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LabArchives: Roles

Explains the roles in LabArchives and the rights associated with each role.


The LabArchives platform allows access to notebooks based on four roles. These roles map well to traditional lab/research group structure. See each role below for best practices on how to use each role.

Notebook Owner (aka the Principal Investigator)

The notebook owner, as the name suggests, owns all the content in a notebook. A notebook owner can create notebooks, manage user roles and permissions, share content outside UW-Madison, and transfer notebooks to another user. A notebook can only have one owner.


In general, the Principle Investigator (PI) of the lab is the person responsible for retaining the data. We strongly recommend that the lab PI own all LabArchives notebooks associated with their research projects this strategy because the Owner role enables the PI to:


  • Comply with the Graduate School Policy on Research Data Stewardship, Access, and Retention

  • Maintain oversight of how lab members are maintaining information in the ELN

  • Control who notebooks are shared with, and 

  • Ensure that all members of their research group can access templates, protocols, custom widgets, and other ELN assets by all members of the research group.

Administrator (aka the lab manager)

Administrators have the same rights as the Owner with one important difference: they cannot transfer ownership of a notebook. The Admin role enables PIs to designate the tasks associated with creating notebooks and managing users to another lab member while still retaining oversight and access to all the lab's notebooks.

Users (aka lab members and internal collaborators)

The user role can edit, view, and download notebook content. They do not have rights to share data from the notebook or give people access to content. This role is appropriate for non-administrative lab members, like staff, students and postdocs, who are collecting data in the lab and putting it into the notebook. Additionally, collaborators within UW-Madison are also appropriate for this role. These users can be restricted to read only rights on pages, folders, and notebooks according to the owner/administrator’s discretion. 

Guests (Short term collaborators outside of the UW-Madison)

Because we log in to LabArchives with our NetIDs, users must use guest access to add members from outside the university. Anyone can create an individual LabArchives account with 25 MB of space to upload data. Owners/Admins can give guests privileges to view or edit entries within a lab's notebook. However, they lose edit access after 60 days unless they upgrade to a paid account. View only access can be maintained indefinitely. This role is automatically assigned to anyone (including a UW-Madison researcher) when you use the Share function (See: LabArchives: Sharing).

User Management

To assign and manage roles for individuals in a notebook, select Notebook Settings from the vertical three dot menu icon on the upper right. Select the User Management Tab and use the pull-down menu under Role to select a role for each individual. See this article for more information.

Keywordslabarchives, electronic lab notebooks, eln, roles, user, admin, guest   Doc ID43279
OwnerMary M.GroupUW-Madison Research Data
Created2014-08-28 12:29:38Updated2023-09-21 13:18:07
SitesDoIT Help Desk, Electronic Lab Notebooks, UW-Madison Research Data
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