engineering lab notebooks

Why is it Important to Keep an Engineering Laboratory Notebook?

Think about it: why would you need a paper notebook today? We live in the age of smartphones and tablets. Sure. Computers have disrupted all fields; more so, engineering fields. The thought of buying a good, old-fashioned engineering notebook might seem a little outdated. Yet, engineering lab notebooks are essential today just as in the olden days.

Unlike electronic devices, paper notebooks don’t require charging. They can be taken anywhere and used at any time. This feature makes them essential for manual tracking of laboratory experiments today, just like they were in the olden days.

Good engineering lab notebooks will also enable quick referencing, cheap archival and ease material maintenance. You will nature good habits that will serve you throughout your scientific career by learning to keep a log book while a student. An engineering student’s notebooks, should, therefore, be valued like one’s diary. They will aid you to research, record, track new findings and capture solutions.

How to Make Student Lab Notes

i. All lab notes should be complete and accurate. It is recommendable to record all experimental methods and data from experiments in the engineering logbook.

ii. Students lab notes should be permanent and easy to reference

iii. Record all the mistakes and difficulties you encountered when experimenting. This act will help you to learn past failures frequently, and failed attempts.

Here are five reasons you will need your laboratory notebooks.

1. They Enhance Record Keeping

It is vital to keep track of the work you’ve already done and the tasks that you intend to do. Sometimes you could do with mastering your ideas off-head.

But laboratory life is hectic. You may have a lineup of tasks daily. Occasionally, new ideas could pop up. Your lab instructor might demand a few off-the-plan tasks. Thus, keeping track of all your lab ideas off-head might become cumbersome. With a well-kept laboratory notebook, you can save a detailed list of plans and ideas by maintaining the relevant log books.

2. Notebooks Ease Project Monitoring

When you take the time to record all the steps carefully, it’s easy to pick up your experiment from where you left it. Here, you will find your up-to-date record of trials, future ideas, and their onset time.

So, pick a pen, capture all steps of preparation and experiment initiation. Jot down the results at the end of each experiment. If you take a recess, let your notebook guide you on which step to move next. A lot of engineering faults could be avoided with proper recording and referencing.

3. With Notebooks, You Will Keep Track Of Your Lab Partners

Complicated engineering experiments often involve multiple people working together. Each person handles a significant portion of an experiment that is usually their speciality. This arrangement makes things easier. But it also adds mutual stress as a team is only as good as its weakest member.

To avoid mistakes and make foster teamwork, purchase group engineering lab notebooks. Double-check each engineering student’s role and record it. An ideal group laboratory notebook will keep a record of all your teammates’ work. With time, you can review and provide feedback where necessary.

4. Notebooks Make Students Stay Organized

How do you plan your lab tasks? Usually, the more detailed and far-reaching you lay out your plans, the less time you will spend at the lab. It is crucial to plot every step beforehand. And where better to keep your future schedules than in the trusty laboratory notebook?

5. Engineering lab notebooks Can Help You to Make Money

Yes, money. Such occurs when your research is used as archival material. In other cases, your laboratory work may lead you into a discovery that you and your lab partners would want to patent.

To make it through the patent process, you’ll need to show a record of your working process. You will need to showcase the schedules on which you performed your experiments. In such cases, your notebook will be your gold.

laboratory

Do Scientists Need a Laboratory Notebook? Find Out Below

As a scientist, you are engaged in many activities throughout the day, month, and sometimes throughout the year. You develop complex formulas and equations that are hard to remember. Additionally, you are involved in procedural activities that follow a standard procedure to achieve a specific goal. You don’t have to struggle again trying to memorize information for future reference.

Using a laboratory notebook, you will be able to increase your output per day while at the same time creating a smooth flow of work. A laboratory notebook is designed to cover all the necessary details that you may need to record. Besides the beautiful color codes and hard covers, here are other reasons why you need a research notebook in your laboratory.

1. Record Your Data

This seems like a very obvious and common reason why you need a notebook. However, given that you have previously been a scientific lab, you know all the chaos that is present in a busy day. You will be coming across thousands of details and information that you need to capture and process. This is not possible because such information is too large and complex. However, with a lab notebook, you will have a place to record your data and keep your mind fresh and focused.

