LIMSUniversity -- Time Well Spent or a Waste?

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I found something called LIMSUniversity online underneath some advertisements for commercial systems on and, being naturally a suspicious kind of guy, figured I would take a closer look at the courses and instructors there.

According to the site itself, it exists "so that informatics professionals can offer courses and attend courses related to LIMS and other Laboratory, Scientific & Health Informatics areas" but is anyone taking the site's purveyors seriously? Let's take a look at the courses.

I generally feel it is a waste of time to look at the LabLynx courses on a website that apparently is set up for 'informatics profesionals'. Those courses are better placed on LabLynx's own website. I immediately jumped ahead to the so-called 'General' courses. What did I see? 'LII102 How to use the LIMSpec 2.0.' LIMSSpec 2.0? What in the heck is that? Ahhhh, LIMSpec, as I remember it, was a website created by the owner of LabLynx to present a single set of LIMS requirements that could be utilized for implementations. It basically read like a Christmas-list of requirements that a laboratory could grab, reshape, and utilize for its own purposes. I remember reading through some of those requirements back when they were publicly available and finding all sorts of requirements that had little or nothing to do with the basic functionality of a LIMS. Today, oddly, the website has been replaced with a redirect that points to a forum on LinkedIn that is, unsurprisingly, run by the owner of LabLynx.

Any standard presented purely by a single entity should be automatically considered suspect. This suspicion should be elevated upon learning that that single source is a commercial vendor that could benefit directly by influencing the content.

The only course on the General course page of this so-called university that does not point directly or indirectly back to LabLynx is 'LII101 Laboratory Informatics - Introduction and Foundation' by someone named 'Jeffrey Lee' whose credentials are missing from the site. (Note that it may be obtained by registering but why would anyone want to do that just to see if an instructor is qualified...?) If we compare this online university to a much more genuine online LIMS educational initiative sponsored by a not-for-profit with a long track record we find Choosing Laboratory Informatics Systems by the Lab Automation University, an online initiative of the Institute for Laboratory Automation. I think your time and energy would be much better spent there if you are looking to educate yourself and/or LIMS teams.

The funny thing I learned while preparing this article was this: almost all of the Google search results for the term 'LIMS' nowadays are commercial entities. You see, purveyors of vendor-backed online initiatives, consumers no longer need to be fooled or cajoled into learning about your products indirectly. They are perfectly willing to link to your commercial site if the content there is interesting and informative. Independent LIMS education is best left to those organizations particularly suited to provide it. Work on enhancing your own online search engine ranking and content to promote your products.

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Citation: LIMSUniversity -- Time Well Spent or a Waste?. (2011). Retrieved Wed May 23 11:03:03 2018, from;iid=readMore;go=1313726013