Frequently Asked Questions
Open Source Code
We have decided to distribute sciNote under an open source license, so anyone can tinker with the source code, develop new add-ons and upgrade sciNote to best fit their needs. We are also creating a growing community of developers, where our users have the voice for what they want to implement into sciNote, which will consequently transform sciNote into the best scientific platform there is.
Plans & Pricing
We want to make sciNote accessible to every scientist and build a large community of users and contributors.
The plan includes the following:
- Local installation
Installation of separate instance of sciNote to the cloud of your choice.
- On-line training (webinar)
Users training in basic operations and functionalities of sciNote, performed via on-line service.
- Support and troubleshooting
Support of an Application Specialist for troubleshooting and user experience of sciNote functionalities.
- Updates and maintenance
Maintenance of a separate instance of sciNote, including monthly updating of the instance, necessary hot fixes, regular checkups of the server and support.
The Local installation and the On-line training (webinar) are both a one-time payment, where the installation of separate instance of sciNote needs 10 hours of our work and the on-line seminar (webinar) takes 5 hours. The estimated time for the Support and troubleshooting are 5 hours per month for 10 people in the lab. The Updates and maintenance is also meant as a monthly payment, since you need 10 hours of regular checkups on a monthly basis. The Professional Support plan is signed for a minimum of one year.
If you decide you no longer need our support after one year, you can simply maintain the system yourself or hire any other IT company to do it. We will leave you with the available source code and full documentation of work that has been done for you.
Schedule a non-obligation meeting with one of our experts to get more information about Professional Support. Follow this link http://scinote.net/plans/ and fill out the form.
With Additional Storage plan for $9/month you get one additional Team with 100 GB of storage space. This means, that in total you have two Teams, considering you get one free Team with 1 GB the first time you create sciNote account.
Hosting & Local Installation
sciNote is hosted on Amazon Cloud on European servers. If you would like to host sciNote on another cloud provider, we can offer that as a custom service. Just send us an email to . It is also possible to set up sciNote locally on your institutional servers.
Yes, sciNote can be installed locally. The source code is available on GitHub, therefore you can install sciNote by yourself. We also offer a Professional Support plan, which includes the local installation, on-line training (webinar), troubleshooting, updates and maintenance. To learn more about Professional Support plan, go to http://scinote.net/plans/.
A part of our company is also based in Slovenia, so we offer full installation support for all European-based institutions.
sciNote is deployed using Docker. The Docker containers are relatively-new, but an increasingly popular way to deploy various native applications across different host operating systems. That being said, Docker support is now available on Windows 2016. If you are using an older version of Windows server, you have the following two options:
- Run a virtual Linux machine on your Windows OS (e.g. VirtualBox, VMWare, etc.). Inside virtual OS, run sciNote server via Docker and map the virtual machine ports into your public Windows machine ports to expose it publicly. The problem with this approach is that it’s effectively a two-layer virtualization (Windows -> Linux, Linux -> Docker), which can impact performance.
- Windows server 2016 has Docker support planned, so in theory you should be able to run our sciNote Docker inside a Hyper-V container. Right now Microsoft has released the 5th version of the Technical Preview, so we expect server 2016 to be available sometime this fall.
In case you are interested in local installation, we recommend our Professional Support and Customization plans that will help you get sciNote up fast and keep it running smoothly.
You can upload any type of file into sciNote such as .txt, .xls, .jpeg, .pdf, OpenDocument, etc. Size is limited to 50 MB per file and the total space is determined by your current plan.
Any kind of files can be uploaded within the file size limit of 50MB. For now, only images can be embedded in the report.
To upload your Word documents in sciNote, you can work with Protocol management, where all your Protocols are stored. When you create a new Protocol, you can load it to different Tasks and then make changes to it, when in Protocol steps overview.
You will still have to copy-paste the content from your Word document into the new Protocol in the Protocol management. However, this November we are planning to implement the Rich Text Editor, so creating Protocols will be much easier.
Here are the instructions to create and upload Protocols:
When you create a Protocol in the Protocol management, it is automatically saved in the repository. Then go to the Experiment and click on a certain Task. A Protocol steps overview appears. Click on the “Load protocol” button and select “from repository” to upload a Protocol from the repository in the Protocol management. Choose a Protocol you’ve created earlier and click on the “Load” button. The Protocol is now added to the Task.
Also, at the end of this year, sciNote will be integrated with MS Office, this way all the attached files will become editable.
Audit Trail & Certificates
Every action users make in sciNote is tracked. You can see who has completed which Protocol step and when, which samples have been used and which results have been uploaded. At the same time you can use comments and tags to annotate your work further. A person can also be assigned to individual Experiments and Tasks.