2. Planning/Time Table

Many people think that the primary purpose of an engineering lab notebook is to record your findings in a laboratory. This is a wrong perception. Engineering lab notebooks are planning manuals that guide an individual on how to operate in a laboratory. They help you to list what you need to do. It is important to highlight that a laboratory is not a place where you choose to enter without a schedule. A notebook presents you with a place where you will write what to do and monitor progress.

3. Recording Scientific Protocols

Similar to having a plan or a timetable of things you will do in a laboratory, sometimes you need to have standard protocols. If you are preparing to handle a specific experiment in the future, you can have all the necessary steps recorded in your notebook. Having scientific protocols helps you to avoid errors in experiments while at the same time increasing the efficiency of your activities. You can use the same protocols for future scientific experiments, which means that you will not be forced to prepare another protocol.

4. Archival Material

Archival materials are very important in a scientific laboratory. If you are engaging in scientific research that you want to continue evolving, you must have archival materials. The laboratory notebook is the best archival material because it contains all the necessary information that will help future scientists working in the same project. Most of the lab notebooks contain raw data, procedures, and findings, which will act as a reference point to other researchers.

5. Auditing Scientific Trails

As a scientist, you need to make sure that you can audit your trail from the beginning and come up with various adjustments to increase the accuracy of your experiment. However, that is not possible if you are recording much of the information in your head. It will be very difficult to determine where you made errors or possible areas of improvement. With a scientific lab notebook, everything will be easy. You will be able to know where you made errors and where you can improve results.

6. Reference for Future Publications

Developing scientific products takes many years. It even takes many more years to record and publish such information. For example, to develop a simple vaccine or medicine, it will take an average of 10 to 15 years. This is a lengthy period where information can easily get lost. However, with a simple scientific notebook, such information can be stored for more than ten or twenty years.

Are you looking for a laboratory notebook to record your experimental data and scientific research findings? Scientific Notebook Company is the leading manufacturer and supplier of Research Notebooks. If you need to document and patent your scientific work, contact us for more details.

bound lab notebook

Reasons You Need a Laboratory Notebook

Typically, it takes a student eight years to complete their college education in pursuit of a Pharm.D., which allows them to become a qualified pharmacist. During this time, students will often use a laboratory notebook to record research and experiment details. It’s the first place you register all of your work, including hypotheses, experimental setup, data, calculations, and initial analysis.

Data recorded in a bound lab notebook can be helpful for many reasons, from organizational to legal, including providing proof of completed work for intellectual property and copyright purposes. Making entries should occur as the observations happen, rather than after establishing the fact. Student lab notebooks will include a table of contents and voided blank pages. When conducting two experiments simultaneously, you can move back and forth between them, or divide the page into columns. If you make a mistake, draw a line through it and ensure all markings are permanent and in ink. Below are a few reasons why you should have a lab notebook.

Helps You Keep Track of Your Experiments

A well-maintained bound lab notebook provides you with a record of the progress of your experiments. After carefully taking into account the steps taken in an analysis, you can easily pick up from where you left off after some time away. Data recorded in a bound lab notebook also comes in handy when you need to double-check your work before moving on to an important step.

With a laboratory notebook, you can carefully record ideas for future reference. It is an excellent way of keeping a record of the tasks you have yet to do. Since the lab life can be chaotic, recording ideas ensure you remember all the nitty-gritty details of your work. Having a clear plan is essential for a student working in the laboratory.

Organizing Your Work

You can prepare for future experiments by lining up the right protocols in your bound lab notebook. Having your plans detailed and already laid out means you spend less time figuring out what to do next. In case you need to repeat an experiment, you can refer to the protocol already outlined in your notebook.

Since the numbering of pages of a bound lab notebook is bound together, it is easier to keep your work organized. Some laboratory notebooks require you to number every page as they are not pre-numbered. It is imperative to follow the recommendations of the lab instructor as rules regarding numbering may vary.

Acts as a Reference for Teamwork

Some experiments involve multiple lab students working in groups, which means that there may be significant portions of an investigation under your partners’ direct responsibility. When working as a team, you might need to delegate the work, which is easy to oversee if you can refer back to your lab notebook. Having full and organized notes all in one place would be very helpful for you and your partners.

