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ELN - metafield examples - templates, etc.

CDD's ELN lets your administrator define a number of meta-fields to help your productivity or help ensure certain business rules.

Here are some examples of how these could be used / look like.

(For administrators: see this link on how define these metafields)

Required metafield

For chemistry entries, you might want to require the addition of material safety data sheets (MSDS files). Metafields allow you to define a file based field that may also be set as a "required" field! If a meta-field is required, an ELN entry cannot be finalized before a field has information attached to it.

You would have a file field such as this:


(For administrators: select the "Required" check box in the ELN settings if you want to enforce the use of this field).

Use of pick-lists to define specific vocabulary

Could one make a user's life easier by defining certain keywords in a metafield? Most certainly so! This can be achieved by applying a defined list (vocabulary) of words or phrases, for example the type of experiment. Not only does this leave a scientist with a simple and quick selection to choose from, it will also counter act spelling errors of manually entered fields (who hasn't seen spellings such as "Chmesitry", "Chemisty", etc.).

Define a metafield called "Experiment" and make this field a pick-list. The entries could be named  e.g.:

  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Template
  • Other

Once you do a search on your ELN content, keywords found in metafields will show up separately in the search result; e.g. the keyword "Template" will show up as this:


Of course, if you have such a keyword anywhere else in  your ELN entry, you will see it in the search results as well (notice the word "template" also showing up in the Title in the above example).

If you (the administrator) make this field "required", then you will have a very simple, but powerful set of business rules that could make scientists' life easier.

One could imagine combining these two concepts of a pick-list and required option to create a simple witnessing system: The pick-list would contain a list of witnesses (e.g. the lab-head(s)) who pick "themselves" upon reading/witnessing an entry and having them, instead of the scientist, close the experiment. 

Alternative to defining templates

Another way to make templates easily available, even without the need to search for them, would be to define a specific project called "ELN Templates". Then, a user would only have select this one particular project from the list on the left of the vault section.




Other uses

If you have any other tips & tricks or ways to use this system and would like to share it with the CDD community, please don't hesitate to contact support or your account manager!