tracking in support of data provenance
    • Supported UK service with security and legal protections in place

    What is the advantage to using LabArchives® versus other software to communicate with my team, such as Microsoft Teams, DropBox, etc.?

    A few advantages are: 

    • Bank-level security - All LabArchives® customer data and backups are encrypted at rest with AES-256 as well as a plethora of other security measures 

    • Date/Time Stamping - Cannot be manipulated, LabArchives® uses the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) protocol 

    • Versioning - Ability to revert back to a previous version of data or documents 

    • Deleting - No data/image/document is ever permanently deleted 

    • Searching - The Search function allows you to search for information from any notebook that you own have or been granted access 

    • Permissions - Ability to choose the level of permission each person has to your data/images/documents 

    • Accessibility - Ability to add data/images/documents directly to LabArchives® with your phone or equipment that is connected to LabArchives®; download your notebook to PDFcreate an offline notebook 

    • Monitoring - Ability to monitor all activity within your notebook 

    • Linking - Ability to link information from another project to current project without having to add the same information again 

    • Widgets – You may create a widget specific to your research or use widgets already created through LabArchives® 

    • Collaboration/Sharing - Easily collaborate with others outside your team 

    • Notebook structures – Ability to structure your data as you would in a network drive 

    • Commenting – Ability to comment live on a specific entry 

    • Compliance - LabArchives® utilizes Amazon Web Services (AWS) for all infrastructure needs as well as aligning with other compliance standards and guidelines (i.e. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), NIST, etc) 

    • Page Signing/Witnessing - ability to freeze a page so that no changes can be made 

    • Notebook Manager – Ability to clone a notebook so that you don’t have to start another project from scratch, etc.

    • Attaching – The ability to attach any file type 

    What are the storage limitations?

    University of Kentucky (UK) users have unlimited storage and can create as many notebooks as they want. The maximum file size that can be uploaded is 16GB for an individual file.

    Files Less than 250MB

    • Saved on secure cloud storage in your LabArchives® notebook
    • Content fully searchable (if the document is editable in LabArchives®)
    • Will get pulled in via Folder Monitor

    Files Between 250MB-16GB and Files Greater than 16GB

    • Searching within the content is not available; only file name is searchable
    • Cannot be previewed, edited, or annotated within LabArchives®; download the file to edit
    • Will NOT get pulled in via Folder Monitor
    • Will NOT be exported in PDF or HTML versions of notebooks (only name of large files will be available in these offline copies)

    Files Greater than 16GB

    • CANNOT be saved directly in LabArchives® notebooks
    • Recommend storage on a UK secure network drive or server (such as SharePoint) and embed a link to that external drive/server location within your notebook page (see LabArchives® knowledgebase link)
    • Searchability will be confined to the descriptive text written in the notebook page next to the hyperlink and text within the hyperlink. Descriptive text might include information about the server location and file names.
    • Provide a reference or link to data that is stored in another location. Links and data in your notebook should be organized in a way that you or a colleague can locate the information in the future. (LabArchives® Knowledgebase 11.05 Large Data Sets or Data Stored Outside of LabArchives®)
    • Will NOT get pulled in via Folder Monitor

    Are there version controls?

    All data entered into LabArchives® is date and time stamped with the user who completed the action recorded as well.

    The timestamp is generated by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standard time. Each action (e.g., addition, deletion or revision) has a unique timestamp, and previous versions can be viewed. No data or notebook entries may be permanently deleted from UK LabArchives® notebooks (i.e. data and entries may be edited and moved into the notebook’s “trashcan”, but they can always be restored). This ensures full data traceability and supports intellectual property rights by documenting who did what and when they did it. 

    LabArchives® also offers a “page signing” feature which permanently freezes a specific version of a notebook page (i.e. no further edits can be made to the page or the data on it).  

    How are the electronic data and notebooks in LabArchives® backed up?

    Once a research notebook is created in LabArchives® at UK, it cannot be deleted. Data saved on LabArchives® will be stored using Amazon Web Services.  Both primary and secondary Amazon data centers for storage are located in the US. If desired, individual research groups may create locally stored copies of their LabArchives® notebooks by exporting the notebooks in either PDF or HTML formats.

    What data entry formats are supported?

