In order to be a legal document, the lab notebook must be bound, so that no pages can be added orremoved. The cover may be hard or soft, but the pages must be numbered, as proof that no pages wereadded or removed. Numbered pages also make it easy to index your notebook, so that it can be usedeffectively as a reference. You can number the pages of your own bound notebook, but it is easier topurchase a bound notebook with the pages already numbered.A lab notebook should be like a journal – readable, complete and understandable by a person withknowledge in the field. That is, you should not write in a way that only you will understand. As you fill inthe pages of your notebook, record the date on each page as you start to fill it in. Start a new page forevery new lab session, regardless of how much space was left on the last page.Everything you write in the notebook should be written in nonNerasable ink. Once made, observationscannot be undone, so they should be recorded in a permanent fashion. If for some reason yoususpect a measurement or observation to be in error, simply cross out the bad data with a large X andput the new (hopefully better) data down next to it. Somewhere on the same page write down anexplanation of why you suspected the data you crossed out to be incorrect. Put only a single line thru thebad data. Do not cross out bad data such that it cannot be read: you might be wrong twice and theoriginal data might have been good. It is acceptable to have crossedNout material, as long as it is neat.However, a lab notebook with hash marks all over the place, data presented in haphazard fashion andgeneral sloppiness isnotprofessionalandcannotbeunderstoodbysomeoneelsereadingthenotebook.Sometimes there may be papers that are not in your bound notebook and you wanted to include themin your notebook. An example might be a plot generated on a computer and sent to a printer. Make acopy, or, preferably, take the original, and tape it into your notebook. Sign your name across the edgeof an included document and onto the notebook page to insure that the inclusion is genuine.Thentape over your signature with transparent tape.For the EECS 230 lab, obtain a bound notebook with printed page numbers (or number the pages in ink).Write your name on the first page and leave the next few pages blank, so they can be used later for atable of contents when the notebook is full.
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7In summary,•Your lab notebook should be bound, with all pages numbered in ink.•Do not tear out unused pages – instead, cross them out. Unused space should also be crossedout.•Reserve the first few pages for a table of contents, which should include the title and pagenumber for each experiment.•Start each experiment on a new page. Sign and date the end of each experiment.
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