Documentation: Recommendations

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The documentation of the whole experiment is a shared responsibility between the CF and the user. Make sure you define before the start of the experiment who will document which steps (CF staff or user) to ensure the documentation is complete.

Provide guidance how to document the procedure optimally.

If possible, check that the documentation is complete.

Documentation can be done using a paper notebook, an electronic lab book (ELN) or a combination of both.

Documentation can be improved by using an electronic lab book (ELN). ELNs have multiple advantages over traditional documentation. ELNs ensure documentation is complete, precise, relevant and easy to read. The data is structured, files and images can be uploaded to each entry (no glue…), links and handwritten notes can be added, and cross referencing is easy. Information is organised, easily searched, tagged and retrieved. Entries can be edited and corrected, with an automatic edit and version history of any changes made for integrity. ELNs are flexible, expandable, can be shared, backed up and take less space to store.

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