Screensaver HTS LIMS

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Screensaver HTS LIMS
Original author(s) John Sullivan, Andrew Tolopko[1]
Developer(s) Sean Erickson, others
Initial release September 16, 2009 (2009-09-16)[2]

2017-11-09  (November 9, 2017; 6 years ago (2017-11-09))

Preview release none [±]
Written in Java
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Laboratory informatics software
License(s) GNU GPL v2

Screensaver HTS LIMS was a free web-based open-source laboratory information management system (LIMS) developed by researchers at Harvard Medical School. The LIMS was primarily designed for high-throughput screening of small molecule and RNAi biological assays.

Product history

Screensaver HTS was created by Harvard "to address the informatics needs of our small molecule and RNAi screening facility."[3] Development began on the idea in 2006 as a replacement to legacy systems at Harvard Medical School. John Sullivan and Andrew Tolopko were the primary authors for the first several years of the project.[1]

Version 1.0 of the software appeared in 2007 and was implemented as a replacement to a previous system that shared the same name. In July 2008, version 1.7 was released internally, adding functionality from yet another legacy system, and thus replacing it.[1] Additional iterations of the software arrived (as local open-source) up to version 1.7.4.[4] On April 4, 2008, John Sullivan left the project, with Sean Sullivan coming on as a supporting developer in November 2008.

On April 29, 2008, a SourceForge project was started, and a little over a year later, the first public open-source version was made available as version 2009.09.16.[2] Since then work has continued on the project, with releases arriving in 2010 and again in early 2012. On January 17, 2012, Tolopko left his position with Harvard's ICCB-Longwood program, and with it his role as lead developer of Screensaver.[5][1]

On December 1, 2018, ICCB-Longwood declared end-of-life for the Screensaver software, mentioning a "screensaver2 repository for ongoing development of LIMS software at the ICCB-L."[6] That screensaver2 repository doesn't exist as of May 2019. It's not clear if ICCB-Longwood is openly working on an open-source Screensaver HTS replacement.


A list of features can be found on the Screensaver wiki.

Hardware/software requirements

Hardware and software requirements as well as installation help can be found in the installation guide.

Videos, screenshots, and other media

A demo of the software can be arranged by sending an e-mail to

Entities using Screensaver HTS LIMS

Entities that used Screensaver included[7]:

  • Cellular Screening Center at the Institute for Genomics & Systems Biology, University of Chicago
  • Fox Chase Cancer Center
  • ICCB-Longwood/NSRB, Harvard Medical School
  • Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology and Bioinformatics Institute
  • Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
  • The Netherlands Cancer Institute

Further reading

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Screensaver History". Harvard Medical School. Retrieved 7 April 2012. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Screensaver HTS LIMS - Home/archive". SourceForge. 16 September 2009. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 
  3. Tolopko, Andrew N.; John P. Sullivan; Sean D. Erickson; David Wrobel; Su L. Chiang; Katrina Rudnicki; Stewart Rudnicki; Jennifer Nale; Laura M. Selfors; Dara Greenhouse; Jeremy L Muhlich; Caroline E. Shamu (2010). "Screensaver: an open source lab information management system (LIMS) for high throughput screening facilities". BMC Bioinformatics 11: 260. doi:10.1186/1471-2105-11-260. 
  4. "Screensaver HTS LIMS Blog". Harvard Medical School. Retrieved 7 April 2012. 
  5. Tolopko, Andrew (13 January 2012). "Departure". Harvard Medical School. Retrieved 7 April 2012. 
  6. ICCB-Longwood. "hmsiccbl/screensaver1". GitHub. Retrieved 30 May 2019. 
  7. "Screensaver HTS LIMS Software". Harvard Medical School. Retrieved 7 April 2012.