We have prepared three demos of WordPress Electronic Lab Notebooks (ELNs) so you can see in greater detail how one might look in action. One demo is a free ELN. The other two demos are low-cost ELNs. Note that these demos are examples of ELN based on the initial project that we developed where we needed the following features.
Requirements of Demos
- Mapping features to show the geolocations of our soil samples
- For data collection, we needed form fields that included dates, integers, rich text, plain text, check-boxes, drop-downs, image and file uploads, and URL links.
- A way to display and filter multiple soil samples at a time. This is normally accomplished using some type of filterable data grids or lists.
- Social networking features that allowed communication between student researchers and their lab managers and faculty.
We found that using a directory plugin provided the features that we needed for data collection, data display (including display on maps), and data filtering. We utilized the BuddyPress plugin for the social networking features.
Brief Descriptions of the Three Demos
The first demo is for a free ELN. It uses only free plugins. The free version of the GeoDirectory plugin is used for data collection and display. The free version of BuddyPress is used for social networking features. It uses the free Community Builder theme for easy integration with the social networking features. It also uses the free Lifter LMS plugin for a Learning Management System. A course is included that explains how to build the free ELN. The demo is available at free-eln.org. The page for the Easy Way to Build a Free WordPress ELN provides instructions and files for easily building a clone of this free ELN.
The second demo ELN is similar to the free demo except that it uses upgraded versions of the GeoDirectory plugin and professional versions of plugins and the Community Builder theme from BuddyDev that add an improved theme and social networking features. The cost of the first year is about $555 for the first year plus hosting cost. The demo is available at geo.low-cost-eln.com.
The third demo ELN is similar to the second demo ELN except that it uses the Directories Pro plugin for the data collection and display instead of the GeoDirectory plugin. The cost for the version comparable to the second demo would be about $365 for the first year plus hosting costs. If a lab opted for fewer social networking features, they could make a version similar to this version for only $95 for the first year plus hosting costs and then only $30 every subsequent year. The demo is available at dp.low-cost-eln.com.