ASTM E177 - 14

    Standard Practice for Use of the Terms Precision and Bias in ASTM Test Methods

    Active Standard ASTM E177 | Developed by Subcommittee: E11.20

    Book of Standards Volume: 14.02


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    Significance and Use

    4.1 Part A of the “Blue Book,” Form and Style for ASTM Standards, requires that all test methods include statements of precision and bias. This practice discusses these two concepts and provides guidance for their use in statements about test methods.

    4.2 Precision—A statement of precision allows potential users of a test method to assess in general terms the test method's usefulness with respect to variability in proposed applications. A statement of precision is not intended to exhibit values that can be exactly duplicated in every user's laboratory. Instead, the statement provides guidelines as to the magnitude of variability that can be expected between test results when the method is used in one, or in two or more, reasonably competent laboratories. For a discussion of precision, see 8.1.

    4.3 Bias—A statement of bias furnishes guidelines on the relationship between a set of typical test results produced by the test method under specific test conditions and a related set of accepted reference values (see 9.1).

    4.3.1 An alternative term for bias is trueness, which has a positive connotation, in that greater bias is associated with less favorable trueness. Trueness is the systematic component of accuracy.

    4.4 Accuracy—The term “accuracy,” used in earlier editions of Practice E177, embraces both precision and bias (see 9.3).

    1. Scope

    1.1 The purpose of this practice is to present concepts necessary to the understanding of the terms “precision” and “bias” as used in quantitative test methods. This practice also describes methods of expressing precision and bias and, in a final section, gives examples of how statements on precision and bias may be written for ASTM test methods.

    1.2 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory requirements prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    E456 Terminology Relating to Quality and Statistics

    E691 Practice for Conducting an Interlaboratory Study to Determine the Precision of a Test Method

    E1488 Guide for Statistical Procedures to Use in Developing and Applying Test Methods

    E2282 Guide for Defining the Test Result of a Test Method

    E2586 Practice for Calculating and Using Basic Statistics

    E2587 Practice for Use of Control Charts in Statistical Process Control


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 19.020 (Test conditions and procedures in general)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/E0177-14

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