Electronic Logbooks

Our lab uses RSpace, which can be found at researchspace.com.  We discourage the use of paper logbooks.  If you must use a paper logbook, please scan it periodically and upload the scan to RSpace.  Also, please make sure all your field and lab notes are shared, so everyone in the group can review them, and so they survive longer than any one of us in our research team.

To set up an RSpace account

  1. Ask Seth to send you an invite to our RSpace group.
  2. After you receive the email invite, click on the link, set up an account (use Utah State University as your institution) and then log in.  When you first log in, click on the pop-up that asks you to accept the invitation.

How RSpace works for our group:

  • All of our notebooks and folders are shared within our LabGroup, which is called Bingham Research Center.  You can access these folders by clicking the Workspace tab (unless you are already in that tab), then clicking Shared>LabGroups>Bingham Research Center_SHARED.  
    • If you want to access our group's shared folders more easily, click on the checkbox next to the Bingham Research Center_SHARED folder, then click the Add to Favorites button that appears.  Now when you log in, you just have to click the star on the toolbar at the top, and the shared folder will appear, in which will be all our subfolders and notebooks.  
    • This is where you can view all the notebooks and entries and documents saved by all users.  You can also edit other people's entries, unless they have signed them and made them uneditable.  All versions of each entry or document will be saved.
  • If you want to make a new shared notebook or add an entry to an existing shared notebook, you have to (1) create the notebook or document and then (2) share the document into the correct folder and/or notebook.  All of the entries and notebooks you make will be saved in your own folder, and they will also appear in the shared folder.  So, over time, you will accumulate a lot of documents in your own folder that won't be neatly categorized.  To manage this, you might want to make a folder in your Workspace called YourName_Shared, and save all your shared documents into that folder.

To add a logbook entry

  • Navigate to the place in your Workspace where you save your shared notebooks and entries.
  • Click CREATE in the blue tab, and then select the thing you want to create.
    • Notebooks are collections of Documents or entries.  We want to have one notebook for each air quality monitoring station, each major piece of lab instrumentation, and each separate field measurement campaign.  You might also want to make a notebook for a method development project you are working on, etc. Functionally, there is little difference between a folder and a notebook.  Notebooks just have that nifty notebook icon, which makes them niftier.
    • Documents are what actually contains information about what you did, what you analyzed, etc.  You can:
      • Create a Basic Document, which is pretty much like working in Microsoft Word.
        • Sometimes when I click CREATE, I haven't seen the Basic Document option.  If that happens, I click From Form, and it gives me the Basic Document option in the window that pops up.
      • Make a form or template and then open it and fill it in (see below for more information about that)
      • Upload a Microsoft Word document from your computer
    • If you create a document, it will take you to the screen where you can edit it.  
      • You can add images or make sketches or upload files, or do all kinds of other things.  
      • Be sure to give your document a useful title.  It is a good idea to include the date and your initials in the title.
      • Be sure to save your document by clicking SAVE in the blue bar at the top when you are finished.
  • Once you have created your notebook or document, you need to share it and associate it with the correct shared folder or notebook. To do this: 
    1. Click on the checkbox next to the your document or notebook.  A number of buttons will appear below the blue bar. 
    2. Click the Share button.
    3. Select the Bingham Research Center group, and choose which permission level you want to give.  
    4. Select "choose a folder or notebook," and then navigate to the correct folder or notebook by clicking on the folder and notebook icons that appear.
    5.  Click the Share button.  Now your document or notebook is shared with the group.

Using templates and forms

  • Many studies show that people to a better job at their work if they have checklists to work from.  They may seem tedious, but they can help you do good work and have peace of mind.  You are encouraged to make a template or form in RSpace that you go through each time you make an entry.  The template or form will work as a checklist, allowing you to verify and record that you have done everything you need for a successful site visit or field data collection day, or analytical run.  You can find information about how to make templates and forms here:  

Other things to consider

  • RSpace saves each version of your document and any changes you make, and it saves changes automatically.  If you want to save your entry permanently so no more changes can be made, while you are in the entry edit mode, click Sign from the blue toolbar.
  • You can export an entry, notebook, or entire folders by clicking on the checkbox next to them and choosing Export from the buttons that pop up.  You can export as HTML, PDF, or Microsoft Word.
  • You can find information about RSpace and how to use it here:  https://www.researchspace.com/help-and-support-resources/faqs/.  You can find other support by clicking on the Help tab after you log in.