Organize your research notes with eLabNext

HMS IT provides an electronic lab notebook service, which consists of an on-premise implementation of eLabNext as a pilot. The solution includes research documentation, tracking of inventory of samples, supplies, equipment, and protocol management. It is available to Quad-based labs, departments, and Cores facilities.

Access the eLabNext system.

To request an account or a consultation, email

  • Eligibility

    Only available to Quad-based members of HMS
    Quad-based only
    • eLabNext is available to HMS Quad-based labs and research cores. 
    • Research labs based in HMS-affiliated institutions are not eligible for this service.  
    • For HMS Quad-based labs that would like to use eLabNext to support projects that include collaborators external to the HMS Quad, contact
  • Access and security

    Secure access, data security, data portability
    Data integrity Data protection
    • Access – Users can sign in with their HMS account ID and password. 
    • Platform – On-site virtual server system managed by HMS IT. 
    • Platform data protection and backups - HMS IT performs several different backup-related processes to ensure that data stored in the eLabNext platform is protected and secure in case of an issue or outage. These include: 
      • File backup All data files uploaded and stored in the eLabNext platform are fully backed up every night via our CommVault. Backups and snapshots are stored on our Data Domain nightly for a 60-day retention period; they include snapshots of the OS and all associated VM disks. 
      • Database backup process – Daily database backups are performed for any data stored in the eLabNext Database system. This includes all data and metadata that users enter within the eLabNext platform and all system configurations. All backups are subsequently compressed and tarred. 
      • Backups – Database backups are stored on-site at HMS for five days. All backups are automatically synchronized from HMS local storage off-site to an AWS S3 Bucket managed by HMS IT. 
      • Backup validation Database backups are validated quarterly to ensure data integrity. 
    • Data portability 
      • Journal data exported from eLabNext can be saved in PDF, CSV, XML, or JSON format.  
      • Saving data in a structured format like XML or JSON enables data archival and potential importation of data and metadata into another ELN platform. 
  • Overview

    What eLabNext is and how it can help
    Features Applications

    eLabNext is a browser-based platform designed to streamline research data management in laboratories. The platform offers integrated tools and features that help researchers, scientists, and lab managers efficiently collect, store, organize, analyze, and share data throughout the research process. 

    A key feature of eLabNext is its electronic laboratory notebook (ELN) functionality (eLabJournal). It allows researchers to create, edit, and manage digital lab notebooks online, providing a secure and organized space to record experiment protocols, observations, results, and other research data. eLabJournal also supports collaboration between team members, enabling real-time sharing, commenting, and editing of data within the platform. 

    eLabNext offers a range of other tools and features to support the research process and HMS ELN best practice guidelines. These features include eLabInventory, allowing users to track and manage samples, lab supplies, reagents, and equipment.  

  • Features

    Key features of eLabNext
    Journals, protocols Inventory
    • Experiment journaling – eLabJournal allows users to document their research in sections of various types, including rich text, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, images, attached files, chemical drawings (ChemAxon), and samples. The platform includes a powerful text-based search engine that can be used to find projects, studies, and experiments. Data cannot be deleted after being saved to the journal. Audit trails and logs ensure that every change is logged. 
    • Journal organization – eLabJournal has a hierarchical organizational structure: Groups > Projects > Studies > Experiments. Users can organize work by project or by individual researcher within that structure. It is also possible to organize across Groups by defining Project Groups. 
    • Protocols and SOPs – eLabProtocols allows users to document and share step-by-step protocols with protocol versioning. Protocols can be included within experiments and integrated with samples and supplies. 
    • Inventory support – eLabInventory enables users to create and configure their own sample types, equipment, and storage units. Samples can then be stored in specific locations within the storage units and linked to experiments or protocols. The inventory module also enables labs to keep track of equipment and supplies and can notify lab managers when supplies are getting low. 
    • Integration with other platforms – eLabNext can integrate with Dropbox, Mendeley, Google Drive, Google Translate, and certain barcode scanning and printing hardware. Additionally, users can upload files of any type and view or edit them with their associated desktop app. Journals can also be exported in PDF, CSV, XML, and JSON formats, which potentially allows them to be imported into other platforms. 
    • Mobile devices – eLabNext includes a mobile app that augments the web platform. It lets users view protocols and experiments, take notes, upload images, and work with samples. 
    • MarketPlace – The platform includes an app called Marketplace that allows users to extend the functionality of the platform; these IT-approved apps include ChemAssist, which extends the functionality of the platform specifically for chemistry laboratories, and CloneAssist, which enables users to visualize DNA and plasmids and apply various molecular cloning techniques. 
    • Security and permissions - eLabNext uses industry-standard security protocols to protect sensitive information. Users can control access permissions and manage data-sharing settings to ensure only authorized individuals can access their data. Automatic audit trails provide time-stamped evidence for IP investigations.   
    • Add-on app development - The vendor provides a robust API (Application Programming Interface) and SDK (Software Development Kit) that enables the development of other integrations and the automation of research workflows. 
  • Onboarding

