- Legal – Engineering and scientific notebooks often prove invaluable in disputes regarding patents. Because they are bounded, signed, and dated, these notebooks provide critical information about when and how concepts, ideas, and inventions were developed. Also, the handwritten word retains a lot of psychological impact among the general public, often making handwritten notebooks more compelling than printouts and spreadsheets.
- Reliability – A key disadvantage of using technology to record lab notes is the possibility of device or software failure. Power outages, computer viruses, and failure of devices to work properly can cause researchers to lose data stored electronically. This possibility does not exist with hard copies of lab notes recorded in engineering or scientific notebooks.
- Compatibility – Storage mediums are always changing. Researchers or engineers who record their findings on one medium and fail to update it when mediums change may have a difficult time accessing their data years later. Paper stays the same over time, and scientific and engineering notebooks provide a method of storing information that will be accessible in the future.
- Tangibility – Paper notebooks provide a medium very conducive to human creativity. They are easy to manipulate and their users seem to enjoy the freedom they provide to draw and write.
- Discipline – For students and young researchers, the task of writing down results in a notebook helps develop the habits they need to be effective scientists. Dutifully recording and logging information by hand helps young researchers learn attention to detail, the importance of documenting results, and the benefits of clear and concise writing.
- Laboratory notebooks – These notebooks are designed to meet the needs of laboratory researchers. Permanently bound and configured to host archival materials, SNCO’s scientific notebooks are ideal for logging important research notes. SNCO scientific notebooks are manufactured to industry standards and have often been used as evidence in court and administrative proceedings regarding patent and intellectual property.
- Student notebooks – SNCO student notebooks are ideal for use in classroom settings by young scientists and engineers mastering the discipline of correctly logging results and research notes. Instructors can provide a more realistic learning experience by having students log their information in notebooks resembling those they will use in industry and academia.
- Engineering notebooks – SNCO also produces notebooks for engineers. These notebooks provide the format engineers need to record their notes, pass their findings down to other engineers, or use in court to defend intellectual property rights. Sketches in engineering notebooks also work well when presenting information to authorities to secure a patent.
- Cleanroom notebooks – Scientific cleanrooms have very exacting requirements regarding the avoidance of contamination. SNCO manufactures notebooks made specifically for work in cleanrooms. Manufactured with synthetic cleanroom bond stationary, these notebooks are compatible with cleanroom environments where particle and fiber generation must be kept to a minimum. The notebooks are specially packaged to avoid any pre-use contamination.
Paper and pen may be an old technology, but it retains a high degree of utility for recording scientific research. The benefits of this tested medium – as well as its popularity among researchers – makes its continued use in research and engineering endeavors worthwhile.Sources: https://bitesizebio.com/6892/will-the-ipad-replace-paper-lab-notebooks-7-issues-that-need-to-be-overcome/ https://snco.com/ https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-learning-secret-don-t-take-notes-with-a-laptop/ Photos: https://snco.com/