You can give a review and feedback on your teammates’ work based on entries made to your student lab notebook. By recording allocated duties, you can keep track of the overall progress. The bound lab notebook enables you to ensure you keep up with your contributions to any team projects.

Supports Integrity of Future Publications

In the course of your lab life, you may discover an idea that you and your lab partners want to patent. To succeed in getting a license, you will need to show a record of your work and your process and the schedule on which you performed your experiments. If you want to gain merit in any future publications, document your experiments properly in a bound lab notebook.

Keeping a lab notebook will provide a clear track record of your research and data to support your claims. Documenting all your experiments in a bound lab notebook protects your rights, especially if someone else tries to patent the same discovery.

Innovators and inventors need to keep detailed and organized notes while working on their research. Therefore, having a bound lab notebook encourages sound thinking and provides a central physical place to record data.

student lab notebook

Ways You Can Upgrade Your Lab Note Taking Skills Overnight

When learning a new skill, sitting in a lecture hall, or working in a lab, taking good notes is one of the most valuable things you can do.

Taking good notes ensures that you will have a great resource to look back on. Taking notes also allows you to retain information much better. However, if you’re a student in a lab, your notebook is also an incredible observation and analysis tool.

If you want to upgrade your note taking game to the next level, you may have to make a few changes to your current routine. All you will need is a student lab notebook, and a few of these tips to maximize your efficiency. Continue reading to learn more.

Color code your notes

Buy a few pens of various colors. Color coding your notes allows you to compartmentalize and categorize the information you’re learning and everything you are observing on the spot.

Also, if you need to draw something out or complete a sketch, using various colors in the best way to lay down and visualize whatever is in your head and onto the paper.

Buy a second notebook

If you feel your handwriting is illegible, or you need some extra help when it comes to letting the information from the soak into your brain, buy another notebook and rewrite your notes neatly and legibly into the second notebook. Buying two notebooks allows you to record your observations quickly while on the spot, and then transfer them over to a second document in a much neater fashion.

Start new topics on the right side of the page

This is standard for all labs. When starting a new lab or calculation, make sure to move over a page and start on the right sided and odd numbered page to keep everything consistent.

Pre number your pages before the lab

If you are forgetful, but still want to take the best lab notes possible, prenumber the pages in your student notebook ahead of time.

This will save you time and headaches if this is a small detail that always manages to slip your mind.

Find the right student lab notebook

Of course, you can follow all of these tips and still not yield the results you want. Sometimes, you need the proper tools in order to succeed. Using the right student lab notebook can help you with that.

Find a notebook that is sturdy and can cater to your specific needs while in the lab. A scientific lab notebook for research will keep you organized and prepared. It’s one of the most valuable resources you will need.

Making your time in the lab count as a student

With these tips and the perfect student lab notebook, you can optimize your entire research experience.

Implement these ideas, and you’ll be surprised how much more organized and centered, you will feel in a matter of a few days.

scientific notebook

Will Your Scientific Notebook Be Valuable for Future Generations?

Roughly 411 million metric tons of cardboard and paper were manufactured around the world in 2016. A significant slice of this tonnage went into creating notebooks for various users, including the scientific community.

Running your experiments and research is, for many people, infinitely more exciting than taking the time to update scientific notebooks. However, it’s a crucial part of the process. Many times, the data you make a mental note to record tends to get lost, leaving you with inferior research information. The following are some tips to assist you in preserving accurate and up-to-date scientific data.

1. Treat Your Scientific Notebook as an Official Item

The one thing you can’t afford to lose sight of concerning your scientific notebook is that it is not a personal item. Rather, the laboratory notebook you are developing is officially the property of the organization or university you are working for. Thus, how you record the information should always take a professional tone and outlook.

To keep the data in your scientific lab notebook professional, avoid incorporating personal critique and comments. Consider maintaining an informal log book, separate from your notebook, where your observations on the matters you are working on can be recorded.

Introducing external oversight can help you maintain the professional tone and input of your laboratory notebook. For example, you can request your supervisor help you spot out any non-professional material that may infiltrate the content. If you don’t prefer regular supervision of the material, at least let your supervisor give it a once over in the beginning. Doing so will assist you to keep it up to the organization’s standard.

