Whether you’re The Doctor, living the rock star life on the edge forefront of Time Lord Physicists or you are the Jane Goodall of the Fae, introducing the world to the wonders of faerie society, your scientific journal is a crucial part of documenting your research. It is also the single most important component of an entry to any scientific exposition. As Dr. Joanne Rebbeck shared in her article, What Makes a Great Science Lab Notebook for ScienceBuddies.com, “It is a detailed account of every phase of your project, from the initial brainstorming to the final research report. The lab notebook is proof that certain activities occurred at specific times”.
So what makes a great scientific journal for the turn of the century scientific exposition documenting real and pseudo science?
Well first remember that while you need to label your journal it needs to be anonymous for judging. It should be sturdy enough to weather your investigations and period enough that it wouldn’t stand out at a turn of the century scientific exhibition. Don’t forget to leave a few blank pages so you can put a table of contents in the front if necessary.
Every good journal dates its entries.Your notes should be brief and concise. You should include your thoughts, hypothesis, your testing methods, your failures, your successes. It is not a novel with full sentences. It will include notes, diagrams, supply lists and observations. Your notes should document all phases of your research. If you have loose papers, make sure they are securely attached to the pages of your journal. Include your cash register receipts, photographs, etc.