NexusLIMS: A Laboratory Information Management System for Shared-Use Electron Microscopy Facilities


This work introduces NexusLIMS, an electron microscopy laboratory information management system designed and implemented by the Office of Data and Informatics and the Materials Science and Engineering Division at NIST for a multi-user electron microscopy co-op facility. NexusLIMS comprises network infrastructure, shared information technology resources, a custom software package to harvest and extract experimental information and construct experimental metadata records, and an intuitive web-based user-facing interface for searching, browsing, and examining research data. These metadata records conform to the Nexus Experiment schema, which is introduced in this work. The NexusLIMS suite of tools requires minimal input and adjustments to user behavior, instead relying on existing organizational procedures and the collection of information from a multitude of sources to construct a complete picture and record of a research experiment. The underlying infrastructure and design considerations for a multi-user data management system are discussed. The core codebase for NexusLIMS is made publicly available alongside this work, and its modular design encourages the adaptation of the presented methods at other research organizations.

Microscopy and Microanalysis
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