The Importance of a Laboratory Notebook

lab notebooks

Lab notebooks? You have probably heard about them, right? If you have been conducting laboratory tests regularly, you have already realized that you could forget many discoveries and procedures without proper organization. Lab notebooks will play a vital role in organizing your life as a lab technician. The following are benefits of using lab notebooks.

1. Record Your Data

This is so obvious, but it’s worth mentioning that a lab notebook is a convenient place to record your data. In laboratory experiments, you will probably do thousands of procedures. Everything becomes chaotic around you, and you could be in serious danger of forgetting what you are doing. With lab notebooks, everything will be kept in check. You will be able to record all the necessary information around you. Your data will be kept safe, and you will remain in control of your business.

2. To Do List

In a laboratory, there are several procedures that you need to follow for an experiment to be successful. However, these procedures are very many, and most of the times they keep on changing depending on the experiment. A laboratory notebook will detail all the things that you need to do after entering the research room so that you can be successful. The notebook could be important, especially where there are innumerable tasks to carry out. Having a guide of what needs to be done and then creates a good course of action and helps in avoiding trouble.

3. Protocols

Every science experiment has everything to do with protocols. You cannot achieve reliable or authentic scientific results without following a laid down procedure. Each experiment has its protocol, and it’s difficult to substitute one protocol for another. If you are preparing to have an experiment in the future, you can have its protocol already lined up in your scientific lab notebook. If you need to repeat any experiment, you will only need to refer back to your notebook.

4. A Reference for Others

In most cases, scientific research is carried out by teams. However, some of the members are not conversant with scientific studies, and they highly depend on the guidance that comes from the experienced researchers. With a scientific notebook, other members can reference for important data, details, and protocols. You don’t have to keep answering hundreds of questions from amateur researchers. Just direct them to your notebook and the entire research will move smoothly towards its objectives.

5. To Support Future Publications

You may need to publish lab results, papers, patents, and findings of a particular research study. However, you need to justify and show evidence that you own the results before publishing. Without documented evidence, you cannot justify that the results you are likely to publish belong to you, and therefore, you’ll not have any merit. A notebook is, therefore, one of the most important books, especially to the researchers, who have the intentions of publishing their findings in the future.

6. Data Audit Trail

An experiment is characterized by hundreds of errors that need to be adjusted as the process continues. However, for the sake of data security, any changes made to the data need to be noted and highlighted on the notebook. This gives other team members a clue of what is happening and why you have changed data. Data integrity is an essential aspect of any scientific research.

7. Record Ideas

Besides everything that has to do with research and planning the experiment, you will also come up with your ideas. These thoughts are very useful in future as they could help make the experiment better. You need to make sure that you record them somewhere. Lab notebooks are the most secure area where you can record such ideas and harness them to find out whether they are beneficial in any way.

Current trends indicate that the pharmaceutical market will reach $1.12 trillion by 2022. However, before that time and figure are reached, thousands of experiments will have to be done to improve the drugs currently available in the market and the best area to record those experiments is on a lab notebook.