sciNote Release Notes

sciNote Open Source Electronic Lab Notebook – Release Notes and Updates

sciNote version 1.9

23rd March 2017

We have been working really hard for this release and we can proudly announce that sciNote and Microsoft Office Online integration is official!

You can now upload and edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents to sciNote, where all your changes are automatically saved as you type. You can invite others to review and co-author in real time, knowing that everyone is working with the latest version.

Microsoft Office Online supports the viewing of many major Microsoft Office file types, and editing of file types including .xlsx, .docx and.pptx.

editing-online-office-documents

When in editing mode, you can navigate through sciNote elements with a help of bread crumbs at the top. You can also exchange comments with your colleagues when reviewing the document.

word-online-document

You don’t need to worry about saving the document, since changes are saved automatically. Moreover, you can download or print the document directly.

download-or-print-word-online-document

This sciNote release includes another highly anticipated functionality that is task completion. You can now complete tasks, even when protocol steps are not completed or results are not created. When completing all protocol steps, task is automatically marked as completed.

experiment-overview-completed-task

The completion status can be seen on task cards in experiment overview and in “Due date” and “Status” fields of protocol overview. Task can be completed by the following project user roles: Technician, User and Owner.

protocol-steps-status-changed

 

sciNote Premium – Additional Functionalities:

 

21 CFR Part 11 Compliance and electronic signatures:

Besides improving free sciNote version we have also invested our time in developing new features for the Premium edition, such as electronic signatures, advanced Team management and new User management functionality.

According to FDA guidelines electronic signatures are considered to be trustworthy, reliable, and generally equivalent to paper records and handwritten signatures executed on paper, therefore sciNote Premium is 21 CFR Part 11 compliant.

Electronic signatures are required for completing and locking, unlocking or co-signing of entire task (part of the performed experiment). They are unique, since they are based on combination of an individual username (e-mail) and password and cannot be reused or reassigned to anyone else.

lock-task

Overriding the signatures is not possible, so if a task has already been signed, it can only be co-signed or unlocked. All activity is recorded.

CFR permissions are accredited to the users with the following roles: Owner, User and Technician. This means they have a full authority of signing and co-signing any task. Please note that signed tasks cannot be co-signed by the same user.

Electronic signature can be executed by clicking the “Lock task” button in the protocol overview.

lock-task-button

When a task is signed, the status changes and the due date color turns to green.

task-locked

For unlocking a signed task, you must have a higher role than the original signer, e.g. if you signed the task as a Technician, only the User or Owner can revoke your signature. Furthermore, in case of signing the task as an Owner, only another Owner can unlock the task.

As mentioned earlier, Premium edition includes Team and User management as well. In this case, we have added a new user role called Organization administrator.

Organization administrators can see all the Teams within the Organization and have full access to manage individual Teams and its members. New users can be invited only by the Organization administrator, either in “Members” tab or directly within the Team. Team administrators can only add existing users to a Team by clicking on the “Add team member” button.

User management has been added as a new “Members” tab under the Settings page. Only Organization administrator can access it and make changes. User management contains an alphabetically organized list of all users in the current Organization.

teams-members-organization-scinote

We also want to mention that some minor bugs have been fixed as well.

sciNote version 1.8

23rd February 2017

We fixed a lot of minor bugs for this sciNote release, mostly the ones associated with Protocol steps, Results and Reports. Additionally, we made some improvements on smart annotations and image preview.

Furthermore, Team administrators are now able to view all Projects, including the private ones. Technically, Team administrator has the role of a viewer for all Projects within the Team, even if he/she is not directly assigned to a specific Project.

The list of fixed bugs is here:

SCI-965 Protocol step doesn’t save if the table is without content

SCI-957 Search does not work upon a click to keyword

SCI-955 Comments vanish on Results page

SCI-952 Smart annotations – changing avatar

SCI-951 Missing preview images in Tasks and Protocol management

SCI-913 Missing user annotation for Samples table

SCI-997 Smart annotation is missing at editing column

SCI-991 There is a blank page when restoring archived Task

SCI-958 Team administrators are viewers of all Projects within a Team

SCI-900 Research and fix potential memory leaks in worker process

SCI-510 When uploading files the spinner doesn’t go away

SCI-873 Bottom black banner at image preview gets over the image

SCI-947 Error when exporting to pdf in Reports

SCI-928 We merged Profile and Preferences pages under one tab, now called Account

 

release-notes-scinote-1-8-account-1

 

sciNote version 1.7

26th January 2017

It is the first sciNote release in 2017 and we already have major improvements to share with you.

