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**Abstract**

This practice presents rules for accepting or rejecting evidence based on a sample. Statistical evidence for this practice is in the form of an estimate of a proportion, an average, a total, or other numerical characteristic of a finite population or lot. This practice is an estimate of the result which would have been obtained by investigating the entire lot or population under the same rules and with the same care as was used for the sample. One purpose of this practice is to describe straightforward sample selection and data calculation procedures so that courts, commissions, etc. will be able to verify whether such procedures have been applied.

This practice includes the concepts and procedures of sampling. Examples include sampling mineral ore or grain from a conveyor belt or sampling from a list of households along a street. If the systematic sample is obtained by a single random start, the plan is then a probability sampling plan, but it does not permit calculating the standard error as required by this practice.

*This abstract is a brief summary of the referenced standard. It is informational only and not an official part of the standard; the full text of the standard itself must be referred to for its use and application. ASTM does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the contents of this abstract are accurate, complete or up to date. *

**Significance and Use**

4.1 This practice is designed to permit users of sample survey data to judge the trustworthiness of results from such surveys. Practice E105 provides a statement of principles for guidance of ASTM technical committees and others in the preparation of a sampling plan for a specific material. Guide E1402 describes the principal types of sampling designs. Practice E122 aids in deciding on the required sample size.

4.2 Section 5 gives extended definitions of the concepts basic to survey sampling and the user should verify that such concepts were indeed used and understood by those who conducted the survey. What was the frame? How large (exactly) was the quantity N? How was the parameter θ estimated and its standard error calculated? If replicate subsamples were not used, why not? Adequate answers should be given for all questions. There are many acceptable answers to the last question.

4.3 If the sample design was relatively simple, such as simple random or stratified, then fully valid estimates of sampling variance are easily available. If a more complex design was used then methods such as discussed in Ref (1)3 or in Guide E1402 may be acceptable. Use of replicate subsamples is the most straightforward way to estimate sampling variances when the survey design is complex.

4.4 Once the survey procedures that were used satisfy Section 5, see if any increase in sample size is needed. The calculations for making it objectively are described in Section 6.

4.5 Refer to Section 7 to guide in the interpretation of the uncertainty in the reported value of the parameter estimate, θ^, that is, the value of its standard error, se(θ^). The quantity se(θ^) should be reviewed to verify that the risks it entails are commensurate with the size of the sample.

4.6 When the audit subsample shows that there was reasonable conformity with prescribed procedures and when the known instances of departures from the survey plan can be shown to have no appreciable effect on the estimate, the value of θ^ is appropriate for use.

**1. Scope**

1.1 This practice presents rules for accepting or rejecting evidence based on a sample. Statistical evidence for this practice is in the form of an estimate of a proportion, an average, a total, or other numerical characteristic of a finite population or lot. It is an estimate of the result which would have been obtained by investigating the entire lot or population under the same rules and with the same care as was used for the sample.

1.2 One purpose of this practice is to describe straightforward sample selection and data calculation procedures so that courts, commissions, etc. will be able to verify whether such procedures have been applied. The methods may not give least uncertainty at least cost, they should however furnish a reasonable estimate with calculable uncertainty.

1.3 This practice is primarily intended for one-of-a-kind studies. Repetitive surveys allow estimates of sampling uncertainties to be pooled; the emphasis of this practice is on estimation of sampling uncertainty from the sample itself. The parameter of interest for this practice is effectively a constant. Thus, the principal inference is a simple point estimate to be used as if it were the unknown constant, rather than, for example, a forecast or prediction interval or distribution devised to match a random quantity of interest.

1.4 A system of units is not specified in this standard.

1.5 *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, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.*

1.6 *This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.*

**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**

E105 Practice for Probability Sampling of Materials

E122 Practice for Calculating Sample Size to Estimate, With Specified Precision, the Average for a Characteristic of a Lot or Process

E456 Terminology Relating to Quality and Statistics

E1402 Guide for Sampling Design

E2586 Practice for Calculating and Using Basic Statistics

**ICS Code**

ICS Number Code 03.120.30 (Application of statistical methods)

**UNSPSC Code**

UNSPSC Code

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**DOI:** 10.1520/E0141-10R18

**Citation Format**

ASTM E141-10(2018), Standard Practice for Acceptance of Evidence Based on the Results of Probability Sampling, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2018, www.astm.org

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