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LabWorks is the DWR Chemistry Laboratory's Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) to handle and report the Laboratory's analytical data and provide the Division with a single, integrated database of analytical results. Perhaps the most critical elements to tracking sample data with the LabWorks system are the location code and sample collector name. Each station must have a unique location code and the sample collector must record their name in the proper format (i.e., first initial, last name) which is eqivalent to their assigned LabWorks Login ID Name.
What is a Location Code?
A location code is a unique identifier for a single sample location that will house all the data gathered for that particular location - basically a short cut to assist in sample entry and data retrieval. Keep in mind, the location code is different from the assigned sample number. The LabWorks system will still assign a unique sample number to every sample submitted to the Laboratory Section (as did the old system). Instead of numbers like "6W0010" and "6G0234", the LABWORKS-assigned numbers will look something like "AB00123". Samples are tracked through the laboratories using this sample number. Data for sample locations are tracked by the data users using the location codes. So, the location code need only be meaningful to the data user; not the laboratory. Please note: Samples submitted without a location code will not be rejected. The LABWORKS system is functionally based around this location code and the User Manual states, "In order to log in a sample, you must provide a location code." So, when a sample comes in without a location code, we will assign a default code which combines a region identifier with a "NLC" designation (meaning no location code) and analyze and report the data. This may make it difficult; however, to pull historical data or run trend analyses for a specific site because data without the location code will not be pulled into that query. The NLC data would have to be manually extracted from the region data which could prove to be quite tedious. Click here to view Simple Guidelines for Assigning Location Codes.
Use the Proper Format for Sample Collector Name
The sample collector must use the proper format when documenting their name on the field sheets. Although location codes are a very easy way to track data and generate trend analyses, it is useless unless if the Collector Name field is incorrect. Collectors can only view data that is in their assigned LabWorks Login ID Name. When more than one collector name is recorded on the field sheet, the name listed first is the name entered into LabWorks at sample login. This is important to keep in mind since only that collector will be able to access those sample results. It is also important to note that if you name changes (e.g., marriage), you must continue to use your old logon name because the LabWorks account will still list the original name. So, the two most important things to remember are: