Rethinking Laboratory Notebooks

  • Clemens Nylandsted KlokmoseEmail author
  • Pär-Ola Zander
Conference paper


We take digitalization of laboratory work practice as a challenging design domain to explore. There are obvious drawbacks with the use of paper instead of ICT in the collaborative writing that takes place in laboratory notebooks; yet paper persist in being the most common solution. The ultimate aim with our study is to produce design relevant knowledge that can envisage an ICT solution that keeps as many advantages of paper as possible, but with the strength of electronic laboratory notebooks as well. Rather than assuming that users are technophobic and unable to appropriate state of the art software, we explore whether there are something inherent in current ICT infrastructure that invites resistance from the users. The method used is interviews, combined with a modified version of future workshops and the data are analyzed with activity theory. Our results concern issues of configurability, mobility, and the barrier between documentation and control, amongst other things.


Interactive Software Interactive Device Page Area Laboratory Notebook Interaction Paradigm 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank the participating physicists for their willingness to contribute some of their time to this study. We thank Susanne Bødker and Olav Bertelsen for insightful comments on earlier drafts of the paper. Wendy Mackay and Aurélien Tabard are thanked for inspiring us to do the study in the first place. We thank Nikolaj Gandrup Borchorst, Marianne Dammand Iversen, and Ann Eg Mølhave for improving the written language of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer London 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clemens Nylandsted Klokmose
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Pär-Ola Zander
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceAarhus UniversityAarhus NDenmark
  2. 2.Laboratorie de Recherche en InformatiqueUniversité Paris-SudOrsayFrance

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