May 23, 2022

New Research Article: “Support for Electronic Lab Notebooks at Top American Research Universities”

The following article was published online today by the Journal of eScience Librarianship (JeSLIB).


Support for Electronic Lab Notebooks at Top American Research Universities


Franklin Sayre
University of Minnesota

Caitlin Bakker
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

Julie Kelly
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

Megan Kocher
University of Minnesota

Meghan Lafferty
University of Minnesota -Twin Cities


Journal of eScience Librarianship


Electronic Laboratory Notebooks (ELNs) are widely used in industry but little is known about their use in academia or the extent to which they are licensed or supported by research institutions or academic libraries.

This paper describes an environmental scan conducted to determine whether major research institutions in the United States are providing enterprise ELN licenses to their users, which products they are licensing, and what role of the institutional library is playing in licensing and supporting ELNs.

Of the 35 universities included in our scan, 8 (23%) had an enterprise-wide license for an ELN and 10 (28%) provided some kind of support for ELNs. Of the 10 institutions that offered support for ELNs, 9 involved the library. A literature review revealed a number of barriers to adoption—from costs to the diversity of needs—that may be limiting the adoption of ELNs within research institutions.

This research provides evidence about the current landscape of ELN support within academic institutions and the role of libraries in these initiatives.

Direct to Full Text Article
10 pages; PDF.

Direct to Appendix
4 pages; PDF.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.