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Make your notebook as efficient and accurate as possible. Some more common tips include:
*Use permanent ink.
*Initial and date every page.
*Leave a blank page or two in the beginning for a Table of Contents.
*Draw only a single line through all errors.
*Create a table of chemicals & relevant properties with each experiment.
*Record any equipment or software used to generate your data.
*Record what you have done.
*Record all observations and explanations of why they happened.
*Be descriptive with titles & headings.
*Start a new page for each experiment.
*At the end of each lab, ask yourself, "Can I recreate this experiment/my results with what I have written down?"
Adapted from "Organizing your lab notebook"
This guide will link you to the following:
For Every Result, Keep Track of How It Was Produced
Avoid Manual Data Manipulation Steps
Archive the Exact Versions of All External Programs Used
Version Control All Custom Scripts
Record All Intermediate Results, When Possible in Standardized Formats
For Analyses That Include Randomness, Note Underlying Random Seeds
Always Store Raw Data behind Plots
Generate Hierarchical Analysis Output, Allowing Layers of Increasing Detail to Be Inspected
Connect Textual Statements to Underlying Results
Provide Public Access to Scripts, Runs, and Results
Sandve GK, Nekrutenko A, Taylor J, Hovig E. Ten Simple Rules for Reproducible Computational Research. Bourne PE, ed. PLoS Computational Biology. 2013;9(10):e1003285. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003285.
For more information on managing your data please see "Best Practices for Managing Research Data"