LabArchives employees are located on three continents, in seven time zones (at least) and two offices. We’ve got experience working from the office, from home and from well…wherever.
While working from home (newly dubbed ‘wfh’) is a privilege, it’s a workflow that’s been thrust upon many over the past few months.
Scientists, instructors, students, everyone in the world of STEM will likely have to change how they work to stay safe in these uncertain times. The switch may not be straight forward, but we’re here to help.
Below you’ll find notes from LabArchives users who work remotely, collaborate across far distances, manage large research teams, teach big courses, publish papers and more. Click into the quotes to get the full stories that are full of tips and tricks on working digitally.
If you need help transitioning to remote work send us a message email@example.com
Teach your existing course online but don’t reinvent the wheel!
“I had already developed most of my teaching materials for my face to face course, and while LabArchives was a new addition to my giddy-up, I absolutely needed it to make my online course happen. Everything students need for the lab can happen inside of LabArchives, and this is really important because the fewer places students need to go to get their work done, the better.” Wendy Riggs, Biology Instructor, College of the Redwoods
Prepare students for ‘real world’ work even if they’re learning from home.
“If students aren’t learning to work digitally they’re already behind when they enter the professional world. Working digitally prepares them for any industry or biomedical career – this is where the world is going.” Ramaydalis Keddis, Microbiology Coordinator, Rutgers University
Use real data to keep students working in a real way
“The data collection piece of lab experiments is hard to replicate at home. Luckily we had three years worth of past students’ data stored in LabArchives. I went back into those student notebooks and pulled data for our current students to work with. We do a lot of western blotting, for example. I pulled representative western blots from old student notebooks and provided that real data to our current, remote students to work off of.” Stefanie Chen, NCSU
Make a painless switch from paper to digital notebooks... and grade whenever you want!
“This is my 26th year teaching so I was staunchly set in the paper notebook camp, that was just how things were done…Now I can just sit down with my rubric and click through notebooks checking that students have the materials listed for each day of lab and whatever else.” Jill Keeney, Charles A. Dana Professor of Biology, Juniata College
Create authentic learning experiences, even from afar.
In a recent study published in the Journal of Chemical Education, a chemistry course was “redesigned to implement more authentic activities in the curriculum, largely through the use of LabArchives electronic laboratory notebook (ELN)” Authentic learning experiences prepare students for professional work and ELNs support seamless remote teaching/learning. Click into the study above to find out how it went.
Manage large courses from home and update content as you go along.
“In LabArchives my lab manual is a living document that I can continuously update! I can also look at how any of my TAs are grading, what type of comments they leave students and WHEN they do this.” Michelle Driessen, Professor and Director of General Chemistry, University of Minnesota
Work on papers and grants while you’re not in the lab
“We’re using this time to write papers and grants. To do this we need to go back to our data. We’re so grateful that our data is in all one place. We didn’t even have to bring our lab notebooks home and there’s no need to flip through them as we write our papers.” Shihoko Kojima, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech
Keep tabs on your entire research group regardless of location.
“I use LabArchives to see my group’s work at any time. They create fortnightly reports for me and I comment on everything in LabArchives. It’s been so easy to go over things together even if I’m not in the office. It’s been so handy since I’ve been on maternity leave, invaluable actually.” Elizabeth New, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Sensor Researcher, University of Sydney
Share big data, strange file types and make your research public (from anywhere, anytime).
“Choosing parameters and remembering them” is crucial to Eva Chan’s work. As a bioinformatician at Garvan Institute of Medical Research she manages to do this while handling big data, complex file types and multiple projects all at the same time.
Collaborate across institutions, industries, countries and time zones on demand.
UNC’s HIV Cure Center collaborates with both academia AND private industry. Here, data from many different institutions and contributors converge in one place. Keeping it all organized is crucial for success.
Protect intellectual property regardless of where you’re working from or what device you’re working on.
Keeping track of research evolution and protecting findings from theft are massively important to Ligar, a polymer research company in New Zealand. As they work to scale their polymers up for use on the industrial scale, they can rest easy knowing the ‘recipes’ and final products safely stored in LabArchives.
Document your research properly even from your home office.
“Record keeping is a crucial aspect of publishing a paper. The Australian research guidelines require raw data to be kept for at least five years following publication, and during this time the journal has the right to ask for access to these data. Imagine trying to track down endless paper notebooks, raw data printed on paper, and paper analyses five years after publishing your findings. Sounds like a total nightmare.” May Lin Yap, PhD student, Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute