Reviewed by Christer Enkvist and Henrik Jernstedt, Karo Bio, Sweden
In early 2006, Karo Bio started using the electronic lab notebook ConturELN from Contur Software. By introducing ConturELN we have secured our knowledge base while making sure that experiments are completed, signed, and witnessed. More importantly, we can benefit from investments already made thanks to the seamless fit between ConturELN and our existing cheminformatics platform from Accelrys.
The adaptability, flexibility and capacity of ConturELN impressed us and we decided to carry out a pilot installation in our chemistry department. It was truly plug-and-play and was up and running after only a few hours.
Our cheminformatics infrastructure is primarily based around the Accord Enterprise Informatics database from Accelrys, using DS Accord for Excel Enterprise as the main desktop application.
With Oracle we can also connect to other databases such as the IDBS ActivityBase used by our biology department as well as to several in-house chemistry-related databases such as safety and inventory.
With ConturELN you have the option to connect seamlessly to several cheminformatics packages from market leaders such as MDL, Accelrys and ChemAxon. We wanted to reuse existing software and thanks to this connectivity we could use existing investments without having to move our chemistry database.
ConturELN is very easy to use. People with minimum computer knowledge can use the system after only one hour of training. It provides good searchability with the possibility to perform free-text search, date and time search, structure and reaction search and more. This makes it easy to see which experiments have been done before and to acquire already existing knowledge. By using ConturELN digital signatures we will also have enormous efficiency gains, making sure that experiments are closed, signed and witnessed on time and in a correct format. It will also implicate a much stronger IP security.