Your Research Website
Using the OurLabBook approach, your research website is tailored specifically for your research needs. The standard features from which you can create your Collaborative Research Website are shown below.
Custom Content Types
Drupal has arguably the most advanced capability for creation of custom content types of any CMS. Custom content types can contain any of dozens of different fields types, from references to geolocations to rich text fields to website links to different types of numerical fields to video and images, to name only a few. Custom content types become straightforward to build and can match your research data needs like a glove.
Robust Social Network
Drupal also has arguably the most advanced open source social networking platform available with Open Social. Integration of Open Social is a key asset of the OurLabBook approach. Open Social provides many features that make collaboration amongst colleagues more seamless, such as private messaging, email notifications, groups, events, blogs, and an extensive permission system with appropriate privacy measures.
Maps and Geolocation Services
Drupal has many modules for integration of mapping capabilities. This is somewhat unique when compared to Electronic Lab Notebooks or most other research systems. Mapping capabilities open up many new possibilities for certain areas of research like epidemiology, climate change studies, and phylogeography.
Flexible User Management
The only limitation to the number of users for a given installation is the hardware resources available to handle the data and the maintenance resources to manage the questions from users. There is also an extensive permission system to determine which users are able to see which content.
Security and Versioning
Drupal has a dedicated security team that is continually offering updates for any new vulnerabilities that are found. You also have the ability to separate your data to a private area inaccessible from the web. You can also version your data if desired, with the caveat that this will require extra storage.
If you desire a publicly available website for any reason, there are numerous possibilities for attractive themes. These can showcase the results of your research in ways that communicate effectively to the public or other groups interested in your research.
Coming in 2022 or 2023 - Multiple Ways for Creation and Round-Tripping
Experiments from Protocols.io
Be able to import protocols from protocols.io and automatically set up the fields, forms, and data types which uniquely match the imported protocols - streamlining the steps from developing a protocol to data collection for an experiment.
Experiments from Excel
Set up experiments using an Excel spreadsheet. Just start from our prepared Excel spreadsheet and select the steps and data fields that you want. Then upload the spreadsheet and the fields, forms and data fields will be set up so you can begin collecting your data.
Export Experiments to Excel
Export the definitions of your experiments to an Excel spreadsheet. This allows you to round trip your experimental definition as a backup or to share it with other investigators. You can also modify the exported Excel and then re-import it for a new experiment.
Export Your Website
Because of the open source nature of Drupal and your ability to round-trip experiments and data, you will also be able to export your entire website in a way that makes it simple to set up a local copy on your servers. We will include scripts that make this straightforward.
CSV Data Export
CSV export capabilities give you the ability to export your data at any time. This allows you to share your data with other investigators or to use your data with powerful tools for AI, Machine Learning, Statistics or other analysis or modeling software.
CSV Data Import
CSV import capabilities allow you to import the data from the exported CSV files, including associated files, references, and web links. This round-tripping of data keeps you in full ownership of your data and ensures full portability to compatible installations.
Web forms give you the ability to design custom forms for data collection and then send the results to whomever might be interested. The web form module in Drupal has a rich ecosystem that allows you to customize forms for all types of behaviors.
Dashboards can be customized to provide a good overview of the areas that you want to track most closely. This can be results of the research overall or for certain individuals. You can also quickly see statistical summaries of other site activity.
Two Cloud Options
You have options for a more robust solution in the Microsoft Azure cloud or a very capable but less robust solution running on the Digital Ocean cloud for a lower price.
Possible Advanced Features
Although the features listed below are not standard features for the
OurLabBook approach, we are happy to integrate any of the following features
Please feel free to also contact us if you have any other features that we may provide through custom development for you.
Drupal's LDAP integration module is useful for integrating with your Active Directory or OpenLDAP authentication system.
The Maestro Workflow system provides a mature and sophisticated graphical workflow system.