    Rich text data, tables, images, sketches, as well as annotations of images are supported. Any file (less than 4GB per individual file) can be uploaded, but not all files can be edited within LabArchives®.

    For files that exceed the 4GB limit, you can link to files or folders from another server by adding a URL or a server address.  (e.g. SharePoint)

    What external software applications are directly integrated?

    LabArchives® integrates with a variety of programs including Microsoft Office, UK Single Sign On, Google docs, ChemDoodle, PubMed, GraphPad Prism, and SnapGene. Some integrated features requires downloading a plugin from the LabArchives® website, such as Microsoft Office.

    You may need to create a password token for external applications. Please see LabArchives® 3.01.5 Using Partner Applications with a Single Sign on System for instructions on creating a password token. 

    LabArchives® knowledgebase link for Microsoft plugin -- Windows users

    LabArchives® knowledgebase link for Microsoft plugin -- Mac users

    ***NOTE:  Mac users may need to follow additional manual steps listed in the knowledgebase (see “install shortcuts manually” sections) to save directly to LabArchives® notebooks from the desktop Word, Excel and PowerPoint programs.

    If the software you are using is not an integrated application, you can export the data in a common file format and upload the data to your LabArchives® Notebook.

    What browser and operating systems are supported?

    LabArchives® can be used by Windows, Mac, Android and Linux operating systems. LabArchives® provides a free mobile app for both iOS (Mac) and Android devices. 

    LabArchives® should be used with the following browsers:

    • Chrome  
    • Firefox ESR 
    • Firefox  
    • Safari  
    • Edge  

    NOTE: Internet Explorer is not recommended, and it is no longer supported by Microsoft.

    Does LabArchives® support multiple languages?

    No, but anyone can add notes or attachments in any language. Please note: you will want all users with permissions to be able to read notes or attachments; the funding agency/sponsor may have specific requirements; Quality Assurance Officers should be able to read notes or attachments; if your language is written aligned to the right; you may have formatting issues. 

    If a collaborator uses a language other than English, they may be able to use their browser translator to translate LabArchives® into their language if Chrome or Firefox supports that particular translator.  

    How will I access my notebooks if there is an outage or loss of connectivity?

    The LabArchives® service is in use at multiple US academic research institutions and has a record of high availability. However, your access to LabArchives®, like other web-based services, is dependent on internet connectivity. If you are offline, or if the LabArchives® service is down, you will not be able to edit or access the most recent version of your notebooks. LabArchives® notebooks are backed up in triplicate through Amazon Web Services, so when the internet activity is restored, all notebooks and data will be restored and accessible. 

    If desired, individual research groups may create locally stored copies of their LabArchives® notebooks by exporting the notebooks in either PDF or HTML formats.  This backup strategy can be helpful, but care must be taken to keep track of multiple copies of exported versions. 

    How secure is my LabArchives® data?

    LabArchives® utilizes Amazon Web Services for its application, database, storage, and backup servers.  Amazon Web Services Compliance. Key security controls in the UK’s LabArchives® service include:

    • Encryption of data in transit and at rest
    • Firewalls and other security devices on all servers
    • Monitoring of all network traffic for suspicious activity
    • Regular testing, upgrades, and patching for vulnerabilities
    • Regular third party security audits

    Who can access my research data?

    No one can view your research notebook without your permission and/or knowledge. To laern how to share your notebook (either full notebook or sections) with team members or collaborators follow this LabArchives® link. You can provide read-only or edit access to collaborators.

    Please note: Your team member or collaborator must have a LabArchives® account in order to access the data you are sharing.

    Where will my data be stored?

    LabArchives® hosts all of its software and customer data at Amazon data centers located in two regions: the primary is US East (Virginia) and their failover is US West (Oregon). Data are always stored within the United States and does not travel outside of US borders.

    If UK decides to cancel the LabArchives® subscription or LabArchives® goes out of business, what happens to UK researcher data?

    If UK cancels the LabArchives® subscription, the UK site administrator can request all data for UK to be returned to UK.

    If LabArchives® goes out of business, there is an agreement in place with an escrow company that will provide all data to UK with support and tools needed to access the data.  



    Creating Your Account

    How do I create a LabArchives® account?

    Go to our Create a UK Account webpage for step-by-step instructions.

    Important Notes:

    When creating your UK account, best practice is to use your email address.

