Keeping a laboratory notebook
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Keeping a laboratory notebook. good. ^. A laboratory notebook is a record of both physical and mental activity. Laboratory data include tangible data such as gels, scans of peaks, photographs, and computer printouts as well as intangibles such as quantitation, observations and conclusions.

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Keeping a laboratory notebook

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Keeping a laboratory notebook

Keeping a laboratory notebook

good

^

A laboratory notebook is a record of both physical and mental activity.

Laboratory data include tangible data such as gels, scans of peaks, photographs, and computer printouts as well as intangibles such as quantitation, observations and conclusions.

All of this data are important to preserve and organize!


Why is it important to keep a good notebook

Why is it important to keep a good notebook?

  • Good record keeping is necessary for data analysis, publication, collaboration, peer review, and preserving data for other research activities.

  • Good record keeping permits the conduct of good science: accountability and reproducibility.

  • Good records are necessary to support intellectual property claims.

  • Good records can help defend you against false allegations of research misconduct.

  • Build your lab cred (and your legacy!). Good records build confidence in your work. & the more confidence people have in your work, the more likely they are to use it

  • Source for mentorship & tutelage (ensures your PI is reviewing the raw data and methodology)

  • Statement of your acquired skill sets


A lab notebook is not

A Lab Notebook is not…

  • A journal

  • A record of communications

  • A place to compile and store lab protocols/manuals

  • Yours to keep


Keeping a laboratory notebook

NOTEBOOK FORMS

Paper vs. Digital

-accessibility

-searchability

-transparency

-data storage potential

-organization

Installed vs. Online


Keeping a laboratory notebook

What goes in a notebook?

  • Notebook identifiers:

  • Your Name

  • Year

  • General project name

  • Contact information for lab

  • Table of Contents:

  • Date

  • Subject/Experiment

  • Page number

  • Body of notebook:

  • Complete, Dated entries

  • Tasks performed and details to perform the tasks

  • Accurate, Reliable, and Clear - understandable for any reader

  • Written in English


Keeping a laboratory notebook

General Aspects of Dated Entries:

Date

Title

Hypothesis or Goal: Brief statement of purpose

Background

How: Protocols, calculations, reagents, equipment

Observations:

All that happens (planned or unplanned)

Raw experimental data (primary data)

Pasted in information or reference to data location

Sample storage

Data analysis:

Processing of raw data, graphs, Interpretations (secondary data)

Ideas for future experiments

Date

Purpose

Method

Parameter

Data

Results/Analysis

Conclusions

Page#


Keeping a laboratory notebook

The devil is in the details

  • Reagents: source, product number, lot number, expiration date, how and where stored

  • Solutions and how they were made (from 10X stock, from powder, etc.)

  • Type of water used (Milli-Q, distilled, RO, sterile, RNase-free)

  • Cells used: type, source, passage number, growth medium

  • Instruments: type/model, name, location, serial number, settings (temperature, laser power, etc)

  • Number and volume of washes (and duration)

  • Reaction size (volume)

  • Centrifuge speeds and duration of spins

  • Heating rates and levels of agitation

  • Time between and during steps

  • Gel percentages

  • Kit names and deviations from standard protocols

  • Sample description, date stored, condition, source, collection details


Keeping a laboratory notebook

07-Feb-2012

Study: Comparative Genomics of wild vs. genetically-modified strawberries

Wild Strawberry DNA extraction

weight of strawberry extracted = 3 g

Materials:

heavy duty ziploc bag

1 strawberry

10 mL DNA extraction buffer (soapy, salty water)

cheesecloth

funnel

50 mL tube

glass rod

20 mL ethanol

One wild strawberry was manually mashed in a ziploc bag. 10mL of extraction buffer was added to the bag and again the strawberry was mashed for 1 min. Collected supernatant and measured DNA.

Nanodrop estimate = 12 ng of DNA

Sample stored in DNA extracts box at -20 deg C until all samples to be analyzed are obtained

Pg 15

Q & A (Think-Pair-Share)

Was all information recorded? What is missing?

Why should it be included?

How confident are you in using this material?

How confident are you in repeating the extraction for the GM strawberry?


Keeping a laboratory notebook

Notebook Ethics “Notethics?”

  • All data go in to the notebook

    • Even “bad” data points or “outliers”

    • Failed experiments or contradictory experiments

    • Include images, analysis, printouts whenever possible, or refer to where it is

    • Refer back to repeated procedures, samples from another entry

  • “See Notebook 4, page 62 for procedure on isolating membrane proteins”

  • -OR-

  • “See entry from 03/19/11 for DNA extraction protocol.”

  • Nothing comes out of the notebook

    • Do not remove any data or delete entries

    • Do not remove or skip pages in physical notebooks & cross out any unused parts of a page

  • Correct mistakes, do not remove them

    • Make note of previous entries’ mistakes by referring to them in a present entry

    • Cross out mistakes with a single line/ paste in corrections without covering anything

    • Sign and date all corrections


  • Keeping a laboratory notebook

    Do a search for “Electronic Lab Notebook,”“ELN,” or “Digital Lab Notebook” and you will be flooded with options

    Word- notebook layout

    OneNote

    eCAT

    Lab track

    Labware

    Lab Archives

    Evernote

    Word- notebook layout mode

    OneNote

    Wordpress and other blog sites….

    OpenWetWare

    LabGuru

    Syapse

    iLabber


    Keeping a laboratory notebook

    Notebook Checklist*

    • Did you:

    • Keep up with the table of contents or use continuation notes?

    • Date each entry?

    • Make entry/post promptly?

    • Properly introduce and summarize each experiment?

    • Include complete details of all first-time procedures?

    • Enter all information directly into the notebook or link to external files?

    • Include calculations?

    • *IN PROGRESS- I will post this on the 299 blog.

    • Let’s work on building this checklist throughout the semester- comment freely!!


    Resources

    Resources:

    Guidelines For Recordkeeping in the Intramural Research Program at the NIH, 2008

    Writing the Laboratory Notebook, Kanare, ACS 1985

    Linus Pauling Research Notebooks, http://osulibrary.orst.edu/specialcollections/rnb/index.html

    http://gemsclub.org/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/StrawberryDNAExtra.4395135.pdf

    http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org/career_magazine/previous_issues/articles/2012_09_14/caredit.a1200103

    http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~bioslabs/tools/notebook/notebook.html


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