Since the early days of space exploration, Starfleet has endeavored to keep accurate records of space activates, both for historical and legal purposes. Evolving from the Earth Starfleet concept of a “Starlog”, modern day Starfleet Logs encompass every aspect of Starfleet operations and, when necessary, may be utilized to provide a detailed account of any given event or period for the purposes of review or investigation.
Starfleet logs are recorded into the main computer system of a given Starfleet station through use of either a handheld tricorder or by speaking directly to the computer via audio interface. A log entry created via tricorder
All logs are dated via Stardate, with the exception of additional log entries, made afterwards related to earlier entries, which are referred to as “Supplemental Logs”.
Logs are maintained on site in a Starfleet station’s computer for a period of five years, before being transferred to the Archival Records Division of the Memory Prime Records Center on Earth. In an emergency, recorded log entries may be transcribed onto a computer database disk and jettisoned from a starship, starbase, or outpost via a modified probe known as a “Log Buoy”, "Recorder Marker", or "Disaster Beacon". Starship Log Buoy
Duty logs, also known as “Watch Logs” or “Deck Logs”, are twenty four hour continuous recordings of actions performed at a particular watch station. Duty logs are considered more “nuts and bolts” than other types of logs; in that duty logs may contain several entries an hour pertaining to executed mission orders or other such activates. Duty logs also pertain more often than not to technical aspects of ship or station operations; these may include onboard system status changes, shuttle launches and recoveries, and any change in the onboard alert status.
The two most common types of Duty Logs are the Starship Navigation Log and Quarterdeck Watch Log. The Navigation Log is a complete listing of all course and navigational changes made by a starship while underway, while a Quarterdeck Watch Log records all actions and activities on the ship’s bridge.
The helm of a starship, from which the Navigation Log is recorded
For docked ships and shore stations, the Quarterdeck Log is more ceremonial, maintained at an established entrance to the command, such as an airlock, which serves as the “In-Port” Quarterdeck.
Duty logs are also maintained at every regular watch station of any Starfleet unit. Duty Logs are maintained by the “Duty Officer” who must maintain the watch and the log until properly relieved by another qualified individual.
A variety of officer logs exist, normally annotated by the status and position of the officer. The primary types of officer logs are:
Division Officer’s Log: Maintained by officers in charge of a division.
Department Head’s Log: Maintained by department head officers.
Executive Officer's Log: Maintained by the second in command of a Starfleet unit.
Chief Petty Officer’s Log: Maintained by the leading Chief Petty Officer of a department or division.
Petty Officer’s Log: Maintained by a Division Leading Petty Officer.
Most Starfleet junior officers are required to maintain a Division Officer's Log
The above log types may be further annotated by the specific titles of the individual log. For instance, the Department Head in charge of Engineering would annotate their log as “Chief Engineer’s Log”, the division office in charge of Astrophysics as “Astrophysics Officer’s Log”, and so forth.
Two additional special categories of officer logs exist, these being the logs of Recruiters and Flag Officers. The logs of recruiters, which primarily pertain to active recruiting cases underway in respective recruiting offices, are known simply as a “Recruiter’s Log”.
Flag Officer logs are divided into three separate categories determined by the seniority of the flag officer in question: the Commodore’s Log, Admiral’s Log, and Fleet Admiral’s Log.
Starfleet members are encouraged to make weekly entries into Personal Logs, if not daily. Personal logs are also the only type of Starfleet log which may be subsequently modified or deleted by the creating service member.
Nearly every piece of Starfleet equipment is monitored by its own Equipment Log; however, some of the more important Equipment Logs include the Communications Log, monitoring all transmissions to and from a Starfleet starship or installation, the Transporter Log, monitoring all transporter activity, and the Replicator Log which records all items ordered for creation from a Starfleet Replicator.