Structure-based knowledge acquisition from electronic lab notebooks for research data provenance documentation

As a natural extension of the paper lab notebook, the electronic laboratory notebook (ELN) is an important component of modern research activities. However, as calls for reproducibility and data provenance in research grow, the voracity and semantic documentation of research data and experiment protocols logged in ELNs grows more important. In this 2022 paper from the Journal of Biomedical Semantics, Schröder et al. address this sort of semantic documentation of experiment protocols and take their own structure-based approach to doing it, using a biomedical wet lab experiment in an ELN as a test case. The authors present background information, related work, and information about their use case and approach to the task. After presenting and discussing the results of their semantic documentation efforts, they conclude that their “structure-based approach, in combination with RO-Crate bundling, can be used to successfully document research data based on the description in the form of ELN protocols.” They add that bundling of the information into RO-Crate better enables “the sharing, publication, and archiving of the research data in terms of the FAIR principles.”

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