Transferring Ownership of LabArchives Electronic Research Notebooks

This article describes how to request transfer LabArchives notebook ownership another user. The process differs when the new owner is outside of Northwestern because of Northwestern’s data retention policies and is enforced using LabArchives site settings. 

How to I transfer ownership to another Northwestern user? 

LabArchives has an excellent help articly about transferring ownership of a notebook. You do not need to request permission from anyone to do this.  

Why would you transfer a notebook to a non-Northwestern user? 

The primary reason to transfer a notebook outside of Northwestern is a faculty member leaving the institution. Other circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

Who decides if a notebook can be transferred outside Northwestern? 

An administrator from your Department, School, College, or Center, such as associate Dean for research, will issue approval for this process.  

How do I initiate the process? 

Before you make the request, you will need a few things:  

  1. An active Northwestern NetID  
  2. A new LabArchives account associated with another institution 
  3. Written permission from the Department/School/College Administrator. Written permission should contain the following information 
  • Name of the departing researcher 
  • Name of the new institution 
  • Names of the notebooks to be transferred, or explicit permission to transfer all notebook that the person owns.  
  • Name of the person the original should be transferred to if other than the Department/School/College Administrator granting permission 

Once you have secured this information, forward the written permission to Include some days and time that will work for you to have a short zoom call to repeat the process.  

One of the LabArchives site administrators will contact you to let you know whether your request was approved and schedule a meeting with you.  

Before the meeting: 

  1. Become owner of all notebook(s) that need to be transferred if you aren’t already.  
  2. Clone the notebook(s). The clone will have all information, including versions, contained in the original. 
  3. Sign and Freeze the original notebook(s). 
  4. Add the email address associated with their new institutional account as a “User” to the cloned notebook.  
  5. Transfer ownership of the original notebook to Department/School/College Administrator or other party as specified in the written permission. This process retains a copy at Northwestern University to comply with our data retention policies. 

During the meeting: 

  1. The Site Administrator will temporarily allow notebook ownership outside of our institution in the Site Settings. 
  2. You will log in to LabArchives with your Northwestern University NetID credentials and transfer ownership of the new notebook copy to your new institutional account. You can then add lab members as users as needed within the new institution.  
  3. The Site Administrator will disallows transfer of notebook ownership to those outside of Northwestern University.  
  4. You can now manage notebook membership from their new institution’s account.  

Need Help? 

For help using LabArchives, email

For problems logging into LabArchives with your NetID, email

For questions regarding Northwestern's site settings or policies, email

Also see our Research Data Management Guide for links to all of our help articles.

Research Data Management Support at Northwestern University 

Research computing data services partners with the Office for Research, University Libraries and Galter Health Sciences Library to provide research data management support throughout the research process. Please see the Research Data Management and Sharing page for more information

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Article ID: 2591
Fri 4/12/24 10:46 AM
Fri 4/12/24 11:20 AM

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