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Issue 7, 2001
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Practical approach to archival and retrieval ofanalytical data in the laboratory

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Abstract

Today’s analytical laboratory uses a large number of different instruments that are connected in networks. Together with increasing automation, data are produced at a rate that can easily reach gigabytes per month, which generates the problem of systematic archival. In addition, working under Good Laboratory Practice requires that archival of raw data be performed in such a way that they can be readily retrieved upon request, even years later. While systematic archival of data is already performed in most laboratories, it is the retrieval of saved information that is often far from straightforward. This paper describes a simple but systematic approach for both archival and retrieval of data files and related electronic documents. It consists of an unambiguous scheme for the naming of electronic files, an efficient backup strategy, a simple database holding information about any data acquired, and a convenient interface to this database that can be accessed from any workplace while assuring restricted access. The system is capable of handling several databases concurrently and is used in our facility to archive data from several workgroups. The use of freely available software such as the Linux operating system made it possible to implement a fast and stable solution at exceptionally low cost.

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Publication details

The article was received on 02 Mar 2001, accepted on 18 Apr 2001 and first published on 29 May 2001


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B102017J
Citation: Analyst, 2001,126, 1194-1199
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    Practical approach to archival and retrieval of analytical data in the laboratory

    J. Hau and L. B. Fay, Analyst, 2001, 126, 1194
    DOI: 10.1039/B102017J

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