    Did you create a free by mistake? Email to merge your free account with your UK account.

    Have questions or need additional help activating your account? Please email or call (859) 257-2978

    How do I associate my existing account with the University of Kentucky?

    Go to our Associate an Existing Account with UK webpage for step-by-step instructions.

    (Recommend updating your contact information to use email address)

    What URL do I bookmark for quick access to LabArchives® once my account is created?

    You should bookmark If you bookmark the Single Sign On (SSO) page, you will get an error message when trying to log in. Each time you access the page starts a new SSO session. If you bookmark that page, it reads your access as already granted and will not work. 

    How do I create a Notebook once my account is activated?

    PIs: Once you have activated your account, make sure you own a notebook!

    When you first activate/open your account, you may or may not see a notebook named "University of Kentucky" with the entry heading "UK Research Community Notebook". This is a notebook accessible by the entire UK research community. 

    Regardless of whether you see this enterprise notebook, you (the PI) should own AT LEAST one notebook for your research group.

    Click "Notebooks" in the top left corner of the screen. This shows you all the notebooks to which you have access. AT LEAST one of these should be owned by you (the PI). To add a notebook, click the "+" sign in the top left corner and complete the information requested.

    If a member of your research staff shared their notebook with you, make sure that staff member transfers the notebook ownership to you (the PI). Also, be sure they share their notebook with the email address you used to activate your account.

    How do I set up Folder Monitor to automatically transfer files from my computer or instrument to LabArchives®?

    LabArchives® can automatically transfer folders and files directly from a hard drive (connected to your computer or instrument) into a LabArchives® notebook through Folder Monitor.   If the Folder Monitor rule is active, any updates and new files added to the local source folder will automatically be updated in your LabArchives® notebooks.

    ***NOTE: Changes made in LabArchives® will not be transmitted to the local source folder, the flow of information only works in one direction: from the local source folder to LabArchives®.

    Folder Monitor plugin – Windows users

    Folder Monitor plugin – Mac users

    ***NOTE: UK LabArchives® users login through a Single Sign on System and will need to create a password token in order to use the Folder Monitor through the plugin.

    Do I need to use a VPN to load my files to LabArchives®?

    LabArchives® does not require a VPN connection to access. You may need to connect to VPN in order to access your network files that are stored behind the UK firewall. 

    How do I set up Folder Monitor to upload files from my local drive as a folder hierarchy?

    Add Files from Your Local Drive into a LabArchives Notebook to Preserve Folder Hierarchy [PDF]

    What are common problems when uploading files through Folder Monitor?

    File path issues 

    The cumulative File path name must be less than 260 Characters in the local source folder and the LabArchives Destination. Try moving the files to a location with a shorter file path name. 

    File Size Issues 

    Folder Monitor is unable to upload files larger than 250 MB and it may not work properly if your source folder is larger than 1GB. 

    Upload Rules:  

    We recommend that you use folder monitor with as few rules as possible. If the rules conflict they can prevent files from uploading to LabArchives. New files will be uploaded to one LabArchives destination. If a file meets the criteria for two rules, it will be uploaded according to the first rule.  

    Drive Issues: 

    External drives or USB Flash drives may not work properly with Folder Monitor. Folder Monitor does not support monitoring folders that are located on a Network drive.

    Are there templates or examples to help UK researchers get started in LabArchives®?

    Yes, once you create your LabArchives® account, you will have access to the “UK Research Community Notebook.” The Notebook contains example pages, notebooks, and widgets, webinar recordings from past UK LabArchives® webinars, and UK LabArchives® website information. You are welcome to copy anything in the notebook into your notebooks and modify for your use.  

    This Notebook is updated often as we get access to, or create more, templates and examples as well as provide webinars to the UK Research Community.



    Using LabArchives®

    Where do I find my activity feed?

    Click the bell icon beside your name in your LabArchives account.

    How am I notified of comments from my colleagues when I am not in LabArchives®?

    To receive notifications from LabArchives® to your email, turn that function on in your profile preferences in LabArchives®

    My colleague shared with/added me to their notebook but I don’t see the notebook in my Notebook Navigator. What happened?

    Check with your colleague to make sure they used the correct email address. It is best practice to use your email address in your LabArchives® profile information. 

    What is the LabArchives® Inbox and how do I use it?

