Are judges allowed to check version history?

I’ve found that many judges prefer hard-copy notebooks due to inability for a team to delete, rearrange, or edit slides/pages. In a digital notebook, this can be easily done. In order to prove that entries were not modified, are judges allowed to check the notebook’s version history? In case it’s helpful, my team is using Google Slides.


Uhm i would assume that they could but what our team does is that we Export our journal as a PDF so that its just alot easier to send and open on any device and we digitaly sighn the bottom of each page and we use a digital timestap to prove that it was actually done on that date and not modified afterwards


It is not expected for Judges to review version history of digital document. However, it is a good practice to not edit a page after the fact, just move on, create a new page and explain what you learned that prompted to correct the prior entry. That is actually pretty authentic process.


How do you do digital timestamps? Unless you’re talking about just typing the date on the page.

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With Google products, you cannot see the version history unless you are the editor of the document. Unless you made the judges editor of the document (only by letting EVERYONE be an editor) then they have no way to check the version history.

If you use EDEN, it maintains timestamps and does not let you go back and edit. In that sense, it’s more secure than a paper notebook. You can write any date you want in the notebook. You can’t do that in EDEN. As a classroom teacher that grades notebooks, I LOVE that feature.

However, the judges use other clues in the notebook to make sure that you did the work in the order that you say that you did. Also, they don’t have a ton of time to grade your notebook, so even if they could, they probably wouldn’t.


There is no longer a “bound notebook” bonus, so timestamps are not necessary. The only thing the rubric mentions is that entries should be in the order of the design process, which can be demonstrated by writing the date on entries


Another point to understand is that the judges’ preference for hard-copy notebooks is a moot point. Events are NOT allowed to mix hard-copy and digital notebooks. If an event specifies hard-copies, then ALL submitted notebooks must be hard-copies. Digital notebooks will NOT be reviewed. Conversely, if an event specifies digital notebooks, hard-copy notebooks will NOT be reviewed.


Do you have a full copy of the judge’s rubric? Also, do you know if the rubric changes often and how to get newer updates when they drop?

The engineering notebook rubric can be found in the RECF library- here’s a link:

It doesn’t change every year, but when it does it usually is updated in the summer before the new competition season stsrts

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Specifically, it will be updated with the Guide to Judging later this summer. This was discussed during the EP Summit this week, likely to be discussed during the Coaches Summit next.

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