– A Model for a Future Research Portal at CTSI, and perhaps even UCSF?

This site is interesting because it helps researchers perform a variety of tasks and supports their online community. At the same time, it provides clear paths to access more information without overwhelming the user. And btw, the goal of the site is easily comprehensible.

LabLife is free for academic labs. We recently learned that UCSF postdocs are using it frequently. And they’re not the only ones, according to LabLife over 1800 labs from 1200 institutions world-wide are using the site.

Here are a few examples how the site supports several aspects of a researcher’s lab life:

  • searching for products,
  • coordinating purchases (preventing ordering mistakes),
  • managing (tracking) reagents, documents, and data,
  • searching for jobs and publications, and
  • sharing information with colleagues and the community.

What do you think?

2 thoughts on “ – A Model for a Future Research Portal at CTSI, and perhaps even UCSF?

  1. Great post. I’m also trying to improve scientific productivity / efficiency with a suite of online tools for life science research labs called Quartzy ( It is interesting that companies like us, lablife, and others are now turning away from conventional financing approaches for projects like these and instead doing them in the for-profit arena, while keeping them free for academics. Exciting times indeed!

    During my MD/PhD studies at Columbia U, I felt that too much time and money was wasted in my lab due to structural inefficiencies. I originally set out to solve that problem for my lab, and it snowballed into Quartzy. The site can be used to manage lab inventories, orders, protocols, and shared equipment/facilities. It will always be free for academic scientists.

    We’ve been helping labs for almost 2 years now, have thousands of scientists using our site, and recently relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Some recent press about Quartzy:

    Check it out and feel free to send me feedback on your thoughts:

  2. Hi Adam,

    Thanks for pointing us to Quartzy. It looks like a very helpful tool with a well-organized, user-friendly interface.

    The feature “asking your neighbor for a cup of sugar” is one of my favorites. I assume this is used a lot. I definitely would have, had I known about it during my PhD. We were testing gene expression pattern using antibodies. Often we only needed a small amount to figure out whether a certain antibody was the right choice for a bigger experiment.

    I think the review feature is another big plus for Quartzy. I heard many times how important it is for researchers to be able to create and share reviews of resources and services they use.

    Thanks for sharing this and the links.

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