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Full Description

1.1 This guide describes computer systems used to manage laboratory information. The term Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS) describes this class of computer systems.

1.2 This guide covers LIMS ranging from small laboratories with simple requirements to large multi-site laboratories with complex requirements. The elements of the LIMS guide may be selected based on specific laboratory requirements.

1.3 The audience of this document includes: (1) end users of LIMS, (2) implementers of LIMS, (3) LIMS vendors, (4) instrument vendors, and (5) individuals who must approve LIMS funding.

1.4 The purpose of this guide includes: (1) help educate new users of Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS), (2) provide standard terminology that can be used by LIMS vendors and end users, (3) establish minimum requirements for primary LIMS functions, (4) provide guidance for the specification, evaluation, cost justification, implementation, project management, training, and documentation, and (5) provide an example of a LIMS function checklist.

1.5 Information contained in this guide will benefit a broad audience of people who work or interact with a laboratory. New LIMS users can use this guide to understand the purpose and functions of LIMS. The guide can help prospective LIMS users in understanding terminology, configurations, features, design, and costs. Individuals who are purchasing a LIMS can use this guide to identify functions that are recommended for specific laboratory environments. LIMS vendor Research and Development staffs can use the guide as a tool to evaluate, identify, and correct areas that need improvement. LIMS vendor sales staffs can use the guide to accurately represent functions of their LIMS product to prospective customers. This guide does not define laboratory instrument interfaces.

1.6 This guide can be used by laboratories of all sizes. The guide addresses complex issues that impact primarily large LIMS implementations. Small laboratories should review issues that may impact their environments. The implementation times and recommendations listed in this guide are directed at medium and large laboratories.


Document History

  1. ASTM E1578-13

    Standard Guide for Laboratory Informatics

    • Most Recent
  2. ASTM E1578-06

    Standard Guide for Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS)

    • Historical Version
  3. ASTM E1578-93(1999)


    Standard Guide for Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS)

    • Historical Version