What is a lab notebook?

A lab notebook is a notebook designed specifically for scientists and researchers in the lab. Lab notebooks have a layout that is designed to organize and standardize the way research is recorded and repeated. Lab notebooks also have specific physical requirements such as permanent binding and archival papers, to ensure the book is durable and the research remains intact for years to come. 


What is the best layout for my use?

Our standard and most popular layout is our Grid layout (5mm). It is robust enough to work in virtually any situation, we especially recommend the Grid layout for students. Grid+ and Dot Grid layouts offer additional layout features on each page, primarily signature and date blocks, these layouts are great for professional research and ISO certified labs. 


What is the standard book for students?

We recommend our softcover or standard hardcover notebooks with our standard Grid layout for students.



Advantages of an Index and Numbered Pages?

All Vela lab notebooks contain an index and printed page numbers on every page. Lab notebooks require a number for every page, pre numbering the pages for the user saves time and prevents counting errors. An index in the front of the book helps to organize the remainder of the book for the current researcher and for future reference. 


Whats the difference between Grid and Grid+?

Grid+ has additional signature and date blocks on every page. These are necessary for many professional ISO certified labs. 


Why 9.25 x 11.75 inch pages?

This size page allows for maximized writing space, and also makes taping printed 8.5 x 11 pages into the lab notebook much easier. 

What is the spacing on your ruled books?

We use a close variation of college rule. 


Whats the spacing on your grids?

All grids are 5mm, approximately 0.197 inches. 



What is permanent binding? 

Permanent binding is a type of sewn binding that ensures several things, primarily that the pages will never fall out and that it will be very apparent if pages are tampered with (this is called tamper-evident). In addition, permanent sewn-binding allows for the most lay-flat pages possible. 



What does archival quality mean?

Archival quality is a term that denotes certain material and construction standards that will ensure the book will remain intact and unchanged in use and in storage. 


What does lay-flat sewn softcover mean?

Vela softcovers use a special sewn binding in addition to a floating, double spine. This double spine allows for additional durability and allows the book to lay even more flat. 



What does 70lb paper mean? How does it compare to other notebooks?

70lb (105 gsm) represents the thickness of the paper utilized in Vela lab notebooks. Standard school notebooks generally use 40lb paper, and most lab notebooks use 50lb-60lb paper (lower numbers being thinner sheets). We use a thicker weight paper to reduce ink bleed through, show through, and to allow for a more lasting, permanent notebook. 

What is the difference between Standard Hardcover, ProCover, & Duracover?

We offer three types of covers for hardcovers. Our standard hardcover is a printed cover that is then laminated with a matte, scuff-resistant laminate. ProCovers use a more durable, professional look synthetic leather material, while DuraCovers utilize a tight geometric patterned cloth cover that offers the most durability of all our cover options. 


 What is Acid-Free?

When a paper is made acid-free it prevents the breakdown of the paper, allowing the paper to be archived and remain intact with no yellowing for years to come. 


What are ECF and SFI Certifications?

Elemental chlorine free (ECF) is a technique that uses chlorine dioxide for the bleaching of wood pulp. It does not use elemental chlorine gas during the bleaching process and prevents the formation of dioxins and dioxin-like compounds and carcinogens. Sustainable Foresty Certified papersmeets the standards of the SFI, an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management.



How to make my book lay more flat?

Books open up more and more with use, this is especially true with our books. When you remove your book from the shrinkwrap open and close the book putting light pressure on the spine. After, open to every 20 pages or so and press down on the pages, this opens up the binding and allows the book to lay considerably flatter and will not cause any damage to the book. 


How to label/write on our standard cover?

We recommend metallic permanent markers for directly writing on our standard covers. If labeling, use a permanent, waterproof, archival quality label with archival, acid-free inks. 


What pens are recommended for our books?

We recommend archival pigment based inks. Archival ink will not fade or rub away and pigmented ink will minimize ink show through, as pigmented ink sits on top of the paper rather than absorbing into it - like traditional ink would. We offer a selection of such pens in our catalog seen here. 


How to adhere printed matter into my book?

Archival, permanent adhesives are recommended. We recommend tape for ease of use. See our catalog for current adhesive options. 

How to store your lab notebook?

Whenever possible store lab notebooks in room temperature, low humidity conditions. Large variations in temperature and humidity may cause the book to warp.