Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
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Engineering Notebook Changes


The Patents and the Engineering Notebook entry in the REC library states:

  • Witness signatures are no longer necessary because the notebook is not used for patent or legal reasons.
  • Crossing out unused parts of a page is no longer necessary because there is no need to show that nothing was added after the page was created.
  • Bound paper notebooks written in ink are no longer necessary because edits are now okay. Digital notebooks are now a valid option.

It also seems to imply that it's no longer necessary to date entries. The RECF ENB templates don't include spaces for witness signatures nor dates.

Yet the 2023-2024 Guide to Judging states:

Engineering Notebooks should contain these elements: [...]

  • Errors crossed out using a single line (so errors can be seen)
  • Unedited entries
  • All pages intact; no pages or parts of pages removed.
  • Each page/entry chronologically numbered and dated.

Can you please clarify the contradictions:

  1. Are witness signatures required? (I don't see anything requiring this, but it's a change from how it's been done forever and I want to be sure.)
  2. Are edits permitted?
  3. Are timestamps required?
Answered by Competition Judging Committee

The "Patents and the Engineering Notebook" entry in the REC library refers to the Engineering Notebook and how it relates to the patent application process, and its history as a legal document within that process. This article is not intended to provide guidance on how notebooks are evaluated and judged for REC Foundation events.

Please reference the Engineering Notebook section of the Guide to Judging for specific guidance on how notebooks are evaluated at events.