2. Capture Greater Detail

When you are in the middle of a procedure, it can be easy to underestimate the amount of detail you need to add to your scientific notebook. Often, you think to yourself that that you’ll remember that small detail and will record it later. In many instances, that seemingly unimportant piece of data might be the turnkey insight you need to have put on record. And without the ability to record it properly in the moment, that information could easily be lost.

To develop a high-quality science notebook, you need to view it as a manual that anyone should be able to follow without needing a translation or other input. At its essence, that is the real purpose of a scientific lab notebook. One approach you can use to help you include as much detail as possible is to note things down as you go along. Whenever you are about to carry out a protocol, first note it down as you plan to carry it out. Then, once you have executed the procedure, you can take note of any alterations that took place. That way, you do not lose out on the extra information by deciding to add it later. Instead of relying on mere memory, you can add greater detail by taking note of it in the moment.

3. Use a Format That Works for You

The format you use to enter data into your notebook should be one that helps you zero in on the data you need with ease. Having a set structure is advisable to help you write your work as a thesis or paper later on. An example you can use for the consistent structure is to include preamble such as the background and aim of the protocol.

A format you easily understand will help you remain focused on the larger purpose of your work. For some people, leaving a few pages after each entry is useful, as this assists them in identifying and following individual experiments immediately.

Remember always to record your work chronologically, as this helps you quickly follow the material later on when you or anyone else comes to look at it. Sign and date any edits you make after the fact to reflect the timeline. If you happen to be using a digital notebook, then ensure you set up daily backups to account for any changes.

Keep All Your Valuable Scientific Data

Maintaining a scientific notebook is, at times, arduous for many in the scientific community — at least when compared to running the actual protocols. The longer you put off recording the information, the higher the chances you will forget or lose the data. Create a notebook that has a set structure that quickly helps you access the material when you need it.

notebook

5 Good Reasons You Need a Lab Notebook

Research is the backbone of all scientific work. That research involves gathering lots of data. All the data collected during research needs to be stored somewhere. The best way to store that data is by recording it in a laboratory notebook. Such notebooks are especially popular in the U.S., China, and Japan where laboratories are widespread. In fact, these three countries account for half of the world’s total paper production.

A lab notebook is the primary working document in any experiment or research. All hypotheses, calculations, data, experimental setups, and early analyses are first recorded in lab notebooks before being transferred elsewhere. Doing so is beneficial for many reasons, including providing proof that you went through the required processes to complete the work.

If you’re not in the habit of keeping a scientific lab notebook, here are five top reasons you should start.

1. A Lab Notebook Helps You Keep Track Of Your Work

The biggest reason to keep a well maintained lab notebook is that it gives you a record of the progress of the experiments you conduct. You can easily access your ideas any time you want to. As long as you carefully record all the steps of your experiments and the results you discover, you can always pick up from where you left after taking a break. The notebook also helps you double check your work before you move on to an important step.

2. A Notebook Allows You to Record Future Tasks

Recording ideas of the experiments you want to do in the future is just as important as keeping a record of work you’re doing or have already completed. Life in the laboratory can get hectic, and trying to keep the ideas you have using your head may not be effective. Instead of risking forgetting the ideas you have, it’s best to record them in your notebook.

3. A Lab Notebook Keeps You Organized

Many scientists plan out their laboratory tasks in advance. The more far-reaching and detailed your plans are laid-out, the less time you’ll need to spend trying to figure out what to do next when your current scientific project is done. When it comes to keeping your future schedule, there’s no better way to do it than by recording it in your trusty notebook.

4. Your Notebook Helps You Keep Track Of Your Partners

Some complicated science experiments involve a group of people working in tandem. That means there may be certain portions of the experiment that you’ll have no responsibility for. Working in a group can make everything easier for everyone. However, it can also mean additional stress in case a member of the group does a mistake.

So how do you minimize the chances of anything going wrong? Well, an ideal way is to make sure that you double check each other’s records as often as possible. Keep a record of the work of your teammates in your notebook. Every once in a while, you and your teammates can review each other’s records and provide feedback.

