A journey through the
                  ELN jungle
                                   Simon Coles
                        ...
http://www.amphora-research.com/   2
Copies of these slides




http://www.amphora-research.com/   2
About Amphora
            • Started in ELNs in 1996
             • Globally deployed, fully electronic ELN
               ...
Who we work with




       4
Who we work with




       4
Industry




http://www.amphora-research.com/      5
What we do

            • Patent Evidence Creation & Preservation
             • Make lawyers happy
             • Which m...
What we do

            • Sometimes our stuff is used...
             • Standalone
             • In conjunction with othe...
Choice time

            • A discussions about the differences that
                  make a difference
            • Some...
jungle
          noun
          an area of land overgrown with dense forest and tangled
          vegetation, typically in...
Welcome to the Jungle



http://www.amphora-research.com/   10
electronic lab notebook
          noun
          whatever a vendor has to sell
          whatever the programmer wants to ...
Audience Survey




12               simonc@amphora-research.com
Audience Survey

     •   Do you have a Med. Chem ELN project (in
         progress or complete?)




12                  ...
Audience Survey

     •   Do you have a Med. Chem ELN project (in
         progress or complete?)
     •   Do you have oth...
Audience Survey

     •   Do you have a Med. Chem ELN project (in
         progress or complete?)
     •   Do you have oth...
The ELN journey
       (In two Acts)


13               simonc@amphora-research.com
Act I

     •   Chemists are the most vocal, and can
         demonstrate some kind ROI
     •   And you can buy one! From...
Meanwhile...


     Everyone else is getting on with business




15                                   simonc@amphora-rese...
Act II
     •   Happy chemists
     •   Generally, band-aided the Patent problem
     •   Now, we’ve got an ELN
         •...
Typical Reactions




17                 simonc@amphora-research.com
Typical Reactions

     •   “We don’t work like that”




17                                   simonc@amphora-research.com
Typical Reactions

     •   “We don’t work like that”
     •   “I doesn’t work with our applications”




17              ...
Typical Reactions

     •   “We don’t work like that”
     •   “I doesn’t work with our applications”
     •   “Why should...
Typical Reactions

     •   “We don’t work like that”
     •   “I doesn’t work with our applications”
     •   “Why should...
Typical Reactions

     •   “We don’t work like that”
     •   “I doesn’t work with our applications”
     •   “Why should...
What’s going on?



18                simonc@amphora-research.com
Why an ELN?


     •   Because the existing solution sucks
         •   Cut & Stick computer printouts
         •   Can’t ...
Why an ELN?

     •   “Easily use computer applications in the
         course of our work”
     •   “Search our work”
   ...
The “special stuff”
     •   Organic Chemistry has a clear, widely-used
         notation which rewards specific support
  ...
What they didn’t say

     •   “Replace the applications I use day-to-day”
         •   In fact, they want an ELN to make ...
The result


     •   Chemistry-centric ELNs don’t tend to be well
         received outside of Chemistry
     •   Frustra...
Note

     •   Science is very broad
     •   I am generalising
     •   Your mileage may vary
     •   I’m just trying to...
Science is huge



25                simonc@amphora-research.com
Different Styles


     •   Chemistry tends to be pretty structured and
         routine
     •   Other disciplines have m...
Tools
     •   Chemistry tends to focus on the structures,
         reactions, properties, drawing & animating
         th...
Less is more




From http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2006/week30/index.html
Part of the problem is
            the term
             “ELN”

29                   simonc@amphora-research.com
Questions
     •   If the paper notebook didn’t exist would we
         coin the term “Electronic” notebook?
     •   If i...
Where do they work?
     •   Excel                  •   In-house experiment
                                    planning t...
What are they doing?


     •   Experiments - just like everyone else
     •   Just because they aren’t working in a produ...
As a rule, it is much
       better if you pay
       attention to each
     discipline individually

33                  ...
The “One System” death
            magnet


34                   simonc@amphora-research.com
One solution?
     User quote:

     Anyone who claims one
     solution solves all problems...


35                      ...
One solution?
     User quote:

     Anyone who claims one
     solution solves all problems...
                          ...
Do you need one
                 solution?

