LabKey Server presents a variety of table types, each designed to capture a different kind of research data. This topic helps you choose a table type that makes the most of your data.

LabKey provides the following 6 table types:

  • Clinical Dataset
  • Demographic Dataset
  • Assay Design
  • Specimen Repository
  • Sample Set
  • List

Clinical Dataset

Clincial Datasets are designed to capture the variable characteristics of an organism over time, like blood pressure, mood, weight, and cholesterol levels. Anything you measure at multiple points in time will fit well in a Clinical Dataset.

Clinical Datasets have 2 required fields:

  • ParticipantId - Holds the unique identifier for the participant.
  • Date or Visit - Either a calendar date or a sequence number.
Example Clinical Datasets include:
  • Physical Exams
  • Physiological panels, like Blood Panels, Liver Panels
  • Surveys and Questionaires
  • Screening Exams
Example: Physical Exam

ParticipantIDVisitWeightSystolic Blood PressurePulseResiration
100011801207215
100012811107114
100013781156816

Demographic Dataset

Demographic Datasets measure the non-variable, permanent characteristics of an organism. Anything that you need to measure (or decide) only once fits well into a Demographic Dataset, such as eye color and birth dates.

Clinical Datasets have 2 required fields:

  • ParticipantId - Holds the unique identifier for the participant.
  • Date or Visit - Either a calendar date or a sequence number.
Example Demographic Datasets include:
  • Family and Medical Histories
  • Consent Forms
  • Participant Enrollment Table
Example: Participant Enrollment

ParticipantIDVisitGenderHeightCohort AssignmentFamily Heart Disease
100011M175HIV+No
100021F155HIV-Yes
100031M164HIV+No

Assay Designs

Assay Designs capture experimental data, typically data that has been generated by processing a specimen through an assay instrument, such as a plate-based experiment or a proteomics experiment. Many instrument-specific templates are provided, or you can create you can create your own custom templates.

Assay Designs have no required fields.

Example Assay Designs include:

  • Luminex assays
  • Plate-based assays such as NAb, ELISA, and ELISPOT
  • Any tabular data can be captured using a "General Purpose Assay Template", or "GPAT"

Specimen Repositories

Specimen repositories track the status of each specimen and vial in your inventory. Information tracked includes: whether a specimen has been aliquoted into different vials, the current location of each vial, and what additives have been used in a given specimen. Built-in reports are provided, as well as advanced search capabilities. A specimen request workflow is supported allowing a network of researchers to access your vials for additional uses. Specimen Repositories are automatically integrated with Datasets and Assay Designs.

Specimen Repositories have 3 required fields:

  • Sample Id - Holds the unique identifier for the vial.
  • ParticipantId - Holds the unique identifier for the participant.
  • Date or Visit - Either a calendar date or a sequence number.

Sample Sets

Sample Sets are designed to capture specimen information where lineage or recipe information is important. For example, samples from an expression system or the recipe for a batch of nutrient media. Samples Sets are more flexible and customizable than Specimen Repositories, but do not support specimen request tracking.

Sample Sets have 1 required field:

  • Name - Holds the unique identifier for the sample.

Lists

Lists are the most generic data capture mechanism in LabKey Server. Any data table, Excel spreadsheet, or data in the form of rows and columns can be imported to a List. Common uses for Lists:

  • Basic analysis and visualization
  • Inventories
  • Vocabulary/Concept lists, to constrain user entry

Universal Table Features

All of these table types/data structures support the following features:

  • Interactive, Online Grids
  • SQL Queries
  • Visualizations
  • Lookup Fields

Related Topics

Discussion

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