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Data Management: Electronic Research Notebooks

What is an ERN?

An electronic research notebook (ERN) records the details of research experiments, but with additional features not possible when using traditional paper lab notebooks.

Why use an ERN?

  • Documentation of experiments (as with paper versions)
  • Location independent (cloud-based)
  • Save more types of information
  • Searchable notes
  • Secure backup
  • Share notebooks
  • Traceable versions

LabArchives @ Pitt


LabArchives (LA) is the Enterprise ERN selected by the University of Pittsburgh--meaning that it's available to Pitt faculty, staff, & students for no charge!

Click here for more information on the selection process.

Pitt researchers have access to both the Professional and Classroom editions of LA.

What is LabArchives?

  • A secure, cloud-based collaborative platform for the storage, organization, communication, sharing of scientific data – each version is date/time stamped & stored permanently to protect each lab’s IP and comply with data requirements.
  • Research productivity tool for scientific data –  search years worth of work or view experimental data in real-time, from any computer or mobile device
  • A “living repository” – a cross between a data repository and Lab Notebook combining the features of collaboration software, wikis, search engines, data storage and software tools

How to access LabArchives


  1. Sign on to
  2. In the search box on the top right enter "LabArchives"
  3. Click on the Electronic Research Notebooks purple icon under search results.
  4. You will be redirected to your LabArchives notebooks

Using LabArchives website

  1. Navigate to
  2. Click on the green "Sign in" box
  3. If prompted for a LabArchives Partner Site Login, scroll to and select "University of Pittsburgh"
  4. Click on the "Go to your Institution's Login" box

HSLS Support for LabArchives

Help with LabArchives

Pitt Information Technology

LabArchives Resources

Working with Sensitive Data?

Data classified as Low or Moderate Risk may be stored in an ERN.

If your data meets the classification of High Risk, you must consult with Pitt IT Security to determine what additional controls must be implemented when using LabArchives. 

Contact the Pitt IT Help Desk at 412-624-4357 or to request a consultation.

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