Sharing lab notes


It is unclear to me with this version if it will be possible to share lab notebook with all collaborators.

I mean, I am in the lab working in team, and plus, the PI should have access to my notes at all time without the need for me to send them.

Will this be possible? with how many people?

Hi Raquel,

For now, Findings does not have a mechanism for sharing entries or protocols without you manually sharing them via e.g. file sharing or email. With version 2, you could however set up a shared Dropbox folder (or Box/Google Drive etc), pointing at the journal that’s automatically generated in your library on disk, so that you could share that folder with your PI and he will have read-only access to the notebook in PDF format. I will post more detailed instructions if you’re interested.

Now, just to clarify, here is the kind of sharing workflow that works today. When you are done with a bunch of entries (e.g. every month), you export them as an archive to a shared folder (Dropbox, or anything else, for instance a network drive, or any internal system set up by IT for file sharing). Your PI can then manually import new archives as they come in. Findings will not create duplicate entries, and will instead merge the latest changes when if a new archive is put in. The main drawback is that this approach is manual, but it also offers the most flexibility.

One reason we went with this system is that it strikes a nice balance in terms of privacy and control, that benefit both the student or postdoc, and the PI. The students have some control over what goes into the system, and can choose to really share what they are confident about, and not feel some kind of ‘big brother’ pressure, that could defeat the very idea of an electronic lab notebook: if they don’t trust the system, they won’t use it fully. The PI also has full control on the content they get from the lab members, at the right granularity. They don’t get constant updates on maybe irrelevant details, and can organize things the way they want. They also don’t have to give access to everything to everyone: it is very easy to set up shared folders that only you have access to (and the person sending the experiments, of course). In parallel to this system, individual students or postdocs working together can also share just the experiments that make sense for them. I think it leads to a system that is flexible and at the same time easy to track for each individual, and reliable.

That said, we also plan to offer more options for automatic and constant sharing, expanding on the current setup we have in place.

Let me know what you think!


Thank you for the know-how!

Hi, I’m interested in directions so that I can utilize sharing via BOX instead of Dropbox. Would you be able to post those? Do I need the Pro upgraded version to do that?

There are instructions to set sync with Box, though it will only be possible on the Mac. Note that it’s considered experimental at this stage of the app. Read more here: Dropbox Sync (under ‘Other Sync Services’). Just like for Dropbox sync, you do not need to upgrade to Pro.

Let me know how it goes!