Harmonised Guidelines for the Use of Recovery Information in Analytical Measurements (1998)

This guide was produced by IUPAC with contributions from Eurachem.


It is recognised that the use of recovery information to correct/adjust analytical results is a contentious one for analytical chemists. Different sectors of analytical chemistry have different practices. Formal legislative requirements with regard to the use of recovery factors also vary sector-to-sector. It is the aim of IUPAC, however, to prepare general Guidelines which may be seen to aid the preparation of the “best estimate of the true result” and to contribute to the comparability of the analytical results reported. IUPAC Interdivisional Working Party on Harmonisation of Quality Assurance Schemes for Analytical Laboratories has co-operated with the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), the International Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC Int.) and Eurachem to produce this guide. On the basis of contributions presented at the Symposium on Harmonisation of Quality Assurance Systems for Analytical Laboratories dedicated to the “Use of Recovery Factors in Analytical Chemistry” (September 1996, Orlando, USA; sponsored by IUPAC, ISO and AOAC Int.) a final document was prepared for publication by M. Thompson, S. L. R. Ellison, A. Fajgelj, P. Willetts and R. Wood. The document was submitted for publication in Pure and Applied Chemistry.
This document attempts to give Guidelines that are intended to be general in their scope and give recommendations that reflect common practice best able to achieve the comparability of analytical results. However, specific sectors of analytical chemistry will need to develop these Guidelines for their own requirements and the recommendations are not, therefore, to be seen as binding for all areas of analytical chemistry.


An English language version is available from A. Fajgelj, Quality Assurance Supervisor, International Atomic Energy Agency, Agency's Laboratories Seibersdorf, 2444 Seibersdorf, Austria. Tel.: +43 1 2600 28233, Fax: + 43 1 2600 28222, E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Alternatively, you may download the guide from this website (pdf, 73 kB).


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