     •   Not unless you buy something crazily
         proprietary
         • ...
Can you buy One
               Solution?
     •   Yes, if you only do one kind of science
     •   Yes, if you are prepare...
Some Suggestions



38                simonc@amphora-research.com
Project Structure
     •   Divide your problem into
         •   Corporate aspects
         •   Different disciples
     •...
A framework
                   Corporate aspects
                           (Records, IP protection, Sharing)
     Medicin...
The “Deep” systems
     •   If they use structures, they’ll probably want
         one of the Chemistry-centric ELNs
     ...
“Deep Systems”

     •   More than one group might find the same
         system acceptable - great!
     •   You might wan...
“Deep Systems”

     •   If you do a good job
         •   Everyone gets their ideal work
             environment
       ...
Some questions you
        might ask...


44                 simonc@amphora-research.com
What about Array?
     •   They are essentially using CS as an
         integration platform
     •   Unusually high inves...
What about GxP

     •   The needs of GxP & 21CFR11 mandate
         record keeping at the activity level
     •   You can...
What about Raw Data?
     •   ELN isn’t the place for raw data
         •   From a records aspect
         •   From a prac...
Isn’t this expensive?




48                   simonc@amphora-research.com
Isn’t this expensive?


     •   Not if you’ve already got perfectly acceptable
         solutions already




48         ...
Isn’t this expensive?


     •   Not if you’ve already got perfectly acceptable
         solutions already
     •   The RO...
Are you on Drugs?

     •   A large number of end-user companies have
         similar approaches
     •   Most of the cas...
Benefits of taking a
       Broad & Deep
         approach

50                  simonc@amphora-research.com
You get to be a
      hero/heroine


51                simonc@amphora-research.com
Finding the money is
            easier


52                  simonc@amphora-research.com
Training is easier/non-
            existent


53                    simonc@amphora-research.com
You have a balanced
     relationship with your
            vendors

54                   simonc@amphora-research.com
You can roll out in
          phases


55                  simonc@amphora-research.com
Your lawyers won’t
     dictate what you do


56                  simonc@amphora-research.com
...Thank You...



57                 simonc@amphora-research.com
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2008 02 06 ELN Jungle - Beyond Chemistry

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Exploring the problems of expanding ELNs beyond chemistry, with ideas on how to make the project approachable.

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2008 02 06 ELN Jungle - Beyond Chemistry