5. Our Notebook Can Help You Get a Patent

Hopefully, your laboratory work will lead to a new discovery that you may want to patent. In order to protect your intellectual property, you’ll need to go through the patent process where you’re required to provide a record of your work, the process you followed, and the schedule you performed all your experiments on. That’s where your notebook comes in. In case another scientist tries to patent your discovery, you can keep it from happening by providing proof of your work.

Whether you are working in a scientific laboratory for the first time or are performing your hundredth experiment, you need a research notebook to keep data. Not only does such a notebook keep you organized during your current research, it also provides a place for recording ideas you may want to explore in the future. And, ultimately when your work is completed, the same notebook may just be the most important tool for helping you protect your intellectual property.

laboratory notebooks

7 Organizational Tips for Laboratory Notebooks

Now that schools across the country are back in session, students are stepping into labs for the very first time as undergraduate researchers, and are in a valuable position to learn organizational skills in order to ensure that research notes in laboratory notebooks are kept tidy and legible for future reference. Whether you’re a student, a professor, or a seasoned reacher, we’ve comprised some tips on organizing your lab notebooks in order to make the most of your data. An important note before we begin: as researchers move into the professional sphere, scientific laboratory notebooks can be considered legal documents, especially when pursuing patents and attempting to meet FDA guidelines for drug research. It takes 10-15 years to develop a medicine or vaccine, and because of these two factors, it’s important to cultivate good habits early on.

Write in Your Lab Notebook Every Day

If you’re in the middle of research you’re passionate about, taking time to write in your laboratory notebooks can seem like a dull chore. However, it’s important to record the data you have while it’s fresh in your mind. Setting aside even 10 minutes at the end of each day to record your findings will not only make it easier to develop the habit, it will also lay the groundwork for more cogent, replicable research later on.

In Case You Miss a Day: Keep a Backup Notepad

While it should always be a priority to record things in your lab book every day, there are times when this simply isn’t feasible. In order to make sure that your stray observations are recorded, keep a separate notebook on your desk for informal notes that can be transferred to your lab book later on. Make sure that each page is dated, and don’t get in the habit of relying too heavily on shorthand notes, or you run the risk of having to extrapolate your findings from informal notes at the end of the process.

Templates Can Help Streamline the Process

If you’re working in an environment with a set of established protocols, you can save yourself time by creating templates with the protocol already in place. Print it out and keep it with you. That way, you can note changes to protocol directly on the sheet, then insert the completed page in your lab book at the end of the day.

Make Sure Errors Are Still Visible

If you make an error that needs to be crossed out, be sure to only cross through it once so that it’s still visible. Your errors are just as valuable a teaching tool as your successes, and it’s important to keep as full a record as possible.

Number Your Pages

This is a surprisingly simple tip that can save you time and effort later on. Many laboratory notebooks are bound notebooks that are sturdy, but not indestructible. If the worst happens and the binding breaks, you want to be able to easily reorder your pages with as minimal time and effort as possible. Additionally, numbering your pages will allow you to easily refer to other sections of your notebook by page number.

Write More Than You Think You’ll Need

In your rush to complete your lab book entry for the day and get out the door, you may be tempted to only write the biggest or most interesting results of the day. However, it’s often the small details that make for significant findings later on. Always try to err on the side of over-detailed rather than under-detailed, which will ensure that you’re able to refer back to each day with as much clarity as possible.

Always Note the Unusual

Similarly to the previous point, you should always be sure to take note any time your sample looks different or if machinery or testing instruments are behaving in a way they might not normally. While it may seem overzealous, making notes of these unusual occurrences can save you the headache of trying to sleuth out the cause of any odd data points you may get as a result of this behavior, especially if some time has passed.

Maintaining and cultivating good organizational habits makes for stronger, more reputable researchers. Do you have lab book organization tips? Let us know in the comments below.

7 Features that Make Up an Ideal Paper Notebook

As a student your sketches, data records, compositions, musings, journaling, or regular day-to-day notes need recording. A high-quality paper notebook is the best in recording your discoveries, thoughts and any primary information. The education sector is the biggest consumer of notebooks.