    From discovery to production

    The HMS IT ELN service is provided to Quad-based labs and cores rather than individual researchers. If you are interested in getting access to eLabNext, email We also recommend discussing it with your principal investigator or Core director.

    The following outlines the onboarding process in general terms.

    1. Discovery
      1. An individual researcher from a Quad-based lab or Core facility initiates a service request through the HMS IT Service Portal or email.
      2. The service owner verifies the group's eligibility for service.
      3. Discovery meetings are conducted between the requesting user and HMS IT to:
        • Gather requirements
        • Analyse existing workflows
        • Determine what can and cannot be achieved with the platform
        • Provide eLabNext platform demo
      4. The principal investigator or core director confirms interest in the platform.
    2. Trial
      1. Optional trial access for about one month
      2. Introductory training materials provided to key users
      3. Evaluation by key users
    3. Initial setup
      1. The principal investigator or core director signs a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with HMS IT.
      2. HMS IT provides consultation on data management and organization.
      3. Key users and group administrators are assigned appropriate permissions.
      4. Optional eLabInventory consultation and training are provided by the vendor.
      5. Key users perform the initial setup of eLabJournal and eLabInventory.
    4. Production 
      1. All users are granted access to the platform through single sign-on (SSO).
      2. The group administrator invites all users to their eLabNext group.
      3. Users are trained by key users.
      4. Ongoing support is provided by the project team and vendor.
  • Training and consulting

    Become familiar with the platform

    During the initial discovery stage, HMS IT provides a customized demonstration of the eLabNext platform based on the lab's individual needs. They also discuss any gaps in functionality and provide some basic user training to allow the key users to get started with their discovery process.

    During the initial setup stage, HMS IT offers consultations to labs to help them determine how to organize their electronic lab notebook (ELN) and configure roles and permissions to suit their specific requirements. This discussion allows the lab to successfully implement its workflows and effectively collaborate with both internal team members and external researchers.

    We have found that the best way to provide user training for the platform is to provide users with links to excellent videos provided by the vendor and to the vendor's documentation.

    More advanced customized training can be provided on request. If it is determined that the vendor can provide the best training for a group, an additional cost may be billed directly to the lab.

    In addition, we are in the process of developing eLabNext onboarding checklists to enable user groups to navigate the eLabNext onboarding processes at HMS more easily. 

  • Support

    Get help from the vendor or HMS IT

    For product support, you can contact the vendor directly at or Submit a ticket

    For issues regarding service availability, authentication, or requests to gain access to the HMS-supported instance of eLabNext, contact 

Key resources

Overview of eLabNext products

Library includes tutorials, podcasts, and webinars

Access to eLabNext documentation


Learn how to track data and record lab results

Tutorial on managing sample types in eLabNext

Tutorial on setting up storage units in eLabInventory and eLabJournal