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Reply to Comments on EURACHEM/CITAC Guide "Measurement uncertainty arising from sampling" Accreditation and Quality Assurance

Springer Verlag
Publication Date
  • Chemistry


The Eurachem/CITAC Guide on `Measurement uncertainty arising from sampling describes a number of methods and approaches that can be used for the estimation of this uncertainty. A recent comment upon this Guide by Wilrich questions the expression of the measurement uncertainty in a form that is relative to the concentration, rather than just as an absolute number (i.e. as relative expanded uncertainty rather than expanded uncertainty), in one of the worked examples. This reply argues that the measurement results from the `duplicate method cannot reliably distinguish between constant standard deviation and constant relative standard deviation over the range observed in the example and that the most appropriate model must accordingly rely on prior knowledge. Since extensive prior knowledge indicates that the precision of sampling and of chemical analysis both tend to increase as a function of concentration, the body of the Guide recommends expression as a relative standard deviation. It is acknowledged that this assumption should be restated with the results of the worked examples as well as in its current position in the main body of the text, in a future edition of the Guide.

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