To understand the enormous nature of this market, one should look at the large number of students that graduate each year. For instance, 9,550 college students were awarded biochemistry degrees in 2016. All these students need to record and present their analyses, hypotheses, interpretations, experiments, and collected data, and notebooks provide an ideal record for all this information. Poor quality lab notebooks may easily tear or poorly absorb ink and lead to a loss of your information.

This article reviews the features that make up a good lab notebook.

Why is a high-quality lab notebook essential?

A lab notebook allows you to record your laboratory findings and data. These notebooks differ from other notebooks because they have inclusions such as graph grids for drawing graphs and tables for data entry. Their robust bindings and high-quality paper ensure that they don’t get easily damaged or spoiled by ink.

Here are some of the things to look out for when buying a lab notebook.

• Sheet Style

The sheet style determines the use of your notebook. Plain, graph, and lined notebooks are the most common sheet styles. Ruled or lined notebooks are ideal for writing. Visual thinkers and artists prefer plain notebooks, whereas; notebooks with graph grid lines are useful to designers, engineers, and scientists who need to draw graphs or diagrams.

• Spacing of the lines

Many students use the medium ruled 7mm paper. Students with small-sized handwriting should use the narrow ruled 6mm paper. The wide ruled 8mm paper is often used by people who have large handwriting or grade school students. For graph lab notebooks, the standard spacing is 5mm, but there is also a less popular 3mm grid for students that engage in detailed work.

• Binding

The binding of notebooks can be done in different ways, and each binding style determines how easy or hard it is for a notebook to tear. Notebooks can be bound by rings, spirals, threads, staples, glue, or a combination of any of these binding styles. The style of binding determines how sturdy and flat a notebook can be. Staple and glue binding are often the weakest, but they are preferable for students that would like to pluck a leaf of their work from the notebook. On the other hand, ring, spiral and stitched binding are the strongest and they can hold papers together strongly.

• Paper Weight

Paperweight is often expressed in grams or pounds per square meter. As a rule of thumb, heavy notebook papers are thick and durable. They have less show-through and they can withstand erasing. Students writing on both sides of the paper should prefer lab notebooks with heavier paper.

• Number of sheets

Some students prefer thin laboratory notebooks with few pages, whereas; others prefer thick notebooks with a high page-count. If you have lots of information to record, then a thick notebook would be preferable. Otherwise, a thin notebook is ideal if you have to lug around many of them for different purposes.

• Design and cover material

Sturdy covers are always the best if you’re seeking for durability. The options you may have include leather, luxurious leatherette, flexible plastic, hard chipboard, and thick cardstock. Always go for covers with rounded corners because they don’t wear down easily. Some notebook manufacturers offer covering materials in the form of built-in pockets or sleeves. It’s recommendable to buy such notebooks because you’ll be sure that they can last for long.

• Perforations

Perforations allow you to tear pages from your notebook to submit homework or share content. Always go for lab notebooks with closely perforated lines so as to get a clean tear whenever you want to remove a page from your notebook.

If you want to accurately record your information and prevent losing your content, then choose a high-quality notebook that will not easily lose shape through wear and tear as it gets lugged around in your backpack.

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Pathway of Discovery

A Student’s Journey in Science

Throughout the ages people have grown to discover new and exciting technologies to enhance humankind. Productions in soil nutrients and organic methods of bug repellant to molecular structures of the human body and cellular decomposition are just a few to name in this learning curve. As these fields of study grow, so does the need for educational facilities for the student to be taught and participate in scientific lab work. Universities are expanding their fields of study and increasing departmental staff to accommodate young minds eager to learn.

One of the enlarging divisions is the exploitation of biological processes which is the foundation of biotechnology. A student who is gathering a degree in this area will have multiple territories to endorse and loads of laboratory notebooks to maintain. As for the purpose of a biotech diploma, one primary use is in the genetic manipulation of microorganisms for the production of antibiotics, hormones, and many other molecular structures. This helps physicians to better understand how the human body produces and processes products for a specific use.

Along the pathway of discovery and experiments comes the research and development department. As each student begins their journey in science, they may soon learn their passion is laying between the pages of their research notebook. Rather than moving towards building compounds and chemically structuring medicine, their preferred path is uncovering the mysteries of DNA structures and chromosomes. Also, applying the knowledge gained in previous courses to the research and reconstruction of organic compounds.

