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Lab Notebook and the Formal Lab Report

A Guide for the Chemistry Student


Purpose: Why have a lab notebook, anyway?

In all fields of science, experimenters keep notebooks. Frequently, it’s the only proof they have to prove they’ve performed an experiment. As a result, it’s vital that lab notebooks be carefully managed so that people doing follow-up experiments can reproduce and verify the data collected.

One of the most important things about lab notebooks is that they’re honest. If you do an experiment and it works out, everything in there needs to be 100% true so that others can follow the lab. If an experiment doesn’t work out, a good lab notebook can save others many hours of time by showing them what doesn’t work in an experiment. No matter what, lab notebooks need to be complete, even if the results are poor.

A Sample Lab Notebook
A Sample Lab Report