Best Practice Use Guide
After creating your account, you need to think about how to properly setup eLABInventory so that it works logically for your lab now and in the future. In this guide, you will find useful tips, tricks and best lab practices.
Setting up a Group
A group is a secure environment that is used to share information with members within that group. A group can be a small group with a single PI, a large research group, department or institute with multiple group leaders, but it can also be just a single scientist. When setting up a group it is important to think about what information should be accessible by which people. Besides projects, studies and experiments, eLABInventory also offers centralized samples storage and supplies ordering, shared standard protocol templates and equipment planning. This means that you should carefully evaluate how you want to set up your lab and decide who needs access to sample management, use equipment or view experiments. A good rule of thumb is to set up the system from the point of view of the scientist or a single group leader. This is because these people will be the end-users and have the most benefit from the intuitively organized system to track the lab results.
There are a number of features available to collaborate with people outside of their own group. You can, for instance, set up a separate Project Group to exchange data with researchers outside your lab. You can also share specific information of samples to enable other labs in the institute to search in the group's inventory without disclosing the storage location itself.
Institute shared Devices and Storage Locations
In many labs, storage locations are shared by multiple groups. For instance ‘lab A’ uses the two upper sections and ‘lab B’ uses the two lower sections in a freezer. In case both labs share projects, studies and experiments as well, both labs could be set up in eLABInventory as individual groups. If groups act as independent groups, the most practical solution is for both labs to set up the same storage locations in their group and to only add the relevant sections or compartments within that storage unit. We are currently working on enabling the sharing of storage locations and devices with other labs within the institute.
You easily set up user roles and permission to fine-tune what specific users can do. To keep permission management clear and simple, you can set various permissions to view, update or remove items within eLABInventory. Permissions that are highly specific such as excluding certain drawers from a freezer is currently not possible so keep that in mind when virtualizing your storage devices.