Electronic versus paper record keeping in scientific research: a case study for the Open Exeter project
University of Exeter
In this case study the nature of record keeping for two different kinds of research in Physics, experiment and theory, is used to assess the potential value of keeping electronic instead of paper records. We find that, although there is already a range of positive aspects to electronic record keeping, the software currently available is not yet able to fulfill all of the requirements of a lab book and may be inappropriate in novel working environments. Given the rate at which the relevant hardware and software is developing and the option for researchers to try current note taking software for free, we suggest waiting at least another year and assessing the latest options before investing in support for electronic record keeping.