Who Owns "Your" Notebook?

Who Owns "Your" Notebook?

Many students are surprised to learn that they don't actually own their research notebook. Depending on the institution's rules, your PI might not even own it--it could be considered property of your college or university.

Some PIs are fine with students making their own copies of a notebook at the end of their research experience, but others are not. Regardless, most will require you to leave the original copies in the lab for a variety of reasons.

If your research mentor or PI hasn't specifically addressed who has official ownership of your notebook, make a point to ask before the end of the semester. It's not critical information--because the answer won't change your research life--but you should still know the answer.