    The LabArchives® Inbox can be used to send files to your account via email or through 3rd party applications such as GraphPad Prism.

    For example, if you are out in the field and don't have access to your LabArchives® account, you can send notes and attachments to your LabArchives® Inbox using the email account you used to create your LabArchives profile and add them to your notebook at a later time. 

    Please see the LabArchives® Knowledge Base article: 7.03 LabArchives® Inbox [HTML] for instructions on using the LabArchives® Inbox. 

    Does LabArchives® offer electronic signatures?

    Yes, and once signed, those pages are no longer editable (LabArchives® knowledgebase on page signing). LabArchives® also offers a “witness” feature, which means that the page must be reviewed by a specified member of the research team before the version is officially considered signed and frozen as the final version.  The witness feature helps to ensure that there is additional review and oversight of the page’s contents before it is signed and frozen (LabArchives® knowledgebase on witnessing a signed page).

    How do I certify that a person has read a page?

    You will set user rights to sign a page. (LabArchives® knowledgebase on page signing)

    Example: A PI has created a Policy folder within his/her notebook and given access to his/her team members. To have a record that everyone has read the policies, he/she can create a copy of the policy for each team member and set user rights for that person to sign the page once it has been read. 

    If you do not want to copy a page for each user to sign, you can add a Rich Text Entry to the page and ask each person to add their name and date they read the page to the Rich Text Entry. This will show a revision to the Rich Text Entry in the page revision history showing the person and date/time they added their name. (LabArchives® 4.03.1 Rich Text Editor)

    How do I add a link to an entry in my notebook, pages, external websites, or local files?

    The linking tool allows you to link an entry in your notebook to other entries, pages, external websites, or local files. These links can be used to refer to other data or to link to a specific version of a protocol when trying to ensure the reproducibility of your experiments

    LabArchives® Knowledgebase 4.02.2 Linking

    I am only able to view my older Microsoft Office files in LabArchives®. How do I enable online editing of these files?

    For Microsoft Office files, the older filename extensions (.doc, .xls, .ppt) can be viewed in LabArchives® but they cannot be edited using Microsoft Office Online. In order to edit these files using the Office Online editor, versions will need to be saved in Microsoft 2007 or later (.docx, .xlsx., .pptx). 

    Sometimes macros and file security settings can also prevent an individual from editing via Office Online. 

    Do my documents, spreadsheets, or presentations save automatically?

    When editing documents, spreadsheets, or presentations using the Microsoft Plugin, you will need to choose “Save as to LabArchives” under the File menu to save your changes to LabArchives®. If you edit your documents, spreadsheets, or presentations online in LabArchives®, your changes save automatically. 

    If another person is working on a document, spreadsheet, or presentation online in LabArchives® simultaneously to me, how do I know and what version will be saved in the notebook?

    If another person is also working on a document, spreadsheet, or presentation online in LabArchives® simultaneously, you will see a cursor with their initials when they make an edit.  

    The latest version will contain the latest edits no matter who made the edit. For example, if a person edits something after you have made an edit, that person’s edit will be saved.  

    Can I use LabArchives® on a mobile device browser?

    You can access your LabArchives® account and notebooks on a mobile device by using the web browser. Advantages of accessing LabArchives® on your mobile device are mobile device features such as image or video capture and voice to text. 

    Please see the LabArchives® Knowledge Base article: 7.05 Using LabArchives® on a Mobile Device Browser [HTML] for instructions on logging in, adding LabArchives to your homescreen, creating and editing entries, etc. 

    Can I add an image from my mobile device directly to a page in my notebook?

    Yes, you can take a picture on your device and/or attach an image from your library. Name the image and select the image size. Please see “Create and Edit Entries” on our LabArchives® Apps for Android & iOS Mobile Devices webpage for more information. 

    What are widgets and how do I add them to my notebook?

    Widgets are customizable, interactive HTML forms or applications. Widgets can be tailored for your specific experiment and contain interactive text boxes, buttons, check boxes, tables, drop-down menus, and more. Each Widget can be added as an entry to a page and edited by users of the notebook.   

    With LabArchives®, you can use built-in widgets, manage inventory through a database or freezerbox widget, or create your own widget through the Widget Manager. 

    See the LabArchives® Knowledgebase article “5.01 What are Widgets?” [HTML] to learn more. 

