Module 2 – The Research Notebook
The type of research that you conduct will determine the specific tools that will be required. Projects in material sciences may use strain gauges or electron microscopes, those conducting computer simulations use specialized software, while someone working in aerodynamics may use a wind tunnel. While these are all simplistic examples, the most important tool you will use is even simpler and more important: a research notebook.
Your notebook is your key resource for your research project. It is the main location of documentation for your work. Every time you do something related to your research, you should make a note of it in the notebook. Never rely on your memory for what you did each day. The research notebook can also serve as a reference for others, in case someone needs to recreate your experiment. Finally, some day you may discover something which you would like to patent. Your research notebook will serve a proof of when you first conceived your idea, and the steps you took to develop it.