Why scan laboratory notebooks?
Laboratory notebooks are very important records of research. They are used by scientists and researchers to document experiments, analyses and findings and not only do they serve as an organisational tool, they can also play a vital part in protecting intellectual property.
Traditionally, laboratory notebooks are bound books with numbered pages. Entries are made with a permanent writing tool such as a ballpoint pen and dates are given for every activity as it is carried out. Many believe that sufficient detail should be entered to enable another scientist to replicate the steps.
Bearing in mind all of the above, it is not difficult to understand why lab books should be scanned and stored electronically. Electronic versions protect the documents from theft, damage, or natural time related degeneration. It also makes it easier for the information to be accessed by other people at any time and from any location in the world.