    If I accidentally delete a folder or page in my notebook, am I able to restore it?

    Yes, data can never be deleted permanently. To recover a deleted Page or Folder expand the "Deleted Items" folder in the Notebook Navigator, right click (or CTRL+Click on Mac) on the deleted item and select "Undelete Item." 

    How do I undelete data on a page in my notebook?

    To recover an entry from the page revisions history, click the Page revisions history tool in the page tools, and click "undelete" on the page revisions history. 

    If I add something by mistake and then need to delete it, how do I note why it was added/deleted for future reference since it will be shown in revisions?

    Before removing the item, click the pencil icon and add information about why it is being removed, then delete. If someone looks at it later that description will be attached to the deleted item.

    You could also add a rich text entry to the page referring to the deleted item in the revisions.  

    Can I have two pages open within a notebook?

    Yes. Keep in mind that if you are inactive for a long time, you may be logged out of one of your open pages. If you have two tabs (pages) open in your browser, do not visit the LabArchives® login page because it will log you out. The recommendation is to bookmark the page and use that address to get back in your notebook/page.

    How can I work with large data sets or data stored outside of LabArchives®?

    Data may be stored outside of LabArchives® if the file size is larger than 4GB. If data is stored outside of LabArchives®, it is very important to provide a reference or link to data that is stored in another location. Ultimately, links and data in your LabArchives® notebook should be organized in a way that you or a colleague can locate the information in the future.  

    LabArchives® Knowledgebase 11.05 Large Data Sets or Data Stored Outside of LabArchives®

    Can I use LabArchives® to store my computer code for our research team's analyses?

    LabArchives® can be used to store files of any format as long as the individual file size is less than 4GB. However, while developing and testing new coding scripts for computational analysis, the coding script files may be better stored in a different repository designed to track version control and other computational notes and requirements.  Some people have used Jupyter or RStudio for writing, editing and testing the code as it is being developed and allows for improved documentation and linkage to datasets.  And then version control can be maintained in your personal library with Git or in a web-repository through Github.  

    My research equipment is not integrated with LabArchives®. How can I get files or images to automatically upload into LabArchives®?

    You may be able to install Folder Monitor on the equipment to automatically upload files/images to your notebook. (LabArchives® Knowledgebase Folder Monitor [Windows][Mac]) 

    You may need to create a password token for external applications. (LabArchives® Knowledgebase 3.01.5 Using Partner Applications with a Single Sign On System [HTML]) 

    Can I create notebooks/folders/pages/entries and only allow certain people access?

    Yes. Under the Notebook Navigator, you can "right click" on the notebook, folder or page name, then click share. Or, for a single page, while on the page, click the Page Tools on the upper right-hand side of your page, then click Share page. 

    If you only want to share a specific entry, you can access the share function by hovering over the entry to view the entry toolbar and select the share icon. 

    No matter what you are sharing, the Share dialog box will pop up giving you a variety of options:

    Please Note: DOI Management cannot be used at UK. 

    • Invite people will allow you to share with a single person/outside collaborator. 
    • Groups or People with access to choose/edit a person’s level of accessibility. 
    • URL to Share will give you a URL to share with anyone that has access to the notebook.  

    Can I share my LabArchives® notebooks or folders with non-UK external collaborators?

    UK researchers may share a notebook or part of a notebook with an unlimited number of non-UK collaborators. Notebook ownership cannot be transferred to a non-UK collaborator, but a non-UK collaborator may be given a “guest” role with read-only privileges for as long as is needed or read-edit privileges for 60 days. Additionally, UK’s institutional LabArchives® license provides UK notebook owners with the option to grant a limited number of non-UK collaborators a “user” role which will remain active for as long as is needed by the notebook owner.

    Please note: In order for the non-UK collaborator to access the data that is shared with them, they must have a LabArchives® account.

    When I give a person Guest access to my notebook, how long can they see my data?

    If you give the guest edit access, they will be able to edit anything in the notebook, folder, or page for which you have given them access for 60 days. After 60 days, they will have view access only. If you do not want them to have access at all, you will need to remove their access under Notebook Settings or changing the permissions by right clicking the notebook, folder, or page, click Share, then change their access under the tab “Groups or People with Access”. 

    How do I download a read-only version of my notebook?

