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Revision as of 08:24, 28 April 2008 by Ricardo Vidal (talk | contribs) (Setting up your Lab Notebook)
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Owwnotebook icon.pngTo see an example of the new OpenWetWare Lab Notebook in action, take a look here.

Lab Notebook Tutorial

By the end of this tutorial, you should have an online lab notebook up and running. If you have feedback regarding any step in this tutorial or any of the lab notebook features (or just need help setting it up!), feel free to contact us.

Setting up your Lab Notebook (Manually)

  • To set up your lab notebook you'll first need to create a few pages, cut and paste some starting wiki code and put them in the right places. As soon as they are set up, you'll be a click away from creating new lab notebook entries.
  • The required pages are:

1. The Notebook page You should create the page as [[User:Your UserName/Notebook]]. This page does not require a template. On your new lab notebook page, add a link to a new page by adding the wiki code, [[/Test Project]]

2. The Project page This is the "Test Project" page you created a link to on your main notebook page. Cut and paste the short wiki code from one of the following boxes:

<html><form class="formbody"><textarea class="form_format" rows="2" cols="10" onClick=";">{{subst:Project_Base}}</textarea></form></html>
<html><form class="formbody"><textarea class="form_format" rows="2" cols="10" onClick=";">{{subst:IGEM_Project_Base}}</textarea></form></html>

3. The Entry Base page Click on the "customize your entry pages" link to create the "entry base page". On this new page, cut and paste the short wiki code from one of the following boxes:

<html><form class="formbody"><textarea class="form_format" rows="2" cols="10" onClick=";">{{subst:Entry_Base}}</textarea></form></html>
<html><form class="formbody"><textarea class="form_format" rows="2" cols="10" onClick=";">{{subst:IGEM_Entry_Base}}</textarea></form></html>

  • By putting these pages in their proper places you will not only keep OWW tidy, but you'll also be able to take full advantage of the features we've built into the lab notebook.
  • By simply copying and pasting the wiki code from the boxes, you'll have your lab notebook working in no time. It's as simple as 1, 2, 3!
1 2 3
Copy template wiki code Arrow right.png Create page Arrow right.png Paste wiki code & Save

Using your lab notebook

  • Once your notebook is set up, you can start making entries on a daily basis. By simply clicking on the calendar date you want to make an entry for, a page will automatically be created using your Entry_Base template and you can add your data by simply editing the page.
  • If you are viewing an entry page, you can navigate to other entry pages (for example, using the links to the previous and next day's entries if they exist). These navigation links let you browse your notebook without having to jump back to the project page.

Naming recommendations

  • If you plan to work on more than one project, we recommend that you set up a separate project page for each project and compile them in your notebook page. You can do this quite easily by keeping your online lab notebook organized as shown below:

For Users


For Labs


For iGEM Teams

(Visit the Help University example for more information regarding iGEM lab notebooks)


Notebook page

  • This page is where you should list all your projects. Even if you have only one!
    • Create the Notebook page in the proper hierarchy as displayed in the naming recommendation section above.
NOTE: This page may not seem to have much of a purpose at the moment but we are actively working on new features for the lab notebooks that will take advantage of a central notebook page for your project(s). Stay tuned! :)

Project page

  • The notebook page is where you will find some of the tools/features that allow you to maneuver around your lab notebook. The two most important tools at the moment are:
    • the dynamic calendar
    • the local search box
Go to and copy the Standard project template
Go to and copy the iGEM project template

Entry Base template page

  • The Entry Base template page is what your entry pages will look like when they are created. By making changes to the Entry Base template page, all subsequent entry pages you create will reflect these changes.