back to guidance notes
Keeping an accurate laboratory record is an essential part of good research practice and the notebook contributes for 25% of the final mark. A permanently bound laboratory notebook will be provided. The pages of the book are numbered consecutively and pages must not be torn out.
The laboratory notebook is, in the first instance, a chronological account of daily activities with periods of absence noted and explained (e.g. sickness, study etc). It is vital that entries are made at the time the work is done because this forms the most complete record of your laboratory work. Therefore, the entries should be legible, factually accurate and in sufficient detail for someone, e. g., the supervisor or colleagues, to check the experimental procedures and, if necessary, to reproduce the experiments later. The information it contains on methods, materials and results will also be needed to write up the report and to assist in interpretation of the results.
Any graphs, drawings, suppliers' protocols, and other loose sheets should, if possible, be affixed in the book. Any data added subsequently, e.g. analysis results, should be entered on a separate page, with reference back to the original data. Where a large amount of data is computer generated, or otherwise too large for incorporation, keep it in separate folders. but refer to it in the notebook. Where possible, generate data summaries for inclusion in the notebook.
For standard protocols which are used frequently, the method should be referred to in full the first time it is used and references made to it (and the date) on subsequent occasions. Minor modifications must be recorded and any major changes require that the revised protocol is written out in full.
The supervisor should see the notebook weekly in order to monitor its accuracy and legibility. Any comments about the past week's work and future experiments should be recorded. Supervisors will sign the book on these occasions and you may take this as an opportunity to discuss your results.
At the end of the project, the notebook will be assessed by the supervisor who will also confirm that it is an accurate record of the laboratory activity. It is worth 20% of the module (12 credits). The laboratory notebook is submitted with the project report and after the examination becomes the property of the supervisor.
back to guidance notes