    LabArchives® offers two ways to download an offline, read-only copy of your notebook. These options include Create Offline Notebook [HTML] and Notebook to PDF [HTML]. The "Create Offline Notebook" option will create an HTML version of your notebook.  The Notebook to PDF option will create a .pdf of your notebook.   

    How do I share with or transfer ownership of my Notebook to another UK researcher?

    To share a Notebook:

    Please see LabArchives® 6.03 Sharing a Notebook, Folder, Page, or Single Entry for instructions.

    To transfer ownership of a Notebook:

    Please see LabArchives®  6.08 Transferring Ownership of a Notebook for instructions.




    My research is in the Social Sciences/Humanities field, I don't do research in a lab. Why would I use LabArchives® for my research?

    The name “LabArchives®” can throw people off. The system is actually an electronic research notebook. You would use it in the same way that you record research now.

    LabArchives® integrates several external software applications to help manage your data as well as a Folder Monitor that will help you upload your data into the system easily and efficiently. This system can also be accessed from anywhere as it is cloud-based, so you can be at UK, in the field, or at home and still add or pull information to or from your notebook when you need it readily available. It makes it easy for your colleagues to access the research data as well, with your permission, when working on a project together.

    Hannah Gunderman, Ph.D,  from Carnegie Mellon University, created a Notebook Structure Template for UK that can be copied into your notebook to help researchers from the Social Sciences/Humanities get started. We have a “UK Research Community Notebook” that we are actively adding templates for page structures, folder, and notebook structures that researchers may copy and use to get started. Everyone with a UK LabArchives® account automatically has access to this notebook. You will find the template in the notebook under Folder or Notebook Structure Examples-General Humanities Research Notebook Structure.” (You will need to create a UK LabArchives® account to access these folders.)

    LabArchives® has a blog that describes “Using an ELN for Humanities” featuring Dr. Gunderman's research.

    July 29, 2020 LabArchives® held a Virtual User Group webinar in which they had guest speakers describe how they use LabArchives® for their research. Dr. Gunderman was one of the speakers. You can find her presentation starting at 25:21 in the session. There is also a summary on the LabArchives® Blog site.

    What research data should I store in my LabArchives® account?

    Research data and information that supports figures/tables/formulas, etc. contributed to any publication, book, or grant application should be stored in your LabArchives ERN.

    For example, if a journal/book publisher/grant agency or UK asks you for data supporting a specific figure/table/formula, etc., presumedly you would be able to share your ERN and they would be able to access that data and verify the results reported without fail.

    Research Data Services at UK: Getting Started [HTML]
    UK Data Retention and Ownership Policy [HTML]

    While use of this system is currently voluntary, UK encourages you to use this resource as it is likely to become a mandated repository for all research data and information within publications, books and grant applications (there are some UK Colleges that already mandate research data storage in LabArchives ERN).

    Can I store Protected Health Information (PHI) or other sensitive data in my LabArchives® account?

    LabArchives® is HIPAA compliant but has not been approved for FDA 21 CFR Part 11. We are currently seeking approval for FDA compliance. 

    Notebook owners and administrators are responsible for ensuring that PHI within a notebook is not shared with anyone except for individuals explicitly authorized according to the IRB and Data Use Agreements. This applies to sending exported notebook material and providing shared access to a notebook or notebook pages. (Verbiage adopted from Weill Cornell Medicine)

    Click here for more information about LabArchives security:

    Protected Health Information is defined by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) as:

    Individually identifiable health information, including demographic data, that relates to:

    • the individual’s past, present or future physical or mental health or condition,
    • the provision of health care to the individual, or
    • the past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to the individual

    Examples of PHI include a patient’s name, date of birth, date of visit for treatment, age, address, and any other information that could directly or indirectly lead to identification.

    UK’s IT Security Office recommends different storage guidelines depending on the classification of the data from Confidential (protected by law), to Private (UK has contractual obligation to protect), to Public (at own discretion). 

    How is LabArchives® different from REDCap?

    REDCap is a secure web application for building and managing online surveys and databases. While REDCap can be used to collect virtually any type of data in any environment (including compliance with 21 CFR Part 11, FISMA, HIPAA, and GDPR), it is specifically geared to support online and offline data capture for research studies and operations. (Excerpt from

    LabArchives® is a cloud-based Electronic Research Notebook that enables researchers to record, store, organize, and publish their research data. The sophisticated software platform allows researchers to document researchexperiments, and procedures in one digital place, making your research easily searchable and reusable. 

