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Laboratory notebook: Its roles and functions

jean pierre fumey



cahier de laboratoire role et fonctions

The laboratory notebook is a very important document also called “black book” by professionals and teams especially of an innovative company. It has essential functions, which it is interesting to specify in the context of an article devoted to it. Here they are in detail.

What is a laboratory notebook?

The laboratory notebook has many names, Black book, experience notebook or even manipulation notebook, it allows you to keep a very precise written record of various stages and other methodologies of research work. The laboratory notebook makes it possible to get background information on innovation or invention. In particular during the development process of a program, process or a product for example. It’s an essential tool that is both inexpensive and efficient.

A scientific logbook

The black book can be compared to a form of a scientific logbook. This appears as a digital or paper notebook, depending on the company choice. The laboratory notebook then includes a complete and chronological written record that traces the history of research work. Most often, the notebook begins with the initial ideas and fills up as the work progresses, and ends when it is finalized.

We can consider the laboratory notebook as legal evidence in litigation. For this, it must follow various formalities required by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research. In this context, these institutions collaborate with various public research organizations. The laboratory notebook must be identified by a specific identification number. Its users and owners must be clearly identified. In addition, each footer must reserve a free space to date, number and sign it. Finally, the ink must be ingrained and the pages must not have been torn off.

The different uses of the laboratory notebook

As you will understand, the laboratory notebook is a tool that supports innovation documents its different processes. It is inseparable from the invention itself and can have different advantages for the company that writes it. But what are the subsequent uses of the laboratory notebook?

What are the uses of the black book?

The black book includes several utilities, which make it such an important and interesting tool. First of all, it should be emphasized that it is not only a scientific logbook. It also constitutes proof in the event of litigation or patent filing. The notebook makes it possible to prove the date of acquisition of knowledge in a valid way, but also to prove the originality of innovation or an invention.

In addition, innovative SMEs use the black book in the Research and Development department. This document promotes the transmission of knowledge between different professional bodies working on a project such as Engineers, researchers, technicians, doctoral students, interns, etc.

The different elements that the black book records about an invention make it easier to understand the process of filing a patent. In addition, the notebook itself makes it possible to simplify the drafting of a patent as well as the procedures to obtain it.

Lab notebooks are excellent tools to facilitate partnerships. They are generally used to estimate the different technical and scientific contributions of each company. But also to specify the resources committed within collaborations and partnerships.

Jean-Pierre is a polyglot communication specialist, freelance journalist, and writer for with over two decades of experience in media and public relations. He creates engaging content, manages communication campaigns, and attends conferences to stay up-to-date with the latest trends. He brings his wealth of experience and expertise to provide insightful analysis and engaging content for's audience.

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