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April 27, 2016

Letter from iLab Chief Software Architect:

New! Publication Tracking
Andreas Hagen

To date, iLab has provided core and institution administrators a collection of reporting tools that provide detailed information about the volume and dollar value of work conducted within their network of facilities. Increasingly, the NIH and other funding agencies are looking for other metrics to understand the overall impact of shared resources. In collaboration with several customers, we have developed a new Publication Tracker tool, which is designed to make the process more efficient for all stakeholders involved in the research publication tracking process. Highlights of this new module include:

  • Core Facility Administration can quickly and easily build custom queries to import publications into iLab from PubMed
  • Customers of Core Facilities can be prompted to confirm their own publications as well as select the level of core facility contribution to the specific publication.
  • Core Facility Administration can download reports that include detailed information about publications and which core facilities provided a contribution.

We are excited to be rolling out this module! Along with many of the other features listed in this email, we expect it to release in the next month.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact your iLab representative!


Andreas Hagen
Chief Software Architect

iLab Complimentary Webinar Series
Sarah BeckerVaughn Hinrichs

Join iLab experts Sarah Becker and Vaughn Hinrichs as they provide explanations, useful tips, and a Q&A session on advanced scheduling tools.

Whether you are a seasoned iLab user or new to the system, this session will provide informative new perspectives on how to most effectively use iLab's advanced scheduling features.

Click here to learn more!

New Helpsite!

iLab has been working on building a client Help Site that will help our clients and their customers maximize their iLab solution. We are expanding and improving every week, and are proud of the way the site is developing. Contact your iLab representative for more information.

Core Facility Management Benchmarking Study Closes in May

Our sixth annual Core Facility Management Benchmarking Survey is nearing its close. Your input will help contribute to an in-depth look at global trends in core facility management.

New Features Coming Soon!

The following are features that we expect to deploy to the iLab system within the next couple of months. If you have any questions about the features, please feel free to reach out to your iLab representative or to

1. Flagging Expiring Funds: iLab now provides the ability to prominently highlight and flag funds that are due to expire within the next 30 days on payment information drop-downs and relevant list views throughout the system.
*This feature will ONLY be applied when a) institutions have a full financial integration with iLab and b) submit a fund file that includes fund expiration dates.

Estimated Release Date: April 2016

2. Blocking Users from Scheduling Equipment: iLab Solutions has developed a Confirm Usage Manager, which allows cores to more easily manage multiple reservation records across numerous schedules, including the ability to filter and search for specific record types.
With this tool, administrators can easily filter and omit any usage records that have flagged errors from the billing file and then use this information as a basis to manually or automatically block users from scheduling equipment.

Estimated Release Date: May 2016

3. Configurable Reservations: Providers that offer services with costly setup and/or changeovers often want more prescriptive ways to set up equipment and give customers the ability to request detailed configurations. With its new Configurable Reservations capabilities, iLab now gives service centers the ability to offer options that allow users to incorporate specific equipment set-up details to their reservations. Further, it allows cores to restrict reservations to times when those configurations are available.

Estimated Release Date: May 2016

4. Charge Upload / Charge Entry: iLab will be implementing updates to its Charge Upload and Charge Entry functionality. Not only can core administration add charges to processing requests but they will also be able to create new requests from the updated Quick Add interface. In addition, core administrators will have the ability to include supplementary information in charge upload (pending Institution settings).

Estimated Release Date: May 2016

5. Core Facility Networks: Many core facility groups who may share a similar geographic region or common scientific, technological, or medical goals are joining partner networks to allow for more efficient research and collaboration. To help these core networks give their associated researchers a consistent and easily accessible experience, iLab now offers the ability to add individual cores, potentially from different institutions, to a single Core Partner Network. This new functionality allows users to search for services and equipment across the specific core facilities within that network. Researchers can easily find the resources they are looking for without having to log into the iLab system.

Estimated Release Date: May 2016

6. Volume Discounts: Cores will have the ability to provide discounts to users based on the amount of usage.

Estimated Release Date: June 2016

7. Time Sheets: Associates in cores that offer professional services, such as Biostatisticians in a Biostatistics core, need to be able to quickly and easily account for the time that they spend on various projects. iLab's time sheets tracking feature allows the core to account for and bill for the professional services.

Estimated Release Date: Summer 2016

Updates to iLab's Add-on Modules

1. Storeroom Management - Formal Inventory: We have recently introduced functionality that simplifies the process of taking formal inventory of stockrooms. The functionality has been designed flexibly so that administrators can conduct a partial or complete audit. When ready, a report can be generated, which will show any stock adjustments associated with the formal inventory, including the change in quantity as well as the cost of that quantity change.

