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Name: Courtney H.
Status: student
Age: 14
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999-2001

How do you write a log book for a science fair project?


Make a running list of the date and time of everything you do as you prepare for and complete your project. Be sure to include the reasons why you did each step and remember to make notes on everything you learned (that you did not already know) along the way. Good luck!


A scientific "log book" also called a "research notebook" is a written record of a scientist's research. It must meet some rigorous requirements:

1. The book should be permanently bound, not loose leaf or spiral bound. That is so pages cannot be lost or removed. Each page has a page number PRINTED on the page, so pages cannot be substituted. Each scientist has a book and each book is assigned a number.

2. Entries are made on consecutive pages -- no skipping around. Entries are made with black, permanent ink. Black ball point pen is O.K. Any skipped pages, or parts of pages are 'X-ed' out so no later entries can be made without being detected. Each page is signed and dated by the scientist. Each page is witnessed by another scientist that is not directly connected to the research, but who has the knowledge to be able to attest that, " This material was read and understood by me." The witness signs and dates each page he/she witnesses. This should be done at least every week.

3. The book is kept in a secure place, and care must be taken not to have anything spilled on the book, or otherwise damaged.

4. Ideas, as well as data, are entered. New ideas, or especially important data should be witnessed immediately.

There are other requirements, especially now when so much data is recorded electronically, but the above will give you the idea of the importance of the "log book".

Vince Calder

The best thing is probably to use a search engine (e.g., or and enter the textbook title and the word "review". Here are some general links:

The American Association for the Advancement of Science has some textbook evaluations study as part of their initiative "Project 2061". See, and particularly

For some really scathing reviews (e.g., "This book is junk!"), see

Tim Mooney

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