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Improving Re-Use of Informal Information Through the Creation of an Engineering Electronic Logbook (EEL): A Demonstrator

[+] Author Affiliations
Hamish C. McAlpine, Ben Hicks, Stephen Culley

University of Bath, Bath, UK

Paper No. DETC2009-87308, pp. 843-850; 8 pages
  • ASME 2009 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 2: 29th Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, Parts A and B
  • San Diego, California, USA, August 30–September 2, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4899-9 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3856-3
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


Electronic logbooks (e-logbooks or e-notebooks) are used extensively in other domains — most notably the pharmaceutical industry — to good effect. However, despite a number of attempts over the last decade, engineers have resisted making the transition from their trusted paper logbooks. Reasons for this include a lack of understanding about how and why engineers use logbooks and a lack of appropriate software and hardware. In order to explore these issues, user-centric studies of engineers and their logbooks have been undertaken. From these studies a set of fundamental requirements have been developed that provide the basis for the creation of an Engineering Electronic Logbook (EEL). A demonstrator based on the Tablet PC platform to evaluate the information management aspects these requirements is then presented, together with details of how it is currently being evaluated. The contribution of this paper is a new information management strategy for e-logbooks — which has been derived from analysing existing paper-based logbooks and the note-taking practices of engineers — and its embodiment in a demonstrator for evaluation.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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