    In summary, RedCap is a data capture and data management tool which should be used in conjunction with LabArchives®. LabArchives® contains the documentation and data collected from different systems into one consolidated location. LabArchives® can be used to document and explain the data, methods, procedures, and version control the information about the data that was collected in RedCap, as well as any other information about the study, in a collaborative workspace.

    Where do I add LabArchives® information in my protocol or grant application?

    E-IRB Human Subject protocol application 

    Within the Research Description section, you may add LabArchives® storage information in the Confidentiality and/or Safety Precautions subsections. 

    Grant application 

    For NIH grants: 

    • Data Sharing Plan within the Resource Sharing Plan 

    For NSF grants: 

    • Data Management Plan 

    • Resources (sometimes called Facilities and Equipment) 

    • GLP (if addressing a concern) 

    Grant verbiage: 

    Please see under “Rigor and Reproducibility Resources” in the PDO Facilities Description Library

    Can I use LabArchives® as a repository to make my data sets available to the public?

    UK has turned OFF all options for directly sharing LabArchives® Notebooks with the public, including turning OFF the option to generate Digital Object Identifiers and turning OFF the option to generate a public URL link directly to or within in a LabArchives® notebook.  Users may share their notebooks or notebook entries with as many users as they would like. 

    Before data are shared in a repository, they should be prepared for re-use. This includes ensuring fields and values are properly labeled, programming scripts annotated and end user documentation created. 

    The UK libraries provide tools and consultative services to support data curation and can provide guidance if you are not sure which repository to use or how to prepare your datasets. The libraries also host and maintain a local research data repository for public sharing.

    Research Data Services at UK: Getting Started [HTML]

    Does the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) allow electronic research notebooks when applying for a patent?

    The USPTO does not have a policy or stance on the use of electronic research notebooks. Due to the “First Inventor to File Provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act of 2011” a notebook of any kind is no longer needed to file a patent application. It is recommended to keep a notebook, whether physical or electronic, in case you are asked to verify your data or to rebut an obvious finding. You will need to have a printed copy of your notebook to show your raw data, versioning, date/timestamps, and the reproducibility of your project. The options to download your notebook to PDF and creating an offline notebook will allow you to print a copy from LabArchives 

    Note: For individual file attachments larger than 250 MB, these will not be included in your offline export. The storage for these files is handled outside of LabArchives. You can always download each file individually, or contact LabArchives Support for additional help. 

    Recommended readings:

    Should You Throw Away Your Lab Notebook? - Finnegan IP Law Bulletin 

    Don’t Throw Away Lab Notebooks: Record-Keeping Under AIA - Finnegan IP Law Article 

    Examination Guidelines for Implementing the First Inventor To File Provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act - Federal Register 

    I am leaving UK, what should I do with my UK electronic research notebook? Can I maintain access to my notebook after I leave?

    As stated in the University of Kentucky Data Retention and Ownership Policy, “the original data may be transferred to the new institution unless University administration objects to the transfer” and “Before any Research Data is removed from a University Research facility, the PI should complete the Departing Investigator Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)".

    If a transfer of notebook ownership is requested by a UK faculty Principal Investigator (PI), consultation with the faculty member’s departmental leadership is advised regarding ownership and obtaining a copy of the notebook. If the UK person leaving is not a PI, discussion with the PI and any collaborators of the study(ies) in regards to obtaining a copy of research records and restrictions of future use of the data in research as a part of the person’s employment outside of UK, is advised.

    Before leaving UK, notebook ownership should be transferred to a designated UK team leader to ensure that the data and research documentation stay at UK.  Transferring ownership may be done at any time and users can follow instructions in the LabArchives® Knowledgebase for additional guidance.

    Who should I contact if I have questions about how to use LabArchives®?

    UK research community members are encouraged to contact LabArchives® with questions about how to utilize specific features within LabArchives®.  LabArchives® provides extensive customer support with the LabArchives® Knowledgebase where users can search for informational how-to guides and video tutorials, sign-up for in-person tutorial webinars, and directly contact LabArchives® expert technical support with specific questions at

    For UK-specific questions, please email