Contrib Modules

The thousands of modules that are available on the drupal.org website are usually referred to in the Drupal community as contrib modules, which is short for contributed modules. The contrib modules that are used in this version of MyLabBook are described below.

Double field

The double field module has great possibilities for use in an ELN. It provides the ability to match up two different field types and basically treat them as one field type. The following sub-field types can be used in these match-ups.

  • Boolean
  • Text
  • Text (long)
  • Integer
  • Float
  • Decimal
  • Email
  • Telephone
  • Date
  • Url

At a very basic level a label (text field) can be coupled with any of these other fields to collect data of one of the types shown above. With Drupal it is also easy to designate whether these double fields are a list of double fields or just one double field.

In this version of MyLabBook, we are only using this module for a checklist of the tasks that are to be performed in a given protocol step. This checklist couples the Boolean field as a checkbox with the Text (long) field to describe the task to be performed.

Geolocation

The geolocation module can also be added to any protocol step to add fields for geolocation. The most obvious use case for this is when you may be collecting data where the location of the data point is important. For example, when collecting environmental samples of some type this may be critical. This module already has capabilities for mapping built in as well. This seems to be a unique ability of MyLabBook as compared with most other ELNs.

Quick Node Clone

The quick node clone module provides the ability to make clones of a given node type. For example, we can easily clone a given experiment and just change the values that might be different from the original experiment. The catch to this is that when the clone is made then the same protocol steps will be linked to the cloned experiment as were linked in the original experiment. Usually this is not what is desired, so this means that the researcher will need to clear out the references to the protocol steps in the cloned experiment and then create new protocol steps for the cloned experiment.

Tablefield

The tablefield module is another very useful field for an ELN. It provides a simple table structure with the ability to designate the number of rows and columns in the table. As with most field types, when the tablefield is added to the Protocol Step custom content type, then the count of the fields can be designated. So, you can add one table, two tables or unlimited tables to a given step according to what is most appropriate.