We added Smart annotations in sciNote 1.7, which are referrals or hyperlinks used for indicating sciNote elements such as Projects, Experiments, Tasks or Samples and can also be used for referring users. Annotations are entered within most text fields throughout sciNote with the help of specific tags (# and @) and autocomplete functionality.

sciNote now recognizes # as annotation of specific sciNote element and creates a permanent link to this element, e.g. displaying an individual Sample from the Samples table with all Sample information.

hashtagging-in-protocol-steps

 

Furthermore, it can also display other interesting information, such as which Project or experimental Task a specific user is assigned to. This way users can annotate their Experiment descriptions, Protocol steps, Samples tables, Results, Comments, etc. In case you wish to mention a specific user, you can use @ to trigger the annotation.

tagging-users-in-comments-under-results

 

Our second major improvement is the possibility of previewing the images and protocols. When you click on a certain image thumbnail or its filename listed below, a preview screen opens. This preview screen is displaying the image itself, its name and the name of the Protocol step or the specific Result (it depends where the image is located). There is also a shortcut to download the image.

image-preview

 

As for the protocols, protocol names in the Protocol management become clickable links. When you click on a protocol name the protocol preview window opens. The same applies when you are importing an .eln file into repository. However, in the preview window there is no option for editing the protocol. The preview window shows the protocol information, such as the creation and last modified date, authors, protocol description, protocol steps and keywords.

protocol-preview-in-repository

 

We updated the Rich Text Formatting (RTF) for this sciNote version as well. Now rich text formatting tool bar freezes on top, where some additional commands were added and a window for editing text became resizable.

Let’s take a look at some additional RTF commands:

Undo/Redo and Find/Replace

undo-and-redo

 

Headings

formats-headings

 

Insert (dropdown menu)

  • Special character allows you to enter special signs, e.g. copyright sign.
  • Horizontal line works as a delimiter between different parts of the text.
  • Anchor makes it easier to navigate longer pages by allowing you to link within the body of text.
  • Nonbreaking space prevents an automatic line break at its position.

insert-menu 

 

Insert link

  • URL (a web address of the web resource you would like to link)
  • Text to display (a display name of the link)
  • Title (a display title of the link when you mouse over it)
  • Target (how you would like for the link to open, in the same or new window)

insert-link

sciNote version 1.6

22nd December 2016

We got a lot of feedback from our users on the Samples table, so our developers devoted their time on its improvement.

One of the main changes in the Samples table is the “Columns” dropdown menu, where you can create your own custom columns. You can also edit the columns, delete them or make them non-visible. The rearrangement of the order of the columns is now also possible. Reordering of the columns and their visibility in the Samples table is user specific, meaning that each user can make different columns visible, in a different order.

columns

Under the “Types and groups“, next to the “Columns” dropdown menu, a new page for managing sample types and groups was added. Here you can create, edit or delete sample types and groups, which are now unique – there cannot be multiple instances of the same type or group.

types-and-groups

The next noticeable new functionality is hyperlinking. Hyperlinks are now automatically recognized in the following fields: Experiment description, Task description, Protocol step description, Samples table, Comments and Checklists.

hyperlinks

Furthermore, code view in the Rich text format editor now supports the syntax highlighting for several languages, such as Python, D, Mathematica, Matlab, Fortran, R and many others.

rte

As for other improvements, we were able to ensure smoother file uploading and downloading and fix some minor bugs.

sciNote version 1.5

24th November 2016

With sciNote version 1.5 you have a chance to earn additional storage space by inviting new users to sciNote or by completing a few basic steps when you log in to sciNote for the first time. You will get 1 GB of additional storage space and 10 Leaves for each user you invite and up to 10 GB in total. 

You can invite users to sciNote by selecting “Invite people to sciNote” in the dropdown menu on the Dashboard. You can also invite users to your Team from the Team management in the Settings menu.

invite-people-to-scinote

When you first log in to sciNote, a Welcome window appears, offering you a possibility to earn extra storage space for your Team and 10 Leaves for your account by completing 4 basic steps.

gamification-steps

The more you use sciNote, the more A4 sheets of paper you save. One A4 page of paper is equivalent to one Leaf. Under your profile you can check your statistics, such as how many Leaves have you saved so far. Read more how you can plant the Digital forest with us.

 statistics

 

Rich text formatting

You can now use rich text formatting (RTF) in Protocol steps and Results. Basic formatted text documents support bold, italic and underline text formatting, different font styles, size and color, bullets, hyperlinks, alignment, etc. Text also stays formatted in a Report and text areas automatically resize as user types or deletes the text.

rtf

We have also dedicated special attention to bug fixes. For example, protocol checklist items now don’t change the order when user would save the protocol to Protocol repository.

sciNote version 1.4

26th October 2016

You can already keep track of all the activities that occur within sciNote. However, this time we designed much more sophisticated way of recording and following users’ activities – the Notifications.

