Your Fairly Unique Benefits
In addition to many of the standard features available with other electronic lab notebooks, OurLabBook offers you some fairly unique benefits when building your research platform. One way to talk about these relatively unique benefits is that when a research director camps out at OurLabBook, their research can span from the Microcosm to the Macrocosm with customized solutions.
The CAMPS acronym reflects the relatively unique package of research benefits offered by the OurLabBook platform (click on a link to find out more about that benefit).
Try comparing these features to other ELNs and we think that you will be surprised by the unique benefits that the the OurLabBook platform provides.
CAMPS advantages of OurLabBook
Cloud benefits for hosting your research are far ranging.
Authentication and Identity Management
Authentication and Identity Management simplifies the issues of how to get access and who gets access to the appropriate resources.
Machine Learning, AI, and Statistics
Machine Learning, AI, and Statistics provide cutting edge analysis tools for interpreting and extending your research.
Easily and quickly run sophisticated statistics on your data.
Protocols.io Integration provides easy access to hundreds of vetted protocols for your research.
Services provided by other software packages are integrated with the other features of OurLabBook to allow you to easily move data and analysis to any part of your workflow.
COSM advantages of Drupal and OurLabBook
Custom Content Types
Custom content types in Drupal give you the flexibility to create content types that match the data that you need to collect.
The following are a sample of some of the field types that can be added to custom content types. (see a list of custom field types here).
|Standard Field Types||Custom Field Types|
|Number Fields (decimal, float, integer)||Image||Geolocation||Address|
|List Fields (boolean, float, integer, text)||File||Color Field|
|Text Fields (test, long text, long text with summary)||Boolean|
|References (to Taxonomy, to other Custom Content Type)|
Uniquely Match Your Research
Most other Electronic Lab Notebooks (ELNs) usually require you to conform your research data collection to their turnkey solution. The OurLabBook approach lets you conform your data collection more precisely to your research project by building custom content types that contain the specific field types that you may need (e.g., HTML content, addresses, integers, to name only a few).
Evolve Your Platform with Your Research
As your research and experiments evolve over time, your custom content types can evolve with you. You can tailor your forms for data collection to match your desired data and evolve your custom experiments according to your specific needs.
You Can Always Export Your Data
You can also export the data from your research data at any time via CSV files and your uploaded files (exported together in a compressed .tar.gz or .zip file). You can then edit your exported CSV files if you like (as long as you don't modify the underlying structure) and then import them back into your research data. In other words, you get full round tripping of your data. It's just another way that you can feel good about not losing all of the hard work that you have in collecting your data. From what we can tell, this seems to be a unique advantage of our approach.
You Can Also Import Your Data
You can also import your research data in many cases via CSV files.
Open Source is another distinct advantage of the OurLabBook approach. And Drupal is a very mature open source project with a thriving community of hundreds of thousands of users and developers. They are continually working on improving usability, reliability, security, and transparency.
Support Open Source Momentum
The open source software movement has brought many benefits to research. It has been instrumental in creating the world wide web, free operating systems, and many research tools. We are committed to giving back most of the source code that we develop for the OurLabBook approach to the Drupal project or other appropriate communities. By supporting our endeavors, you will be supporting the acceleration of the robust OurLabBook approach for research platforms and make the software more available to other research organizations.
You Always Own Your Website and Data
If you choose us to develop your research platform, then all of the code for your platform is owned by you under the GNU GPL 2 license. You are free to take the code and host it on your own servers or hosting service at any time. If you want to develop modules yourself and make them part of your platform that we develop and host, then that is possible also. We will only need to go through a vetting process for your module to make sure that it is stable and secure.
No Vendor Lock-in
Because Drupal is a mature and popular CMS, there are over 1100 service organizations who can help you design, build and maintain your Drupal websites. Different organizations have different strengths and emphases in their clientele. Our organization is relatively unique in emphasizing social networks combined with research projects. But you should feel comfortable in knowing that should you be dissatisfied with us for any reason, that you will have numerous alternatives for building, extending, and maintaining your Drupal based website.
Possibility of Leveraging Local Expertise
If you are part of one of many higher educational institutions that use Drupal (71 out of the top 100 higher educational institutions do), then you may be able to leverage the expertise in your organization for Drupal maintenance and development. The same can be said for many other high tech, governmental, and other large and small organizations.
If you are associated with higher education, you may also have a graduate student who may know something about Drupal or be willing to learn. Since Drupal is open source and well documented, then this could be another avenue for developing your research platform. You could either take the approach of having us build your research platform and have your graduate student extend and maintain it, or you could have your graduate student build it from the ground up since most of the code that we use is open source and freely available.
Social Networking Features
Social Networking is available through the mature Open Social platform. The core of Open Social is released as open source and has numerous valuable social networking features like full profiles, messaging, email notifications, and groups. There is also a commercial offering of Open Social that offers more features and is used in over a thousand organizations around the world. The OurLabBook approach is to integrate the core of Open Social into every installation. This creates opportunities for more seamless collaboration and communication concerning research activities.
Scale to Large Numbers of Members Without Extra Cost
Oftentimes ELN vendors charge according to the number of people who are using their platform. Since the OurLabBook approach is based on a robust CMS, it can be easily scaled to thousands of users as needed. The number of users are limited only by the computer resources to manage the user data and the site management resources to manage the user needs.
Mapping and GeoLocation Features
Mapping capabilities are robust and varied in Drupal.