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.


While SBC has gone virtual in 2020-2021, all students submitting an experimental project are still required to complete lab journals. You must submit your journal by scanning your journal pages and assembling your journal in one PDF file, uploading it along with your other materials when you finalize your project submission. Learn about what final documents you must submit here.

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

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!

  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: You must have your mentor review your lab book prior to submitting it to SBC and attest to this fact in your registration form. SBC organizers may conduct spot checks by contacting mentors to confirm that they have reviewed your lab journal.