There are three types of Notifications:

  1. Change notification
  2. Assignment notification
  3. Update notification

three-types-of-notifications

To open the Notifications, click on the bell icon in the top bar of the Dashboard and ten most recent notifications will be displayed. Under “Settings” you can choose to see the notifications in sciNote directly and/or receive them via email.

 

electronic-lab-notebook-all-notifications-overview

 

If you want all notifications to be displayed, scroll down and click “Show all notifications”.

 

electronic-lab-notebook-users-notifications

 

The next big improvement in sciNote 1.4 is the Global team switch that enables users to easily switch between different Teams they belong to and work without any interruptions.

Additional improvements:
• Unifying the Comments on Projects and Tasks
• displaying more information for individual samples in the Sample table
• enabling to change the Billing plan from a free to a paid one
• fixing bugs
• improving the “My preferences” tab

electronic-lab-notebook-time-zone

 

sciNote Version 1.3

29th September 2016

For this sciNote version we focused on improving Tables in Protocol steps and Results. Tables now support basic math operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) just like Excel spreadsheets do.

table

You can also use the functions listed below:

  • SUM that adds together a supplied set of numbers and returns the sum of these values;
  • AVERAGE that returns the arithmetic mean of a list of supplied numbers;
  • MEDIAN that returns the statistical median (the middle value) of a list of supplied numbers;
  • MAX that returns the largest value from a supplied set of numeric values;
  • MIN that returns the smallest value from a supplied set of numeric values;
  • SLOPE that calculates the slope of the linear regression line through a supplied set of x- and y- values;
  • IF that tests a supplied condition and returns one result if the condition evaluates to TRUE, and another result if the condition evaluates to FALSE;
  • SQRT that calculates the positive square root of a supplied number;
  • POWER that calculates a given number, raised to a supplied power;
  • LOG that calculates the logarithm of a given number, to a supplied base;
  • LN that calculates the natural logarithm of a given number;
  • LOG10 that calculates the base 10 logarithm of a given number.

Some other improvements have been made in sciNote as well. Let’s take a look at them.

Extended length of text field

You can now write names of Experiments and Protocol steps with limitation of 255 characters and descriptions with 10,000 characters.

Redesigned Navigation pane

We have added the connecting line of Experiments in the Navigation pane, where you can expand or collapse the Experiments and get a better overview.

navigation-pane-connecting-line

Reorder of Comments and Messages

The Comments section in Protocols steps and Results has been moved bellow the description (it’s not in a separate tab any more). Also the order of Messages in the Project and Task cards has been changed. The most recent Messages are now seen at the end of the correspondence.

Deleting Results

You can now delete Results. First you archive them, then you go to the Archive and delete them. This way you have a “safety net” against deleting Results by accident.

deleting-results

Info button

In the upper right corner of the Dashboard you can now access the Info button, where you can find links to support on how to use sciNote features (e.g., Tutorials, FAQ) or how to change your current sciNote Plan (e.g., Professional support and customization, Plans). In case you have some other questions or suggestions, click on the Contact us link.

info-tab

 

sciNote Version 1.2

31st August 2016

To give you more flexibility while organizing your work, we added a new feature to sciNote: Experiment level. Now you can organize your Tasks and Workflows into different Experiments inside of an individual Project.

When you open a Project you will see Experiments displayed as thumbnails.

experiments

All your existing Tasks and Workflows are now in a single Experiment called “My first experiment”. You can always rename it, create new Experiments and move Workflows between them. To move a Task or a Workflow to a different Experiment, do the following:

scinote workflow

  1. Open Experiment that contains a Workflow you would like to move and click Edit experiment.
  2. In the Options dropdown of any Task select Move workflow to another experiment.
  3. Select Experiment from the dropdown and click Move workflow. The Workflow is now part of the selected Experiment, this way you can still have multiple Workflows in one Experiment.

The hierarchy in the Navigation pane has changed as well.

navigation pane

sciNote version 1.2 also brings you new functionalities, such as:

  • Editing and deleting Comments,
  • Improved positioning of Tasks on canvas,
  • Cloning Workflows,
  • Archiving Workflows and
  • Improved uploading of files.

sciNote Version 1.1

15th July 2016

The sciNote version 1.1 brings brand new Protocol management, where you can:

  • Easily edit existing protocols
  • Reuse existing protocols from the Protocols repository within one Team
  • Export and import sciNote protocols in new *.eln file format
  • Share and exchange protocols in a *.eln format
  • Search through the Protocols repository with global search

scinote screenshot

We also didn’t forget to polish the details:

  • You now collaborate in a Team (instead of Organization)
  • You now create Tasks (instead of Modules)
  • We also dedicated special attention to bug fixes so they don’t cause you any trouble during your research.

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