You can filter Projects on a Dashboard by clicking on the “Show projects from” button, where you can choose to view Projects from a certain Team or view all your Projects at once. You can also reorder the Projects by clicking on the “Sort by” button near the top left side of the Dashboard.
To see updates made by a specific user, it is best to use the Search bar in the upper right-hand side of the Dashboard. Type in the person’s name to get all the updates of the person instantly.
Mainly because users can use the same types all over their institution, so deleting a type could mean deleting it for other users as well (for the ones invited to your Team).
Currently, we are working on CFR21 part 11 compliance, which will be available early next year, including the digital signature of the documents and their versions. The current workaround would be to generate a report in sciNote and sign the different versions manually.
To ensure integrity of entries in terms of time, authorship and content, the 21 CFR part 11 compliance is required. We are currently working on it and will make it available early next year. This will include electronic signatures as well as handwritten signatures executed to electronic records. The current workaround would be to generate a Report in sciNote and sign the different versions manually.
Sometimes emails cannot pass through the university’s firewall. If you registered more than 3 days ago, but didn’t confirm your registration, your account was deleted. Even if that happens, we can manually create the account for you, just send us an email to and our support team will take care of the rest.
You can terminate your account by sending an e-mail to . We will deactivate your account within 10 working days. Your data will still be available for download another 30 days. Furthermore, you will always have a possibility to create a completely new account, which you can start using it for free at any time.
To rename your Team, go to “Settings” in the upper right corner and open “My teams” tab. Select the Team you have created and click on its name. A window “Edit team name” will appear. Write the new Team name and click on the green “Update” button.
A smaller note: you cannot rename the Team, to which you were invited from another colleague. Only they have the authority to do so.
sciNote is mainly focused on the Life Science field, however we will be on the lookout for how to expand and adapt sciNote to other research fields as well.
Yes, several high schools already use sciNote. Electronic lab notebooks (ELNs) are becoming a standard practice, it is therefore recommended that high school students already start using them and become aware of the importance of documenting their work in a structured way.
sciNote works on all major mobile and desktop browsers: Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Chrome, etc.
We do not offer an app for sciNote for the time being. However, we did put a lot of effort in developing sciNote’s responsive design. This way, when you log in with your mobile device using your browser, sciNote works just like an app. Furthermore, you can add a sciNote icon to your home screen as a shortcut, to quickly access it at any time.
You cannot directly download your data, however there is a workaround. You can create a Report for the Experiment of your choice and then save it on your computer or download it as a PDF.
Furthermore, all your data within sciNote is stored on secure Amazon Cloud, so there is no need to worry about losing your data. Our team of programmers also do the regular check-ups and maintenance.
If you work in a regulated environment with confidential information and compliance requirements, we suggest you to use sciNote on a validated cloud. If you are interested, please send us an email to to schedule a non-obligation meeting with one of our experts.
The amount of storage is always associated within a Team. The free sciNote account includes one Team, with1 GB of total storage space. Everything that is stored within Projects of that Team is subtracted only once and only from that Team. You can always upgrade to the Additional Storage plan and to gain more storage space within the same Team.
Don’t worry, sciNote will notify you when you are running short of storage space. When you use up your free 1 GB, you can purchase the Additional Storage plan for $9/month. The Additional Storage plan includes an additional Team with 100 GB of storage and support for troubleshooting.
Yes, they do. You can recover any archived files or projects at any time.
The Demo project takes up 6 MB of storage space.
sciNote is an open source electronic lab notebook (ELN). This means that it can be modified by the sciNote team or the community. This way anybody can create custom features or add-ons tailored to scientists’ needs. The required programming language is Ruby on Rails 4.2.3.
Not yet, but APIs will be available in the near future.
The application server needs to have:
- RAM: 512 MB+.
- CPU: At least dual-core to run both server/worker.
- HDD: Depends on your needs, but at least 5 GB to install the app and dependencies.
Keep in mind that the more users you have, the better server you will need.
sciNote is already configured to work on PostgreSQL, which is also the default database. You can probably set it up with MS SQL as well, but some queries are currently PostgreSQL-dependent and should be fixed accordingly.
Training & Documentation
We are currently creating more documentation and easier setup for local installation. We do offer a service where our IT engineers help you set up sciNote locally and make sure everything is working properly. In case you are interested for setting sciNote locally, contact us at .
You can find the documentation on this link.
