Cellkulture (blog post), the electronic lab notebook dedicated to cell culture is closing. In an email sent to his users, Cellkulture founder Dave Pier, explains that all activity will be stopped on the 10th of September 2014:
We are very sorry to announce that CellKulture will be shutting down on 10th September. At that point, CellKulture.com will no longer be available and all data deleted.
It’s our top priority to help you during this transition. Please visit http://CellKulture.com
before 10th September to export your data. […]
Unfortunately, the high turn over of startups over is common for such a young industry. New ideas are constantly being tried out and they sometimes do not meet the users or the funder’s expectations rapidly enough. A normal process, yes, but still a problematic phenomena for researchers wanting to adopt these new tools since hours are invested entering data in the tool are simply lost, and the precious data are left without a home.
Cellkulture however. is doing a good job at letting its users down easy. The user’s data can be exported and the project might soon be available as a free open source production so that users can continue with this platform is they wish to do so. Still, this highlights the need for clearer opt-out policies for these young data-based startups. The user’s data should be exportable at all times, and it should be made clear how to read, search or import the data to one of the competitor’s solutions. Ideally, this should be clear right from the start, when adopting a new tool, not when the ship is sinking.