Research Notebooks

icipe Research Notebooks


icipe Research Notebooks are issued by the Information Resource Centre (Library). All research staff with an icipe payroll/staff number, or a student with a current contract with icipe, can obtain a Research Notebook.

icipe Research Notebooks are available in A4 and A5 sizes, at $12 each. Each Notebook has a unique identification number.

  1. A registered library user can request a Research Notebook by sending an email with the following information to the IRC (Library) Coordinator:
    • Your full name
    • Supervisor’s name
    • Budget code to be charged.
    • Notebook size required (A4 or A5)
    • Station (Duduville or ITOC Mbita)
  2. The IRC (Library) Coordinator will acknowledge your request and send you the identification number of the Notebook to be issued.
  3. If you are based at Duduville, collect the Notebook from the library. If you are based at ITOC Mbita, collect from the Station Manager (a stock of Notebooks will be kept by the Station Manager).
  4. The Research Notebook will be recorded by the library as a borrowed item against your name.


  1. All Research Notebooks are the property of icipe and must be returned to the library when no longer required or when the employee/student departs icipe.
  2. A departing research staff/student will not be cleared without returning all library items, including Research Notebooks.
  3. All Research Notebooks returned to the library will then be placed on permanent loan to the relevant Theme Leader.

Lost Notebooks

A lost Notebook must be immediately reported as follows:

  1. Prepare a report, giving
    • The identification number of the Notebook
    • Date of issue
    • Name of your icipe primary supervisor
    • Details of how, where and when the Notebook was lost, and your attempts to recover the book.
    • A summary of the contents of the Notebook
    • Details of any copy/backup made
    • How the loss will affect the research project(s), and the measures required to replace the loss of data.
    • Details of any publications or theses that contained data recorded in the Notebook.
  2. Sign and date the report.
  3. Get the report approved, signed and dated by your icipe supervisor. The supervisor may add further information to the report in an Appendix.
  4. Scan the report and send copies to your icipe primary supervisor, Theme Leader, the Director of Research and Partnerships, IRC (Library) Coordinator, and Head - CB&ID. Give the original report to the IRC (Library) Coordinator, who will record in your library account that the Notebook loss has been correctly reported.

icipe’s rules on how to use Research Notebooks

  1. Complete the registration section (inside front cover) as soon as you collect your notebook.
  2. Write your name, department and mobile number in indelible black marker pen on the front cover. Write your name on the spine.
  3. The notebook enables you to prove conception by recording a complete and operative methods to accomplish a result. Therefore, you must record sufficient details for this purpose.
  4. The materials and methods used should be explained and illustrated in enough detail to enable others to repeat the procedure.
  5. Each entry should include a brief and accurate statement of purpose.
  6. Record both favourable and unfavourable results.
  7. Any conclusions should be clearly stated along with their supporting evidence.
  8. All entries must be neatly written and clearly legible.
  9. Entries must be written using solvent-resistant permanent ink. Ball-point pens are suitable. Do not use pencil.
  10. Record data directly into your notebook. Do record your work in a ‘rough notebook’ before transcribing to a Research Notebook later.
  11. Create a Table of Contents on the first few pages (the first 6 pages of the notebook are designed as a table of contents).
  12. Every page must include the title and date at the top.
  13. All pages in the Notebook are numbered. Use pages in consecutive order.
  14. Make entries in chronological order.
  15. For multi-page entries – the prior or next pages should be indicated as necessary. This is especially important for multiple-page entries for a single exercise that are not recorded on consecutive pages.
  16. Affixed materials should be securely taped into the notebook without covering any of the written entry.
  17. Sign and date affixed material such that the signature is partially on the notebook and partially on the affixed material.
  18. All drawings should be made in pen with enough detail to clearly illustrate the objects viewed. These drawings can be embellished using colour pens when appropriate.
  19. Initial and date any corrections.
  20. Mistakes should be struck out using a single thin line. Do not erase any part of an entry: draw a line through the material so that the original material can still be easily discerned.
  21. Do not change drawings in the notebook. Make new ones.
  22. Do not tear out pages or remove affixed material.
  23. Do not leave empty spaces – if you skip a page or part of a page, draw a cross-diagonal line through the blank portion.
  24. Each page of your notebook must be signed and dated upon completion.
  25. Upon completion, each entry should be read, understood, and witnessed by your supervisor.
  26. You must regularly (weekly) scan, photograph, or photocopy your notebook as a backup. Keep the backup in a secure place, separate from the original. One easy way to backup is to take photos with a smartphone that is configured to auto-backup with Google Photos, a free app with unlimited cloud storage.