Have you ever tried to scribble down lab notes in a simple composition notebook with a dull pencil? If so, you know how frustrating that disorganization is down the line when you need to refer back to those notes. Ensure your success in advance by investing in a high-quality laboratory notebook and having organized notes as you work. The importance of keeping a formal scientific lab notebook will show itself in the future when your notes become a part of your lab work history.
It’s a Reference for You
If you’re a student, you’ll need all those notes to study for exams. Whether you’re in school or out in the field, you’ll always need a record of past experiments. If you don’t remember which methods you used to reach a certain result, you’ll thank yourself for the extensive notes you made during that experiment. Your past notes work as building blocks to help you gain more knowledge quickly.
It’s a Lab Resource
Your lab is full of other scientists who can benefit from notes you take and vice versa. One of your colleagues may have the answer to a question you have; their detailed notes can be a valuable source of information. So can yours! When you keep a diligent record of all your work, your peers can easily read it for reference. Cross out any mistakes you make with a single line so that they’re still legible to others. This way, your colleagues can avoid making the same mistakes.
It’s a Legal Document
Do you intend to publish your research in any scientific publications? If so, you need to back up your findings with documented evidence and data. Scientific Notebook’s laboratory notebooks provide a space on every page for a witness’s signature to verify that the research and findings are yours. This verified record will be crucial if you intend to patent any of your work. If someone claims that your patent is fraudulent, your lab notes can become legal evidence of your unique research.
Set yourself up for success now by following best practices for scientific note-keeping. When your notes are complete, thorough, and legible, your notebook becomes a valuable document for posterity. Now that you know the importance of keeping a formal scientific lab notebook, you have extra motivation to leave no detail unwritten.