Laboratory notebook
  • Research findings are recorded in an electronic laboratory notebook
  • Opportunities for discussion and critical feedback among research group members and their peers are organized regularly.

To keep an up-to-date logbook in order to ensure that important decisions, problems and solutions can be easily retrieved.


Executing researcher: 

  • Keep an up-to-date logbook containing all important decisions, problems and solutions.

Project leaders: 

  • Occasionally check whether the logbook is accessible and up-to-date.

Research assistant: N.a.


The idea behind maintaining a logbook is that it can be used to investigate how the study has progressed, and why certain choices or decisions were made. This is useful to you, but it is essential for others who may have to continue your work.

Logbooks are required for recording issues, such as problems and solutions chosen during the data collection and input process; which research assistant worked on this; which controls were carried out and what the results of the controls were; etc. A logbook is also essential for recording important decisions during the study, such as which questionnaires were chosen, and, most importantly, why.


A logbook should at least contain the date, description and reference of important moments, decisions, problems and solutions. see for examples table below.



During team meeting, SF35 questionnaire chosen, because…

Minutes team meeting 15-1-2022


Telephone discussion with Herman (statistician) about randomization. Group randomization instead of individual randomization was chosen, given the people play football in teams.



Research assistant … starts work



Database tested,  findings reported to data manager.

In C:\project football\ Preparation\ database setup.doc


Questionnaire modified! Pilot study showed question 13 was misunderstood

C:\project football\ Preparation\ pilot.doc


Proper recording of research hypotheses, experiments, methodology and observations in an official laboratory notebook is a vital part of laboratory work. This is also essential for demonstrating how potential inventions came about. Below is a set of rules for keeping a laboratory notebook. Basic principles and best practices for keeping a laboratory notebook can also be found online, such as those published by the National Institutes of Health.

  • A laboratory notebook should be digital. Amsterdam UMC uses the eLABJournal Electronic Lab Notebook (Bio-ITech). Contact eln@amc.nl or eln@vumc.nl for more information. Only when there is no digital solution available should research data be recorded in a hard copy official laboratory notebook.
  • Enter into your laboratory notebook all original concepts, data and observations, using separate headings to differentiate each one. Record the date for each entry. Include enough details for someone else to successfully duplicate the work you have recorded.
  • PIs are responsible for the quality of the laboratory notebooks of members of their research group and should check them on a regular basis.
  • Laboratory notebooks should be kept in a safe place and stored for 10 years after the last entry (Amsterdam Research code).