We are currently creating more documentation and easier setup for local installation. We do offer service where our IT engineers help you get set up and make sure everything is working properly. In case you are interested for setting sciNote locally, contact us at
We are providing short demonstrations for individuals via conference call. We are also planning to organize a set of webinars for larger groups. If you are interested, please send us an email to , explaining which sciNote features you would like to learn more about or which topics from the Data management field you find interesting.
Features & Functionalities
To invite your colleagues to your Team, go to “Settings” in the upper right corner and open “My teams”. Select your Team and click “Invite user”. Type in the email of a user you want to invite. If the person you want to invite is not an existing sciNote user, click “Invite new user” and an email with instructions on creating a free account will be sent to them.
To share Projects with collaborators you have to invite them to your Team first. Go to “Settings” in the upper right corner and open “My teams”. Select your Team and click “Invite user”. Type in an email of the user you want to invite. If the person you want to invite is not an existing sciNote user, click “Invite new user” and an email with instructions on creating a free account will be sent to them. Return to the Dashboard and select a Project you want to share. Go to the users tab and click “Manage users”. You can add as many users as you want and assign them different roles.
If you wish for other users to create or edit the Experiment, they have to become the Owner or User. To assign roles or grant permissions to other users, you have to be the Owner of the Project. Select a Project on your dashboard, click on the avatar icon and continue to “Manage users”. A window for managing users for this particular Project will appear. Click on the first box to select a user and on the second one to select a role. As a reminder: the user has to be a Team member, so that you can manage their privileges and roles. If they are not a part of the Team, click on the link “Invite users” and follow the instructions from our video tutorial “Inviting Collaborators” at http://scinote.net/product/tutorials/.
If you want for other users to be able to create a Protocol, they have to be the Admin or Normal user. This has to be settled at the Team level, so go to “Settings” and open the “My teams” tab. Select the Team and detailed information will appear. In the “Manage users” area you can see all the members of the Team and their information. As an Administrator you have the full authority in terms of managing the Team and the Projects. When clicking on the “Edit” button, you can assign or reassign roles to your Team members, as well as remove the members from the Team.
When it comes to editing a Protocol, only the creator of the Protocol has the authority to change it.
When creating a Report, you can add certain elements to it, one of them is “Protocol steps”. For the time being, only the “Completed protocol steps” can be added to the Report. This may be the reason why does the number of the Protocol steps differ from the number in the final Report.
To duplicate a specific Task within an Experiment, click on “Edit experiment”. Continue by clicking the dropdown menu (down arrow symbol) of the Task you want to duplicate. Select “Clone task” and the Task will be automatically duplicated. To duplicate the entire Workflow, click on the dropdown menu of any Task and select “Clone workflow”.
To rename a Workflow, open the desired Experiment and click on the “Edit experiment” button. Click on the dropdown menu (the down arrow symbol) of any Task of the Workflow that you want to rename and select “Rename workflow”.
At the moment it is not possible to change the name of the variables in the Sample table. Some major changes regarding the Sample table are planned for the first quarter of 2017, including column rearrangement and changing the name of the columns in the Sample table.
You have two options to increase the number of columns in the Sample table:
- right click on the column header and choose “Insert columns to the right”
- or copy-paste the table from Excel spreadsheet and the number of columns and rows will automatically adjust.
You can manually add new additional columns in the Sample table. To do that, click on the “More” button and select “Add column”. Name the column as you wish and finish editing with “Add new column”.
You cannot delete the sample columns, since that could mean deleting them for other users as well (for the ones invited to your Team). However, you can hide the columns by clicking on the “Visible columns” and deselecting the columns you do not wish to see in a Sample table.
When you create a free sciNote account, you automatically get one Team, inside of which you can create different Projects and invite other sciNote users to work with you on these Projects. This way, it is not possible to delete a Team, since you couldn’t be able to use sciNote then.
It is not possible to write math equations in sciNote. However, if you are using any other software for doing so or even if you are writing them on paper, you can always attach a file into sciNote. This way you will have full traceability of your data.
At the moment, the column rearrangement in the Sample table is not yet possible. However, the changes regarding the column rearrangement are planned for the first quarter of 2017.
There will be an option to delete the Demo project completely, so all the demo data, such as samples, will be removed from your account. The »Delete« function will be developed at the end of this year.
The Sample table actually displays samples of the entire Team (for all Projects), no matter where in sciNote you access the Sample table. At this moment it is not possible to visualize which samples are assigned to a specific Project. It is however possible to see which samples are assigned to a specific Task (if a user accesses the Sample table from within a Task) and which samples are assigned to a specific Experiment (if a user accesses the Sample table from within a Task).
We are actually designing a Chemistry add-on for sciNote. If you have any specific features you would expect to see in sciNote, please send us your suggestions to .