Step 1


Documentation is the idea of documenting your procedures for your experiment so that an outsider could understand the workings of your lab.

This can include where your results and working data are saved. Copy your lab notebook if you have one onto a digital format and save it to a safe place (such as research storage).

Make sure these are saved somewhere that’s accessible to your supervisor/team.

Note: Highlight that it can be as simple as a word document on research space or taking photos of your lab notebook and uploading them into a folder.

Have you got a new staff member coming onboard to your team? They are a prime candidate to collate information and document as it will help them become familiar to the team and learn how the lab/team works.

Bus Factor

Note: Ideally you want to document anything that a lab member coming on board would need to know. Documentation is all about changing your Bus Factor - how many people on a project would need to be hit by a bus to make a project fail. Many times, projects can have a bus factor of one. Adding documentation means when someone goes on leave, needs to take leave suddenly or finishes their study, their work is preserved for your lab.

Documentation will also be important for any audits in your lab or if someone would like to reproduce your research.

Documentation is a love letter to your future self

Damian Conway





Internal Resources

External Resources

British Ecology Reproducibility Book

How to start Documenting and more by CESSDA ERIC

Software Carpentry Git Workshop

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