Mbook – FAQs

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  1. GETTING STARTED
  2. IT REQUIREMENTS, UPDATES & SUPPORT
  3. FUNCTIONALITY
  4. DATA STORAGE & SECURITY
  • 1- Can I contact support about technical issues with my Mbook account?

    Of course you can. Just email support@mestrelab.com  or call +34 881976775

    Mestrelab has a well-regarded English-speaking support team based in Spain, which provides phone/email/webform support. We aim to respond to customer requests within 24 hours of receiving them.

    2- Is the system web-based or do users have to install software?
    Mbook is entirely web-based so no installation is required. It is recommended to use Chrome, Firefox or Safari as web browsers.

    Cloud solution does not require any IT department involvement. All new versions of MBook are made available to users straight upon release.

    In-house solution requires IT expertise in order to manage server itself, backups and updates.

    3- Can you log into the ELN outside the university IP range? Is this a safe connection?

    Since the application itself is a web browser application, it can be used by anyone from anywhere, as long as they have access to the server via a web protocol. At the moment we are not using any encrypted connection (e.g. https) but it could be implemented if requested.

    4- How does the Group set up work?

    A typical research group would be 20-40 users. For such a group, one person should ideally be able to simple admin work (setting up user groups, organizing access rights, etc.).

    Setting up of different users and workspace is extremely easy and intuitive. In general setting up the workspace for 20-40 users can be easily achieved by one person within the group with administrative rights. For more information please see this tutorial.

    5- Does the ELN work on a tablet?
    Mbook is optimized for Chrome, Firefox or Safari web browsers, hence Android or iOS web browsers work with some limitations. We are developing a proper Mbook tablet-client.
    6- Does Mbook work on Apple OS?
    Mbook clients work on Apple Operating System. We have never tested the use of Mac as a server.
  • 1- Which chemistry features does the system have?
    Mbook supports most of the features requested by Chemists. Please refer to this guide to read more information about how Mbook handles experimental conditions, addition of a reaction participant and stoichiometry table.
    2- Does the ELN have functionality to support “bio-related work?
    No, Mbook has not specific functionalities to support "bio-related work" yet.
    3- Can files from other sources be dragged into the ELN?
    Yes, files from other sources (images, pdf, general documents, compressed files, raw analytical data, Mnova files, etc...) can be easily uploaded into Mbook. Please refer to this guide for additional information.

    4- What is the maximum file size for the upload of external files (PDF, Word, etc.)?
    The maximum size is 250MB for each individual file uploaded.

    5- Is there a search engine/search option to search via keywords?
    Yes, basically all Mbook's fields are searchable via keywords, sample code, CAS number, compound structure or substructure, etc. Please refer to our Starting Guide to Mbook for any additional information.
    6- Can one make (experiment) templates for different types of experiments?
    Templates can be used into Mbook and associated for a particular group of users. However, at the present time, layout's templates cannot be created directly by users, but have to be generated by our development team.

    7- How are the users and collaborations organized in this ELN?

    Mbook can handle users with different rights (Admin, Group Managers, Project Managers, Bench Chemists and Guests) that can work at different level of the working space (Projects, Reactions and Experiments). Hence a Bench Chemist is not able to set up collaborations/share data outside the research group’s sphere; but procedures/data can be viewed by all users in a defined group. Please refer to our "Starting Guide to Mbook" for any additional information.

    8- Can data be recoverd if it is erased by accident?
    No user (despite his/her privileges) can erase the work of any other users.  Moreover a user cannot delete an entire project, reaction or experiment. A user can only delete contents (e.g. uploaded files, compounds, text description, etc.) from an experiment he/she has personally created.
    9- Can this ELN interact with my Mnova raw data?

    You can upload a zip file containing your original NMR or MS data in the Files/Characterization section as shown below. This will automatically process your spectra. If the spectra has already been processed you just need to upload your Mnova data. One of Mbook's unique features is that that you can interact with the raw data you upload. Mbook is an ELN that supports analytical data! Once you upload your NMR, LC/GC/MS raw data, the spectrum will be automatically processed and analysed (peak picking, integration, multiplet analysis) by using the Mnova automation engine. You can read more in this tutorial 

    10- I am used to paper notebooks, would this ELN really save me time?

    Yes, Mbook delivers excellent time saving capabilities when compared to a traditional paper notebook and other ELN's. If you re still using a paper notebook, you will no longer have to waste time searching for data in a stack of paper notebooks or spend time decoding your colleague’s unreadable handwriting.

    Mbook eliminates the learning curve associated with most software products and as it is a searchable system it is very accessible thus improving your time efficiency. Additionally, the interconnectivity with your Mnova data, unique feature for any ELN in the market and the modern capabilities to record and store your chemistry will improve your work efficiency.

    11- Is this ELN very different from the others?

    Yes, we believe this Electronic Lab Notebook created in collaboration with the University of Santiago de Compostela and the University of Vigo has got very unique features.

    It has been made focused on the needs of the organic chemists, with a well-structured and friendly interface, and full of features to speed-up the synthetic chemist’s write-up. Interacting with your raw analytical data is a feature that other ELN’s do not possess.

    Mbook has also got an integrated inventory to handle your stockroom and suppliers.

    12- Can I copy&paste and import structures from my own drawing package?
    Yes, thanks to the new molecular editor Marvin JS integrated in Mbook, you can copy&paste your structures from your preferred drawing package such as ChemDraw. You can also import as .mol files. Our latest version has also included the possibility of importing entire reactions from ChemDraw software.
    13- What will my reports look like?
    Mbook generates high quality, consistent reports quickly and effortlessly via the reporting automation. You can easily select the spectra and images you want to include in your report in one click. You can see some reports generated with Mbook in our video tutorials section.
    14- How big is Mbook's compound library?
    Mbook comes equipped with a library of more than 2,500 compounds commonly used in synthetic chemistry. This not only delivers significant time savings but also avoids drawing errors. You can also add compounds to the library to avoid re-drawing them.
    15- Does Mbook allow countersigning experiments?
    Yes, Mbook offers you the possibility of witnessing and also approving experiments. Witnesses will receive a notification via the in-app messaging service.
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Enrique Sánchez

Scientific Content Editor at Mestrelab Research S.L. Read his profile here.

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