At Sanofi Biogenius Canada, great research means keeping great records. And you’ll need a well documented lab journal to succeed. A scientist’s lab journal is a comprehensive record of everything connected with his
or her research. It is a written proof of the procedures, observations and results of ongoing research and a place to document new ideas and approaches. In fact, it can be crucial if there’s ever a dispute over patents or intellectual property.

journal recommendation

Each SBC participant is required to submit a lab journal for evaluation during the competition. Below, you’ll find some standard procedures for lab journals common to most institutions, along with a list of content that SBC judges will be looking for. Remember: your lab journal content makes up a good portion of the judges’ evaluation!

Lab Journal Format

The type of lab journal we’re looking for can be easily purchased at stores such as Staples/Bureau en Gros or Office Depot. We recommend a Blueline Hardcover Flush-cut Composition Book (7 ¼” x 9 ¼”), but digital lab journals are also acceptable.

Lab Book


Laboratory Journal Checklist

  1. Before you begin any entries, number every page of your lab book consecutively in the upper right-hand corner of each page. Do not leave out any pages.
  2. Date every page of the book as you use it.
  3. Start a new page for each different experiment or project.
  4. Glue a copy of the experimental procedure or protocol in the notebook before the first time you use that procedure.
  5. Write down any observations you have during the experiment as soon as you notice them.
  6. Glue diagrams and photos in at the appropriate place and initial the corner of the photo or diagram.
  7. If you make a mistake, cross it out with a single stroke and initial it. Do not remove any pages from the book. Do not use white out or liquid paper.
  8. Do not leave empty pages between experiments. Just write “continued on page ##” where you end and “continued from page ##” where you begin again.
  9. If you are using kits in your protocols, make a summary in your lab book showing that you know what is happening.
  10. Include enough details so that others could repeat your experiments with or without kits. You are marking a trail for others to follow.
  11. Ensure your results are properly recorded as soon as the experiment is done.

IMPORTANT: Have your mentor sign the lab book indicating that he or she has seen it.