  1. 1. A journey through the ELN jungle Simon Coles CTO http://www.amphora-research.com/ 1
  2. 2. http://www.amphora-research.com/ 2
  3. 3. Copies of these slides http://www.amphora-research.com/ 2
  4. 4. About Amphora • Started in ELNs in 1996 • Globally deployed, fully electronic ELN for Kodak • Grew from there... • Now work with large & small companies • Biotechs, Pharma, Chemicals http://www.amphora-research.com/ 3
  5. 5. Who we work with 4
  6. 6. Who we work with 4
  7. 7. Industry http://www.amphora-research.com/ 5
  8. 8. What we do • Patent Evidence Creation & Preservation • Make lawyers happy • Which means you can make scientists happy http://www.amphora-research.com/ 6
  9. 9. What we do • Sometimes our stuff is used... • Standalone • In conjunction with other “ELN” products • With in house systems http://www.amphora-research.com/ 7
  10. 10. Choice time • A discussions about the differences that make a difference • Some thoughts about what to do beyond chemistry http://www.amphora-research.com/ 8
  11. 11. jungle noun an area of land overgrown with dense forest and tangled vegetation, typically in the tropics http://www.amphora-research.com/ 9
  12. 12. Welcome to the Jungle http://www.amphora-research.com/ 10
  13. 13. electronic lab notebook noun whatever a vendor has to sell whatever the programmer wants to write http://www.amphora-research.com/ 11
  14. 14. Audience Survey 12 simonc@amphora-research.com
  15. 15. Audience Survey • Do you have a Med. Chem ELN project (in progress or complete?) 12 simonc@amphora-research.com
  16. 16. Audience Survey • Do you have a Med. Chem ELN project (in progress or complete?) • Do you have other kinds of scientists? 12 simonc@amphora-research.com
  17. 17. Audience Survey • Do you have a Med. Chem ELN project (in progress or complete?) • Do you have other kinds of scientists? • Are you deploying into • A regulated environment • A discovery environment 12 simonc@amphora-research.com
  18. 18. The ELN journey (In two Acts) 13 simonc@amphora-research.com
  19. 19. Act I • Chemists are the most vocal, and can demonstrate some kind ROI • And you can buy one! From multiple vendors! • Let’s do that then... I’m sure once we’ve done that we can re-use it for our other scientists • Because they all use notebooks, right? 14 simonc@amphora-research.com
  20. 20. Meanwhile... Everyone else is getting on with business 15 simonc@amphora-research.com
  21. 21. Act II • Happy chemists • Generally, band-aided the Patent problem • Now, we’ve got an ELN • The rest of them want one too • So given we’ve already got one • Easy decision? 16 simonc@amphora-research.com
  22. 22. Typical Reactions 17 simonc@amphora-research.com
  23. 23. Typical Reactions • “We don’t work like that” 17 simonc@amphora-research.com
  24. 24. Typical Reactions • “We don’t work like that” • “I doesn’t work with our applications” 17 simonc@amphora-research.com
  25. 25. Typical Reactions • “We don’t work like that” • “I doesn’t work with our applications” • “Why should we bother” 17 simonc@amphora-research.com
  26. 26. Typical Reactions • “We don’t work like that” • “I doesn’t work with our applications” • “Why should we bother” • “Very Expensive” 17 simonc@amphora-research.com
  27. 27. Typical Reactions • “We don’t work like that” • “I doesn’t work with our applications” • “Why should we bother” • “Very Expensive” • “You’ve made Excel harder to use” 17 simonc@amphora-research.com
  28. 28. What’s going on? 18 simonc@amphora-research.com
  29. 29. Why an ELN? • Because the existing solution sucks • Cut & Stick computer printouts • Can’t search (like Google) 19 simonc@amphora-research.com
  30. 30. Why an ELN? • “Easily use computer applications in the course of our work” • “Search our work” • “See other people’s work” • “If our discipline does special stuff, deal with that” 20 simonc@amphora-research.com
  31. 31. The “special stuff” • Organic Chemistry has a clear, widely-used notation which rewards specific support • There’s a Cheminformatics industry! • Other disciplines do too • But they’re much more specialised • Can often be represented as text of graphics 21 simonc@amphora-research.com
  32. 32. What they didn’t say • “Replace the applications I use day-to-day” • In fact, they want an ELN to make using those easier! • “Make my life more complex” • “Give me stuff I don’t need” 22 simonc@amphora-research.com
  33. 33. The result • Chemistry-centric ELNs don’t tend to be well received outside of Chemistry • Frustrating for involved 23 simonc@amphora-research.com
  34. 34. Note • Science is very broad • I am generalising • Your mileage may vary • I’m just trying to help people think 24 simonc@amphora-research.com
  35. 35. Science is huge 25 simonc@amphora-research.com
  36. 36. Different Styles • Chemistry tends to be pretty structured and routine • Other disciplines have much greater variation in the work 26 simonc@amphora-research.com
  37. 37. Tools • Chemistry tends to focus on the structures, reactions, properties, drawing & animating them etc. • Other disciplines have a much wider set of tools • And use Excel as a “Swiss Army Knife” • Scientists are knowledge workers too 27 simonc@amphora-research.com
