LAB NOTEBOOKS

Keeping accurate records is critical to the process of scientific discovery. The lab notebook is the place where you record what you have done and what you found out. In industry, the lab notebook is often vital to the patenting process, especially if there is litigation over priority. Many companies require that each day's work be signed by the investigator and a witness, and in many cases, notebooks are periodically collected and notarized. Each company publishes its own, very stringent set of regulations for lab notebooks. In this course you will keep your according to industrial standards. The rules for this course are based on those required by Eastman Kodak Company.

 

You are expected to have your notebooks with you at all times, whether in lab or lecture. Notebooks will be collected periodically without warning. Collection will be made during lecture sessions!! Each notebook grade will be equivalent to one lab report.

 1.  Each notebook must have an accurate, up-to-date table of contents.
 2.  Each entry must have a title, a date, and a statement of purpose or intent.
 3. Each entry must end with a conclusion and/or a statement of what must next be done.
 4. Make entries at the time the work is performed. Do not write notes on scratch paper and make entries in your notebook later.
 5. Make neat legible entries in blue or black ink
 6. Use the pages in consecutive order. Do not leave any blank pages, or room for data or data analysis to be added later. All entries should be chronological at the time the data or analysis are completed. You may add a note at the end of one entry referring to the page of the data or of the analysis if there is intervening material.
 7. For computer-generated records, photographs, or hand-drawn graphs, tape the material into your notebook. Make reference to the printout on the page. If it is necessary to put such inserts into the notebook, mount them so that they do not cover written information.
 8. If data or samples from another source are entered, be sure to indicate the source clearly, including the name of the person form which they were obtained.
 9. Record all steps in sufficient detail so that any person skilled in the field can repeat the work and obtain the indicated results.
 10. A protocol that is used for the first time must be written out in full. If it is a standard protocol that you use on subsequent occasions, you may simply reference the first citing, subsequently giving only modifications or experimental details (e.g. particular strains, enzymes, etc.) 
 11.  Use only standard abbreviations.