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[O] Using org-mode for laboratory notes.

From: Eric Lubeck
Subject: [O] Using org-mode for laboratory notes.
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2012 09:15:35 -0700

Hello Everybody,

I had a look around the web for awhile, but couldn't find any information pertaining to my particular needs.  I hope somebody here will be able to help me out.

Anyway, I've been looking around for quite a while for the proper system to set-up an electronic laboratory notebook in.  I will be using org-mode to document wet-lab experiments in addition to computational work. 

One of my particular concerns is this:  I'm accustomed to using a chronological laboratory notebook for recording all of my data.  The agenda views in org-mode seem to provide a means to retrieve chronological information out of my outlines, but I would than need to timestamp every single entry in my outline.  Is there a means for doing this?  Currently I am manually typing C-u C-c ! , but it would be helpful to have something automatically configured to timestamp and place the time in a drawer for any entry in a particular file.  

My other question pertains to efficiently representing linked or nested data.  I'd like to record my detailed laboratory protocols in another outline.  As most of my day-to-day work is using these protocols with minimal modifications, I'd like to record in my primary outline a property or hyperlink that points to the primary protocol and suggests that this days experiment "inherits" from the main protocol with given modifications.  It would be really awesome if the protocol tree could than pick up on these distant inheriting protocols and transclude in the dates I have performed this protocol and subsequent modifications from the "lab notebook" section.  Is such a task possible with org-mode, or must I look towards a more traditional database?

Eric Lubeck

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