often span a large team, entry and
monitoring of this access can be complicated to manage.
Therefore, access security and automated time stamping by the LIMS
provides an essential digital audit trail
for recording, conversion and movement of results, samples and other
resources between members of the lab.
The rigidity of a LIMS also reduces
the scope for human error seen in paper transactions, by automated tracking
and tagging of samples with structured
data points and information. This
streamlines operations for repeat testing
services and mitigates risk.
However, this rigidity also renders a LIMS less suitable for use in more experimental lab spaces, where
unstructured data and regular changes in protocols and
workflow are likely to occur. Instead, this is where the
ELN tends to take precedence.
Features of an Electronic
Acting as a secure and legally binding digital scrapbook,
an ELN instead collates unstructured data to form a
Features of a Laboratory
Information Management System
Primitive LIMS have been on the scene since the 1980s and
it is, in fact, the ELN which is a relatively new addition to
the laboratory services space.
In general, LIMS arose in popularity as a digital sup-
port framework to reflect the demand for process-centric
data entry and encourage compliance oriented behaviors.
Since there is such a large volume of data produced
in labs today, and access to this data and samples can
oryEquipment.com | February 2019 | LABORATORY EQUIPMENT | 17
Management System (LIMS)
Good for repeat testing
and regulated experiments
Generates reports of data for
each sample, but no context
More management focused, rigid
QA/QC - Bioanalysis -
Good for freeform and
rapidly changing experiments
Brings context to data
Personal, ad hoc and custom
Discovery - Research &