Best Practices for Keeping a Lab Notebook


Friday, November 22, 2019, 1:00pm to 2:00pm


Countway Library, 403 Classroom

Fall 2019 Research Data Management Seminar Series


Whether you’re working at the bench, in the field, or in theory, you need to keep track of what you do so that you—and others—can refer back to it whenever necessary.  Laboratory notebooks are a critical tool for data management in scientific research. A lab notebook is a complete record of procedures (the actions you take), the reagents you use (your materials), the observations you make (these are the data), and the relevant thought processes that would enable another scientist to reproduce your observations. There are multiple tools available to help scientists document their work and progress, but how to keep a good notebook is challenging.

Goals for the class:

  • discuss the different types of notebooks
  • cover basics do’s and don’ts in keeping a lab notebook
  • review ethical considerations around lab notebooks
  • provide examples of what a good lab notebook looks like
  • offer help to better manage your data and support good practices

Audience: Longwood Medical Area Affiliates (HMS/HSDM/HSPH, Affiliated Hospitals)

Location: Countway Library, Minot Room

Instructors: Julie Goldman, Research Data Services, Countway Library
Meghan Kerr, Archivist and Records Manager, Center for the History of Medicine