LabGuru Offers Project Management For Science People

Science People AKA Scientists need project management, too. At least that’s what Macmillan, a major science publisher, thinks so they’ve created a new business unit, Digital Science to push their Basecamp-like lab products.

Take, for example, their new site, LabGuru. This site offers collaborative project planning and document storage for labs, allowing science people to work together on major projects like “going to Mars” and “giving diarrhea to mice” (true story! My friend does this for real in her lab!).

I, for one, find it interesting that this sort of software-as-a-service is just now appearing in major laboratories, but one can only assume that older scientists didn’t want to interrupt their irrigation and pipetting to upload PDF documents and fill out project plans.

LabGuru seems fairly limited in terms of features right now and joins competitors like Colwiz and Quartzy to grab the burgeoning space. I suspect something like DEVONThink would also be a good tool for information sharing and retrieval, but I’m no science person.

“Many Labguru users say their workdays are again the way they should be: fun. Instead of slogging through dull daily management tasks, they spend more time on research and collaboration,” said founder Jonathan Gross. The company is part of BioData, a Macmillan subsidiary. The company is based in Boston and Tel Aviv. The service is free for personal use and charges apply for group use.

Scientific research tools have been stagnant at best. I remember building a fairly cool system for a teaching hospital about seven years ago using “state-of-the-art” javascript tools and they were pretty much amazed by what a little PHP and some browser magic could do with study data. These tools, on the other hand, offer new project management techniques to old-school workspaces where a scientist might not have the impetus to sit down for hours at a PC but rather add project points on the fly via a computer or tablet.