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LabWorks is the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) used by the WSS Chemistry Laboratory 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 laboratory sample number. The LabWorks system assigns a unique sample number to every environmental sample (per feild sheet) submitted to the WSS Chemistry Laboratory. Samples are tracked through the laboratory branches using this assigned sample number. Location codes are assigned by the sample collector (or study coordinator), and data for a sample location can be tracked by a data user using the location code.
Location codes need only be meaningful to the data user, not the laboratory. Please note that 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 is received without a location code, receiving room personnel will assign a default code which combines a region identifier with a "NLC" designation (meaning "no location code"). However, without a location code, it is difficult to summarize historical data or run trend analyses for a specific sample location. This is because data without a location code cannot be accessed in a data history query. 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 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 your name changes (e.g., marriage), you must continue to use your old logon name to access data submitted prior to the name change (the data is permanently linked to the originally entered Collector's name.
The two most important things to remember are: