Skip to main content

LabArchives is designed to be flexible and to complement your workflow. Typically, the PI, project lead, or an administrator will create the LabArchives notebooks and share them with other members of the team. Popular notebook structures include project- and grant-based notebooks, individual researcher notebooks, date-based notebooks, and team or company-based notebooks that contain shared materials to reference and reuse.

Create a Notebook

When you create your account, a notebook called My Notebook will be automatically created. You can use this suggested notebook or create your own notebooks.

  • To create a notebook, click Notebooks to view the list of notebooks and click the + Icon to create a new notebook. Name your notebook, select a folder layout, and click Create Notebook.
  • When choosing the folder layout, keep in mind that you can further edit and modify the layout at any time.
  • If you do not know where to start, choose a layout that is closest to what you may use and then rename, delete, and edit the folders to best meet your needs.

Screen capture: A notebook dialogue box with a red box calling out the + button.

Screen capture: Under “Research Notes,” a drop-down menu descends from the “+ New” button. Options in the menu are: Add new folder, add new page, copy existing page, copy from another notebook, and reload from server.

Organize Your Notebook

Once your Notebook has been created, it can be organized with a system of folders and pages. You can rename, move, or delete the folder structure based on your needs. You can organize your notebooks by project, researcher, instrument, or create a standardized folder structure for multiple notebooks.

  • To create a new folder or page, click + New in the Notebook Navigator.
  • All folders and pages can be moved using drag and drop.
  • Right click (Ctrl + Click for Macs) on the Folder or page name for options like renaming or deleting the item.
  • Subfolders can also be created within other folders to better organize your information.
  • You can even copy content over from another notebook (such as another notebook that may contain protocols or other shared materials). Choose Copy from another notebook and the select the content that then select the content that you wish to add to the current notebook.

Add Data to Your Notebook

Data can be added to pages in your notebook using various entry types. To create an entry, select from the Add Entry toolbar at the top right of each page. The + New option reveals additional entry types.

To place an entry between two existing entries, move the cursor between the two entries and select from the insert tool bar.

Screen capture: The “Insert” toolbar has options for Attachment, Office Document, Rich Text, and “More.”

Screen capture: A dropdown menu descends from the “+ New” button. Options in the menu are: Rich text, attachment, Office document, heading, plain text, PubMed references, mathematical equation, sketch, widget, assignment, and import CSV file.

Entry Types

Rich Text

Rich Text entries are the most common entry type in LabArchives. Rich Text allows for text formatting such as color and sizing. You can also add tables, embed images, videos, and links.

Screen capture: A sample rich text editor with standard text formatting options. The text in the editor reads: The Rich Text Editor is a word processor that allows you to add and edit text within your research notebook.


  • Any file format can be uploaded to LabArchives. Recognized file formats will display a thumbnail.
  • To add an attachment, select Attachment from the Add Entry toolbar or drag and drop the file.
  • Microsoft Office Documents can be edited within LabArchives using Microsoft Office Online.
  • Images like .jpg, .gif, .png can be annotated with the Image Annotator.

Screen capture: the Attachment Entry Editor. Add files to the upload queue, then click the “Save to Page” button.


  • Widgets allow users to extend the capabilities of LabArchives. You can create forms, templates, and even custom programs that operate within your Notebooks.
  • To add a widget to your page, select Widget from the add entry toolbar. From here, choose the widget you want to use in your LabArchives Notebook, and it will be added as an entry.
  • You can create custom widgets through the Widget Manager.

Screen capture: Select a widget to work with. “Choose a Widget” drop-down menu with a long list of options.

Working with Entries

Edit Entries

To edit an entry, click the Pencil icon. When finished editing your entry, click Save to page.

Screen capture: A row of icons. Pencil, up arrow, down arrow, speech balloon, share button, ellipsis.


Tagging allows you to add metadata to your notebook. This builds an internal vocabulary with your team and improves search results. Click the Skewer menu and select Tags.

Screen capture: Edit Tags dialogue with a field for entering tags and a “Close” button.


Links can be added to point to a web address or to another page or entry in your Notebook. Using Version when this link was created, you can link to an entry in its current state. Click the Skewer menu and select Links.


To communicate with other members of your notebook, you can add a comment to an entry through the Comment icon. To alert a specific user use @mentions. Mentioned users can receive an email notification or an activity feed notification.

Screen capture: Edit Links dialogue. Fields: Links, Add link to, Description. Buttons to Add Link and Close.

Screen capture: A sample comment text field with an @ button and an “Add Comment” button.

Review Past Versions

LabArchives stores every version of each entry and page that you make — whether it is an Attachment, a Rich Text Entry, or a Widget. Each revision is stored with an exact date and time stamp of when the entry was changed. You can always revert to a previous version of your data or undelete an item. Select Page Tools and View revisions for the complete page history.

Screen capture: A sample lab protocol revision history table showing dates, entry versions, revision authors, IP addresses, actions, data types, change size in bytes, and options to revert revision.

Source: LabArchives support. Notebook image by David Schwarzenberg.