Electronic Laboratory Notebook (PNNL software)

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Electronic Laboratory Notebook
Developer(s) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley
National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Initial release March 10, 2002 (2002-03-10) (4.6)[1]
Discontinued 5.2.2 / September 9, 2008; 15 years ago (2008-09-09)
Written in Java, Perl
Operating system Cross-platform
Available in English
Type Electronic laboratory notebooks
Laboratory informatics software
License(s) Open Source License
Website collaboratory.emsl.pnl.gov

Electronic Laboratory Notebook or ELN was a free open-source electronic laboratory notebook developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington. Project funding for the software ended in the winter of 2007, and development was discontinued by PNNL.[2] The open-source software can still be found on SourceForge, the latest client version 5.2.2 released in September 2008.

Product history

The Electronic Laboratory Notebook "was developed as part of a three-way collaboration between researchers at [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory], Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's DOE2000 collaboratory program."[3] It's not entirely clear when that Department of Energy (DOE) project began, though the project page seems to indicate work likely began in 1997 or earlier, as a demonstration of the software was given to then Vice President Al Gore on January 21, 1998.[4] The primary goals of the project were to design an extensible ELN architecture with a base set of functionality and to develop implementations of the software for collaboratory partners across the DOE.[5]

By June 2001, the ELN software was up to version 4.5, and entities like the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the Columbia University Environmental Molecular Sciences Institute were utilizing the software.[6] On January 10, 2002, an open-source project for the ELN software appeared on SourceForge[7], and the first open-source release of the software occurred two months later as version 4.6.[1]

Development continued on the software until the winter of 2007, when project funding ceased.[2] Though development by the collaboration was discontinued, the source code remained on SourceForge, and one more update arrived in September 2008 as version 5.2.2.[1]


The main features of Electronic Laboratory Notebook include[8]:

  • table of contents
  • expand and collapse entries
  • search tools
  • notes and attachments
  • image and text editors
  • equation editor
  • user-based access
  • web-based

Hardware/software requirements

Installation requirements for Electronic Laboratory Notebook include:

Installation instructions for ELN can be found here. Installation instructions for SAM can be found here.

Videos, screenshots, and other media

  • Tutorial videos for Electronic Laboratory Notebook can be found on the PNNL site.
  • Documentation for Electronic Laboratory Notebook is located here.

Entities using Electronic Laboratory Notebook

Further reading

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Electronic Laboratory Notebook > Files". SourceForge. http://sourceforge.net/projects/eln/files/. Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "EMSL Collaboratory - Notice to Users". Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. 31 October 2007. http://collaboratory.emsl.pnl.gov/software/software-notice.shtml. Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  3. Myers, James D.; Mendoza, Elena S.; Hoopes, Bonnie (2001). Hamza, M. H. ed. "A Collaborative Electronic Laboratory Notebook" (PDF). Proceedings of the IASTED International Conference, Internet and Multimedia Systems and Applications, August 13-16, 2001, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA (ACTA Press): 334–338. ISBN 0889862990. http://pdf.aminer.org/000/877/371/computational_experiments_using_distributed_tools_in_a_web_based_electronic.pdf. Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  4. "DOE2000 Electronic Notebook Project - March 1999 Status Report". Oak Ridge National Laboratory. 26 February 1999. http://www.csm.ornl.gov/enote/status.html. Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  5. "DOE2000 Electronic Notebook Project". Oak Ridge National Laboratory. 25 February 1999. http://www.csm.ornl.gov/enote/. Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  6. "EMSL Collaboratory - Electronic Notebooks". Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. 8 June 2001. Archived from the original on 05 February 2002. http://web.archive.org/web/20020201163132/http://collaboratory.emsl.pnl.gov/docs/collab/index.html. Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  7. "Electronic Laboratory Notebook". SourceForge. http://sourceforge.net/projects/eln/. Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  8. "EMSL Collaboratory - ELN Help". Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. 31 October 2007. http://collaboratory.emsl.pnl.gov/help/eln/instructions.shtml. Retrieved 30 January 2013.