This ELN checklist gives you feel for the basics, common add-ons, and the less obvious things that are actually critical in determining whether the ELN is right for you.  If you are investigating ELNs for a department, school, college, faculty or an entire institution an additional set of factors need to be considered; these are set out at the bottom of the list. Download this ELN Checklist for your convenience.

Features and Tools
Basic Features
Creating and sharing documents
Re-usable templates and document structures
Image annotation
Chemical structure drawing and editing
Internal messaging and communications
Versioning and revision history
Audit history and analysis
Add-ons
Signing and witnessing documents
Sketching or drawing tools
Sample management
Practical Considerations
Cost
License fee
Fee to create or manage groups
Data storage charges
Ease of set-up
Getting started guide/video help
Simple creation of groups and users
Customizable, sharable templates
File management
File and document import and export
File retention and management
Integration with Dropbox, Box, Google Drive and One Drive
Collaboration within the group or lab
Intuitive document sharing
Collaborative document editing
Multi-user commenting
Collaboration between groups or labs
PIs can establish collaboration groups with other labs
Support for multiple group collaboration
Lab Management
PIs can easily check on the work of each lab member
PIs can delegate administration to another group member
Easy to add and remove members from the group/lab
Ease of Export
Supported formats include PDF, HTML, XML
Users with export rights include Users, PIs and Administrators
Configurable export options: Multiple documents/types, Entire lab’s output, Entire ELN’s content
Support
Modern user communication platform (e.g. Intercom, Salesforce)
Quality, timely responses to user queries
Future-proofing
Convenient export options and formats
Compliant with funder requirements on data sharing and preservation
Integration of institutional research data management standards and infrastructure
Security
User data encryption: at rest or over a network
Logging of data posts and login sessions
Precautions taken against common attacks such as cross-site scripting, SQL injection, session hijacking, password-guessing and role escalation
Independent security accreditation
Institutional deployments
Suitability
Does a significant body of researchers at your institution need an ELN?
Does the ELN possess sufficiently wide capabilities to meet the needs of the majority of these researchers?
Has the ELN been specifically designed for use and deployment in academic research institutions?
Deployment
Single sign-on (SSO) integration
Support for services like Shibboleth or LDAP
Both cloud and on-premises options: How easy is it to move the ELN if your server environment changes?
Administrative controls
Robust system administration features
Multiple, configurable levels of admin
Intuitive dashboard for admins
Usability
User-friendly, intuitive interface
Support for pre-existing user workflows?
Straightforward in-app navigation
Robust online training material
IP Protection
Automatic versioning of documents with access to all revisions
Documents can be signed (locked for editing) and witnessed as complete
Searchable audit trail of user actions
Integration with file stores
Support for linking to multiple file stores
Configurable file store access interface
Collaboration
Support for collaboration within groups and/or labs
Support for inter-group/lab collaboration
Support for inter-departmental/school/institute collaboration
Integration with RDM Infrastructure
Data repository integration
Data archiving capability
Data synchronization: built in or via separate app?
Security
System administrators have the capability to promptly detect security breaches
Straightforward implementation of backup and disaster-recovery strategies