Importance of record keeping The recording of data is an essential part of experimentation. In laboratory courses, science and engineering students are generally required to keep records-usually in a laboratory notebook. After graduation, in research laboratories or other scienti‹c or technical work environments, this practice is continued. However, in the work environment, in addition to its obvious importance for scienti‹c purposes, good record keeping takes on added importance for legal purposes. In industrial research laboratories, researchers are generally required to keep a daily record of their experiments in a laboratory notebook. The notebook then provides an important legal as well as technical record of the work that was done and the experiments performed. Properly kept, the laboratory notebook may later serve as legal evidence to establish rights to discoveries made in the laboratory.