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Articles on Law, Science, and Engineering

Scientific Misconduct: Part 3 - Standards for Scientific Record Keeping (cont'd)


Protecting Notebooks

Its notebooks are basic assets of a laboratory. If these records are lost through fire or theft, the future of the laboratory may be imperiled. Irreplaceable information is lost, publications and patent rights lost, grants cannot be prepared, and fraud and abuse charges cannot be refuted. Laboratory notebooks should be stored in fire-resistant filing cabinets. These cabinets must be locked whenever the office is closed. This provides some protection from fire, sabotage and theft.

Computer records should be copied to removable media, either disks or tape, daily. There should be at least two sets of back-up media. This assures that one set will be preserved if a mistake is made in the back-up process. These sets are alternated, with one being used on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and the other on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. It is better to have a set of backup media for each working day. Most businesses keep at least one set of back-up media in a different building from the computer. A duplicated backup is made on this remote set at least once a week to prevent a complete loss of information if the building is destroyed.

Previous -- Custodian of Notebooks


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