Estimated Release Date: April 2016

2. Storeroom Management - Self-service Check-out: We have heard from several customers that self-service stockrooms are not uncommon and for many, desirable. We understand that these self-service stockrooms come in two basic flavors:

A larger, supervised facility where customers can select items off-the-shelf and then self-checkout in a manner not too dissimilar from automated tellers at a grocery store.

Smaller, unsupervised facilities within departments or buildings with restricted access and a high concentration of researchers who benefit from centralized stockrooms of common reagents and consumables

At iLab, we have been working on tools to help improve the ability of these two facility types to work efficiently at providing researchers access to commonly used reagents. In the case of supervised facilities, the goal was to build a tool that allows facility management to spend more time working on special requests and orders that require attention and to allow researchers to quickly grab consumables and items that they use regularly without the need for additional staffing. In the case of unsupervised facilities, we wanted to create functionality that would allow department administrators or dedicated staff to manage the procurement of products and stock levels, while providing 24/7 access to consumables for researchers who work long hours. To that end, we have built a Self-Service Checkout module to operate on tablets such as the Apple iPad (mounted within an enclosure) or on a desktop computer located within the facility connected to a barcode scanner.

Estimated Release Date: May 2016

3. Instrument Access Control - Software Interlock: Core facilities often maintain expensive and sophisticated instrumentation and software to support the needs of their scientific researchers. They would often like to manage and sometimes restrict user access to these valuable resources. Currently, iLab offers a Kiosk and Hardware Interlock solution where instrumentation access can be physically controlled using a hardware access control module, but there are scenarios where certain equipment may be too sensitive to be administered in such a way. To that end, iLab Solutions, Purdue University and Sassafras Software (a third-party software licensing management provider) are partnering to develop a method to manage access to the software that controls the instrument rather than controlling the physical instrument itself.

Estimated Release Date: Summer 2016

4. Animal Management - Animal Acquisitions: iLab is in the process of developing a simple but robust Animal Management Module. To ensure that we are designing this module to flexibly meet the needs of a variety of facilities, we are building this product in stages and in collaboration with a number of customer partners.

The first milestone for this product line was a central Protocols Management component of which we have completed the first round of development. While this feature is not intended to replace full institutional protocol management systems, it is built to store the particular sets of data that core facilities and principal investigators will need to reference in the course of their daily workflows and processes. With this feature in place, iLab can receive an input file containing approved protocols or approved protocols can be manually entered into iLab. Core Managers and researchers can then associate approved protocols when placing service requests.

The next milestone, Animal Acquisition, is wrapping soon. This component will allow researchers to place requests for animals, based on their approved protocols, and the facility administrator can review and approve the request and place the order to the vendor. This module includes the workflow for ordering animals from "Approved Sources," (typically common commercial vendors) and "Non-Approved Sources". As part of this build, we will be integrating searchable catalogs from some of the most widely-used research animal suppliers and will also allow for the inclusion of institution-specific vendor pricing. We have also included the ability for researchers to place recurring orders of animals, on a delivery schedule which they can define within the order.

iLab is now preparing for the third milestone, Animal Housing. This will be followed by Census, which will be linked to the Animal Acquisition component and will also tie directly into the existing iLab billing module.

Estimated Release Date: Summer 2016

5. Partnerships - iLab and Genologics Collaborate for Smoother Data Transfer Process: iLab and Genologics are collaborating to better serve facilities that use both the iLab system and Clarity LIMS Gold. In partnership, we have written scripts which will enable both systems to "talk," allowing specific sample meta data and status to be passed back and forth. This will automate the data transfer process and ensure the workflow is more efficient in its entirety.

Estimated Release Date: Summer 2016

2016 User Group Conference:

We have added a second User Group Conference date this year, which will be 11-12 September 2016 at Fundação Champalimaud in Lisboa, Portugal. All administrators who use iLab are encouraged to attend. We will continue to have a North American-based conference in the spring as well.

More information about iLab's 2016 EU User Group Conference can be found here:

We hear Portugal is beautiful in September and hope you can make it!

Questions? You can reach us in the following ways:
Open a ticket by clicking on the 'HELP' link at the top of the iLab page.
Call our office phone: +1.617.297.2805

Phone: 1.617.297.2805
Toll free: 1.800.690.2957