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Electronic Research Notebooks: Security and Preservation for ERNs

Record keeping is an essential part of effective data management, electronic research notebooks (ERNs) offer a digital approach to data collection.

Secure your ERN

All members of the UCB community can use their Google drive (bdrive) as a storage option for their ERN with no additional cost.

Creating a Berkeley box account is another free option for UCB community members. This account can store your ERN safely and back up nightly. Keep in mind that new box accounts have a 50 GB storage limit.

Contact Research Data Management for information about how to set this up. 

Most ERN platforms that are subscription based will also offer security and preservation options, you can work with the vendor and research data management to make sure your data is being kept safe!

Preserve your ERN

There are several things to take into account when setting up your ERN with the intention of preservation and future reuse. 

Defining how you are going to go about effective recordkeeping is just as useful as transitioning to an ERN. To do this a data management plan (DMP) should be created and used to guide best practices for yourself and the researchers you engage with throughout your work. Having a dynamic DMP will fulfill funding agency requirements and improve the efficiency and success of your work.

Some examples of questions that will be answered by a DMP include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • What metadata schema will be followed?
  • What file-naming standards will be used?
  • Where will the data be stored? Processed and raw?
  • Do you have custom code that needs to be tracked and accessible?

This article titled, "Ten Simple Rules for Creating a Good Data Management Plan" outlines all of the necessary information you should include as you answer these questions! 

The Chemistry Librarian is available to answer any questions regarding the creation of a DMP.

RDM Consulting

For consultations on data management and sharing, please contact Berkeley's Research Data Management Program.


Always remember that if you put poorly curated data into an ERN platform you will ultimately end up with poorly curated data!