Import your samples and associated storage in 3 steps - LabCollector

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This tutorial is mainly for the first days of LabCollector use when you have to import your previous database in LabCollector. It can be used for all your data with storage, not only samples like in the example.

Accessible to ALL users except User and Visitor level permission

1st step: Import your samples

For version 5.3 and above, please refer to this KB-import your data 5.3v.

Under Admin > Data > Import, select the Samples module.

1. Organize your excel file to have each column as indicated in the format section in the given order. One field by column. If you don’t need a field, leave the column empty. Save this file in txt (TAB), or CSV (comma or semi-colon as separator).

Prepare LabCollector database. Before importing data, you have to configure the module you have chosen by creating the fields you need. See our KB-creating custom field.

For the fields marked with an asterisk* (Select list), values must exactly match options defined in LabCollector.

Some field type cannot be imported, for example, the type Checkbox. If you want to import data in this type of field, temporarily change the type in Text, import your data, and then change again from Text to Checkbox type. Make sure your data is properly formatted (e.g. identical values).

2. Upload your file.
3. You have 4 default fields:

  • Project – if you want to associate your samples to a project
  • Type – Mandatory field. Sample types are defined by the super-administrator and administrators in Preferences section.
  • Organism – Select the organism relative to your sample. As previously, organism list is defined in Preferences section.
  • Main operator/Person in charge – Mandatory field. Information about the person who owns the sample. Important for monitoring and if you have precise safety rules (group for example).
You have to import samples by blocks of similar records, at least for mandatory fields. You can also use the Mass record updater function (KB-XXX) to change these information after the import.


4. File options can be configured. Check the right options.
5. Optional: If you configured your equipment with the automatic storage option, you can have access directly to this storage here. You don’t have the choice of the box/location, LabCollector attribute all automatically.
6. Click to check the result of your import before the definitive action. You can again discard the import if there is mistake.


2nd step: Create your storage in batch

After the configuration of the storage system and the creation of facilities and equipment by the super-administrator and the administrators, you can create in batch racks and boxes.

Go to Admin > Storage > Manage Storage > Create New Box or Tools > Storage Browser or go to Tools > Storage Browser.

1. Choose the equipment where a new box is required.
2. Then choose the function Auto-fill with racks + boxes

3. Define your box format. You can chose one of your model (red arrow on the top right), or create your own box format with the editor (red arrow).
4. You have two options:
    • Manual settings. Fill the box name prefix, the rack name prefix and the number of racks to generate (depends of the equipment capacity). See the first storage tree: 5 boxes in each of the 5 racks.
    • CSV settings. Create your file following the format BOX NAME <> RACK NAME <> POSITION in rack… Below is an example of file (tab separator) and the result after importation:


3rd step: Import your storage


Now, you have your samples and your boxes in LabCollector, you just need to associate ones with the others.

Under Admin > Storage > Import Storage, select the Samples module.
We recommend choosing Internal LabCollector ID (of your samples) and Box ID to avoid identical name, so format 1.

You can obtain the list of your box IDs under ADMIN > Manage Storage > List existing boxes, under Ref column.
The box ID is also visible in Storage Browser. When you are on a rack, you can see all the boxes in it and their IDs.

Or you can also choose the view box.

1. Create your file according to the format you chosen. Below is an example of file (semi-colon separator). If more than one tube is defined for a same sample, separate the corresponding position with a comma.
2. Select the module, here Samples, and the storage Main or Secondary
3. Import your file
4. Choose from the list the owner of the new storage
5. Choose the right options depending of your file. Here for our example below, “Labels on line 1” and “semicolon” have to be checked.
6. Click on the Import and update button. A new page appears to validate your values. You can validate or discard.