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Electronic Lab Notebooks (ELNs)

Electronic Lab Notebooks (ELNs) enable researchers to organize and store experimental procedures, protocols, notes, and data, using their computer or mobile device. ELNs can offer several advantages over the traditional paper notebook in documenting research during the active phase of a project, including searchability within and across notebooks, secure storage with multiple redundancies, remote access to notebooks, and the ability to easily share notebooks among team members and collaborators.


There are many options when it comes to ELNs, each offering unique features for various research workflows – both within and outside a laboratory environment. MIT Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) provides an enterprise license to LabArchives, a cloud-based ELN system, making it available at no cost to MIT faculty, staff, students and affiliates.

To use MIT’s enterprise LabArchives license, go to, authenticate via Touchstone, and then activate an enterprise account.


  • IS&T can answer questions about LabArchives and provide support in customizing lab notebooks for early MIT adopters. To set up a consultation, ask questions, or provide feedback, email
  • The LabArchives FAQ in the MIT Knowledge Base links to overview documents and “how-to” instructions, from sharing your ELN to creating an offline notebook.

Need help determining if an ELN is right for you or want to explore your other options for data storage? Want advice on options for storing and sharing your data once you’ve completed your project, such as moving data from LabArchives to a long-term repository? Contact Data Management Services at