  38. 38. Less is more From http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2006/week30/index.html
  39. 39. Part of the problem is the term “ELN” 29 simonc@amphora-research.com
  40. 40. Questions • If the paper notebook didn’t exist would we coin the term “Electronic” notebook? • If it wasn’t for the term “ELN” would we look for one system? • Why are all the “ELN” vendors (outside of chemistry) so different? • Where are the non-chemistry ELNs? 30 simonc@amphora-research.com
  41. 41. Where do they work? • Excel • In-house experiment planning tools • Word • Lotus Notes • Filemaker • OneNote • InfoPath/SharePoint • LIMS • ISIS/Draw • ERP • Wikis • File Servers • Blogging tools (e.g. Wordpress) 31 simonc@amphora-research.com
  42. 42. What are they doing? • Experiments - just like everyone else • Just because they aren’t working in a product with “ELN” stamped on it, doesn’t mean it isn’t proper science 32 simonc@amphora-research.com
  43. 43. As a rule, it is much better if you pay attention to each discipline individually 33 simonc@amphora-research.com
  44. 44. The “One System” death magnet 34 simonc@amphora-research.com
  45. 45. One solution? User quote: Anyone who claims one solution solves all problems... 35 simonc@amphora-research.com
  46. 46. One solution? User quote: Anyone who claims one solution solves all problems... ...is a salesman 35 simonc@amphora-research.com
  47. 47. Do you need one solution? • Not unless you buy something crazily proprietary • In which case you probably don’t want it anyway • Integration is a fact of life 36 simonc@amphora-research.com
  48. 48. Can you buy One Solution? • Yes, if you only do one kind of science • Yes, if you are prepared to do an awful lot of customisation • Yes, if architecture is more important than users • Yes if you will never change what you do 37 simonc@amphora-research.com
  49. 49. Some Suggestions 38 simonc@amphora-research.com
  50. 50. Project Structure • Divide your problem into • Corporate aspects • Different disciples • Solve the corporate stuff centrally • Let the different user groups do what they need to do • Encourage/enforce collaboration 39 simonc@amphora-research.com
  51. 51. A framework Corporate aspects (Records, IP protection, Sharing) Medicinal Chemistry Process Chemistry Molecular Biology Pharmacology Etc. 40 simonc@amphora-research.com
  52. 52. The “Deep” systems • If they use structures, they’ll probably want one of the Chemistry-centric ELNs • If they aren’t look at what they have already • You might be able to leave them alone • Just give them something to keep the lawyers happy • This will hopefully be low-impact 41 simonc@amphora-research.com
  53. 53. “Deep Systems” • More than one group might find the same system acceptable - great! • You might want tools from Rescentris, IDBS, Klee etc. to support specific aspects of their work 42 simonc@amphora-research.com
  54. 54. “Deep Systems” • If you do a good job • Everyone gets their ideal work environment • You disrupt them as little as possible • You’ve left the door open for future improvements 43 simonc@amphora-research.com
  55. 55. Some questions you might ask... 44 simonc@amphora-research.com
  56. 56. What about Array? • They are essentially using CS as an integration platform • Unusually high investment in informatics and spend it wisely • They got to start from scratch • Environment dominated by Chemists • One front end works well (PatentSafe as an IP backend) 45 simonc@amphora-research.com
  57. 57. What about GxP • The needs of GxP & 21CFR11 mandate record keeping at the activity level • You can’t do this Broad Vs Deep model • I’m not sure there’s such a thing as a Generic ELN for regulated areas 46 simonc@amphora-research.com
  58. 58. What about Raw Data? • ELN isn’t the place for raw data • From a records aspect • From a practical aspect • ELN can provide metadata • But store it somewhere else (filesystems are nice!) • Records Retention matters...! 47 simonc@amphora-research.com
  59. 59. Isn’t this expensive? 48 simonc@amphora-research.com
  60. 60. Isn’t this expensive? • Not if you’ve already got perfectly acceptable solutions already 48 simonc@amphora-research.com
  61. 61. Isn’t this expensive? • Not if you’ve already got perfectly acceptable solutions already • The ROI on software you don’t have to buy is outstanding! 48 simonc@amphora-research.com
  62. 62. Are you on Drugs? • A large number of end-user companies have similar approaches • Most of the case studies are “Deep” systems • Ultimately, this is a much-simplified version of the CENSA architecture 49 simonc@amphora-research.com
  63. 63. Benefits of taking a Broad & Deep approach 50 simonc@amphora-research.com
  64. 64. You get to be a hero/heroine 51 simonc@amphora-research.com
  65. 65. Finding the money is easier 52 simonc@amphora-research.com
  66. 66. Training is easier/non- existent 53 simonc@amphora-research.com
  67. 67. You have a balanced relationship with your vendors 54 simonc@amphora-research.com
  68. 68. You can roll out in phases 55 simonc@amphora-research.com
  69. 69. Your lawyers won’t dictate what you do 56 simonc@amphora-research.com
  70. 70. ...Thank You... 57 simonc@amphora-research.com
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