Standards of reporting

Authorship & Acknowledgements

All research and teaching users of MAGU facilities should explicitly acknowledge the MAGU (Manchester Analytical Geochemistry Unit) and the relevant personnel when analyses or instrumental data obtained using the unit are included in manuscripts for publication, papers, reports, theses, dissertations and, where appropriate, abstracts and public presentations.
Co-authorship by MAGU personnel is normally only expected on manuscripts intended for publication as papers or abstracts where

  1. the publication concerns the development of an analytical technique in which particular MAGU personnel have significantly contributed; or
  2. particular MAGU personnel have materially contributed to the intellectual content of the manuscript or the reduction of instrumental data.

Reporting Analytical Data

Analytical data reported in manuscripts for publication normally (requirements may vary depending on the editorial policy of the journal/publisher) should be accompanied by (i) a brief description of the analytical methods and instrumentation used, and (ii) a description of the quality of the data.

The detail of the method description required should normally be sufficient for a competent reader in principle to be able to reproduce the procedure followed. Where appropriate reference to a standard procedure, whether an MAGU standard operating procedure or a published procedure, may serve to reduce the volume of description required. The brand and type of major instrumentation should be noted as well as any critical instrumental settings and operating conditions.

Description of data quality should include estimates or assessments of:

  1. the representativeness of the samples analysed;
  2. the precision of the measurements made; and
  3. the accuracy of the data reported.

Together with the bases for making such estimates.

Whilst MAGU staff may have considerable experience of typical precisions and accuracies obtained by certain techniques for commonly analysed media, these typical precisions and accuracies will not apply universally to all sample sets. In practice, the estimates of precision and accuracies for the analysis of a given sample set should be determined by the inclusion and due consideration of appropriate replicate and standard samples in the sample set analysed. For reported analyses of labile components or trace components, in particular, explicit consideration should be given to inaccuracies introduced by sample degradation and laboratory contamination respectively, whilst for all determinands, explicit consideration of instrumental drift and matrix-dependent effects should be made.

Unless otherwise explicitly stated, MAGU normally provides uses with instrumental data with no certification of data quality – assessing data quality and ensuring the appropriate samples (calibration standards, certified refernece materials, blanks, procedural blanks, drift standards, standard additions) is the responsibility of the user.

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