I recently started my science notebook/diary/journal in preparation for a local science fair. I accidentally realized my issue into numbering the pages on the left side TOO. Do I cross it out or redo, and if not, what do I do?

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  • 2
    What does TOO stand for? Commented yesterday
  • @RichardHardy I'd guess that it's just caps for emphasis and not a TLA.
    – Bobson
    Commented yesterday
  • 3
    @Bobson, thanks for another acronym, or TFAA for short :) Commented yesterday

1 Answer 1


You are overthinking this.

Your science notebook should be a reliable uneditable record of your day to day observations. As long as you date entries and don't cross anything out or erase anything it does not really matter how the pages are numbered.

You could write a comment in your the book today that on June 10 you discovered you have misnumbered pages but that none of your entries (past or future) will depend on the page numbering.

You have nothing to worry about. Just do the science as best you can.

Edit in response to comments, many of which are concerned with patent legalities. I think they are not central (partcularly for a science fair project).

The point of the uneditable science notebook is primarily to keep you scientifically honest and able to demonstrate that honesty. It records your false starts as well as your good insights. It makes it impossible (at least in principle) to ignore data that does not support your theories.

  • 4
    In the old days one never would deface one’s notebook that way unless you wanted a long talk with the patent lawyers.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented 2 days ago
  • 2
    When you cross out in a notebook, cross out with a single line so the original remains legible, and date and initial the correction. Commented yesterday
  • 1
    @JonCuster If you're in any situation where a patent lawyer would have cause to look at the notebook, one would hope that the people footing the bill would "splurge" on pre-numbered notebooks.
    – R.M.
    Commented yesterday
  • 8
    Notebooks have become much less important for patents since the US changed from "first to invent" to "first to file" Commented yesterday

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