Continuing on the course with chemical components, another area of study belongs to pharmacy/pharmacists. Typically this area of study will take a student eight years of college education to earn their Pharm.D. Upon graduation, it becomes their responsibility to understand how each medication is chemically crated and how this coincides with the molecular breakdown in the human body. Each student will usually keep their science notebook(s) to remind them, and assist them, of different formulas and compound structures; gaining new knowledge as the years pass.

In research universities there are endless discoveries to unfold. Each facility containing the proper instruments, equipment, and bio-hazardous/biomedical samples so each individual student can gather and retain information. As their progression proceeds and mysteries become solved, they give advancements toward the medical and organic economic worlds. This creates a universal connection from one end of the spectrum to the other.

When you pause and think about how the world functions, how organic materials can be reused, how the human body processes food, how some animals heal faster than others, all are connected by research. It took a student, or multitude of students, to dissect a theory and discover a mystery; and then break down each component till there were no more questions. From those questions, either being solved or disproven, taking theoretical to possibility and developing the research. At this point a single student can crate massive change for the world we live in, possibly uncovering one of life’s greatest mysteries; how do we turn back our metabolic clock, our personal fountain of youth.

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How a Laboratory Notebook Can Protect Your Intellectual Property

For students who aim to become laboratory scientists or embrace other positions within the biomedical field, protecting one’s research and experimentation is vital. In an age when it’s never been easier to share information and refrain from attributing creations to their rightful owner, it’s perfectly understandable that you’d be concerned about safeguarding your original ideas. Ultimately, that could come down to the security of the lab or your ability to distinguish trustworthy individuals in your personal or professional life. But did you know that your choice of scientific lab notebook might make a big difference?

In 2016, there were 411 million metric tons of paper and cardboard produced worldwide. Just some of that paper and cardboard is used to create the laboratory notebooks that students and scientists utilize every day. But these notebooks can do more than allow you to keep track of pertinent observations and experimental results. Used correctly, laboratory notebooks can also ensure that you (or your company or school) can obtain and maintain patent approval associated with your documented research.

Laboratories often serve as the birthplace of incredible ideas. They’re where scientists investigate hunches, perform experiments, observe results, collect data, and potentially develop innovations that could change the world. But while you might be ethical enough to be concerned only with your own ideas, the same cannot be said for everyone within your industry. The unfortunate reality is that someone could be heavily influenced by your work to the point where they attempt to claim it as their own. If you fail to protect your ideas, your career could be jeopardized.

That’s why it’s so important for students and professionals alike to make a habit of using a laboratory notebook for all of the work you do. By documenting your research, observations, and other data in a bound notebook with numbered, dated, and signed pages, you’ll ensure your intellectual property can be properly attributed to you. That way, even if you have to defend your invention (and your ownership of it) in court years down the line, you’ll have the evidence necessary to show you should be the rightful patent holder.

To that end, you’ll want to use laboratory notebooks that are pre-printed in the proper page format in order to comply with patent law requirements. These notebooks should be bound so that pages cannot be added or taken out without leaving obvious traces. You should always use ink, rather than pencil, to record data in your notebook. Each time you record any information in your notebook, you’ll want to make a point to sign and date the pages you’ve worked on; it’s even better if you can have professors or coworkers sign and date those pages to provide additional evidence, if necessary. If you need to make any changes, cross out the incorrect information (rather than using white-out) before signing and dating those changes. Any unused notebook space should be crossed out with a diagonal line.

You should never document privileged or personal information in laboratory notebooks. If you need to discuss other patents or document information from your lawyer, you should keep track of this information in a separate document or notebook. When you make discoveries, test theories, or record results, you should also take care to document the importance of these findings with remarks. Memorializing these reactions in print can be of great benefit when attempting to obtain a patent. Documenting your progress and a general narrative within your laboratory notebook will be helpful for the same reason. It’s best for students and scientists to remember their lab notebooks should be treated as formal records, rather than as journals or notepads. To that end, inaccurate or incomplete ideas should not be included, as this could make it more difficult to obtain or defend patent protection later on.

By keeping these documentation tips in mind and making a point to always use a high-quality laboratory notebook, you can successfully safeguard your original ideas. For more information, please contact us today.