Record Keeping - Your Laboratory Notebook

All entries should be in English or German.


Useful & good research records should include the following detail:

  • what you did - experimental protocol
  • when you did it - date
  • why you did it - objective
  • how you did it - methods
  • who did it (the person creating the record/, a fellow scientist, ....?)
  • what project(s) this work was part of
  • who conceived of the study (if not yourself)
  • special materials & instruments utilized
  • source of materials & instruments
  • discussion of data - results - expected and unexpected
  • data handling and analyses
  • data interpretation by yourself (and others if pertinent)
  • next steps based on reported results


Writing a Laboratory Notebook by Howard M. Kanare (1985) American Chemical Society, Washington DC



Keeping a Lab Notebook: Basic Principles and Best Practices by Philip Ryan, NIH Training & Education