How to Facilitate better research collaborations

Scientific research is a team sport. You’d be hard pressed to find a scientist who doesn’t actively collaborate with at least one other lab. There are clear benefits. Within and across specialties, researchers that work together leverage knowledge sharing, expertise and facilities generating better and more interesting publications. It’s happening across sectors as well. Pharma and academia are welcoming collaborations which speed up discoveries and provide fresh ideas for industry, while generating the essential financial backing academics need to finance research.

Science, as a pursuit, has bought into the idea of collaboration as a whole. The trend of open access has contributed to this by surfacing a wealth of data previously inaccessible. Access to negative results and data previously frozen within the walls of an institution are now available for others to build on. While all of this has seen rapid development since the new millennium, the tangible way research is carried out has lagged behind, relying on decades old technologies to communicate, continuing the same centuries old practice of capturing all results in a lab notebook via pen and pad.

So this data is available or willing to be shared, but how can I get it? There are obvious challenges associated with collaborating on complex research sometimes thousands of miles away using yesterday’s tools. In other industries, technology has revolutionized how people collaborate and set the new standard. Why? Because it works. Sharing data, communicating, database management, searching, finding, archiving and more is simply easier using computers - and the internet. The problem Labguru is trying to solve is, how can we use technology to facilitate better research collaboration?

The Cloud

We’re on the cloud for a reason - it allows collaborators across the world to gain access to raw data, observations, conclusions, results, and more with the click of a button, while giving you access to your results whenever, wherever you are. And don’t worry, we have top, bank, level security protocols, access control, and full audit trails. We also are FDA 21 CFR Part 11 compliant which is government speak for really high electronic record keeping standards.

Brainstorm and Discover

Results come alive with the ability to collaboratively annotate an assay gel, or mark an NMR spectra. Through an omnipresent comment section, results turn into ideas with in context discussions. Grad students, post-docs, PIs and CROs can share ideas and give feedback in an unparalleled experimental environment.

Plan, deviate, plan more

Using milestones, projects progress with a clear plan decided in advance defining clear goals and objectives for any collaboration. Experiments can be monitored along the way ensuring consistent progress and unprecedented access to experimental results for all. And since science relies on the ability to change course, we don’t lock you in. Edit, archive, and change your plan however you want and keep track of those changes.

Labguru – enabling team science

Grab the collaboration document from the link below, with instructions on:

  • Sharing projects using read-only share link
  • Inviting colleagues, when and why
  • Creating sequestered workspaces for collaborations
  • Reagent and specimen sharing via repositories

AstraZeneca Licences Labguru

We are very pleased and excited to announce that AstraZeneca have licensed Labguru for use in their organization.

Scientists will use the Labguru platform across multiple AstraZeneca sites in North America and Europe, replacing and consolidating several legacy systems spanning several scientific disciplines. Its modular web-based system offers an easy means of tracking projects, protocols, biological collections and materials, as well as streamlining collaboration between members of the lab and between institutions.

Main Image

20,000 Tubes Under A Deep Freeze

Labguru lets you manage all kinds of inventory containers – from cabinets to bottles. The most popular container by far, though, is the tube. Our researchers have cataloged a combined 1.5 MILLION of them, and the average lab has 20,000 to deal with.

The standard tube is 10 mm. in diameter and 30 mm. high. It is destined to be stored in a freezer and live in boxes and racks with hundreds of other tubes. 

<p>
 <img src="http://assets.labguru.com/blog/frozen_tubes.png"></p>
 
Unless you have a side job writing names on grains of rice, hand-labeling these tubes is a nightmare.  They’re small, slippery, and – let’s be honest – penmanship is not taught in school anymore.  Trying to read the tubes you labeled is hard enough, never mind the tubes that were labeled by a researcher who left the lab long ago.
<P>
We wanted to improve this situation. We also wanted to play with cool hardware. So we created Labelguru. Labelguru is a printer + device that is connected directly to your Labguru tubes database, via your lab’s network. 

Read More…
Main Image

9 Reasons to switch to Electronic Lab Notebooks

Electronic lab notebooks (ELNs) were created to solve a number of limitations that scientists face when using traditional paper notebooks to track the progress of their research. Nonetheless, academic and government labs have not significantly shifted from traditional lab notebooks. On the other hand, about 1/3rd of the biopharmaceutical industry has reported that it has adopted the electronic notebook as its method for recording and maintaining data.

Though the familiarity of paper lab notebooks makes them attractive to scientists, many other reported advantages, such as portability, ease of use, and ability to include non-text images and drawing, are now capabilities of electronic lab notebooks as well. ELNs also have a number of added benefits that traditional paper notebooks do not have. So without further ado, here are 10 advantages of electronic lab notebooks over paper lab notebooks:

Read More…
Main Image

5 Ways Google+ Can Advance Your Research Career

Google+ never became quite as popular as Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets. So if you're already struggling to keep up with your social media accounts, it's easy to write Google+ off as just one more time waster. But if Facebook is the place to share family photos and Twitter is the spot to spout off witty one-liners, Google+ is the place for grown-ups to network, engage in substantive discussion, and capitalize on the fledgling social network's impressive array of features. Once you get the hang of things, you may just find that Google+ proves almost as invaluable as your electronic lab notebook...

Read More…
Main Image

Impact of Open Data Movement on Data Management and Publishing

“If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

The open access movement predates the Internet (to about the 1950's), and various models were proposed to increase access to academic research. Self-archiving (the act of depositing a free copy of an electronic document on the Internet in order to provide open access to it) has been common for computer scientists since at least the 1980s. In physics, it has become the norm and some sub-areas like high-energy physics have a 100% self-archiving rate. Interestingly, the two major physics publishers, American Physical Society and Institute of Physics Publishing have reported that the free archive has had no effect on journal subscriptions in physics; even though articles are freely available, usually before publication.

In 1997 when the US National Library of Medicine made Medline available freely in the form of PubMed, the usage of this database increased ten-fold.

Read More…

4 Ways to Reliably Reproduce Research

Recent studies indicate that at least 70% of certain types of research (particularly around life sciences) is not reproducible. Funders, reviewers, and researchers are increasingly demanding improved processes to improve reproducibility rates.

Rather than just talking about the problem, we'd like to share some practical effective tips for improving your lab's research reproducibility.

Click below to view the webinar recorded Oct. 29, 2014, and join the discussion!