Who Uses eCAT

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Kevin Cauchi, Systems Administrator, College of Literature, Science and the Arts, University of Michigan

About the University of Michigan

“We’ve been investigating electronic lab notebooks, and have looked at 6 – 10 different products.  I’ve been working with the system administrators and the PIs in each department.  We’re looking at an initial deployment in our Physics and BioPhysics departments.  The goal is to have the majority of users in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts using an ELN solution.”


“One of the biggest challenges we find is getting people to adopt.  A lot of the time it has nothing to do with the technical limitations or aspects of the system.  It has to do with a cultural issue.  People have been used to using pen and paper notebooks for years.  Moving to an electronic lab notebook is a major change in the way they work.”

Attractions of eCAT


“One of the things that stands our in terms of eCAT is that it is affordable.  A good 99% of the solutions we’ve looked at are very, very expensive, and coming from an educational perspective we don’t have the money of a pharmaceutical company to spend on licensing.”

Web based

“Also the fact that it’s web-based is a major advantage.  The client platforms in the university are very heterogeneous, so you have people running macs, you have people running Windows machines and you have Linux clients, and a lot of the software out there is built to run on Windows – it’s client-server based.”


“One of the other things I like about eCAT is that it is very flexible.  It’s not tied down to any special area of research.  The ability to create templates, and structure your data the way you want to structure it, is a major advantage as well.”

Let’s you work the way you are used to working

“Some of the other solutions we looked at had similar functionality, but in lots of ways these solutions are built in a way tht you have to modify the way that you work, to work with the solution, whereas eCAT is a solution that will work with the way you are already working, just in electronic format.”

Straightforward technically

“From a technical standpoint eCAT is a pretty straightforward application.  We’re looking at an onsite installation so we can mange the data.  eCAT is very easy to set up and backup and everything else, so it’s a good choice for what we intend to do.”


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