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Terminology in Analytical Measurement: Introduction to VIM 3 (2011)

NOTE: This version of "Terminology in Analytical Measurement: Introduction to VIM 3" has been superseded by the latest edition, published in 2023. The 2023 edition can be found here.


This guide has been produced by members of the Eurachem Education and Training Working Group and others co-opted to the Project group for this task.

In the world of metrology – the science of measurement and its application – there is a language which has to be learned. The International Vocabulary of Metrology (VIM) was produced to provide a common language, primarily for physical measurements. The third edition (International Vocabulary of Metrology – Basic and General Concepts and Associated Terms (VIM 3) was published in 2007. There are many differences between VIM 3 and earlier editions; one important change is captured in the title with the addition of the word ‘concepts’. The VIM 3 is a consistent set of concepts each described by a unique term, the ‘label’ of the concept. VIM 3 is applicable across all scientific disciplines thus making it relevant to those involved in performing measurements in chemistry and biology. Consistent definitions of concepts with their associated terms and symbols are essential if analysts and customers across the globe are to understand each other.

This Eurachem Guide discusses a selection of the concepts in VIM 3, focusing on those most likely to be encountered in analytical laboratories. It aims to cover chemical, biological and clinical measurements and gives examples over and above those in the notes accompanying the definitions in VIM 3. The guide is intended for laboratory staff, accreditation bodies, for those commissioning measurements and for those using measurement results. Lecturers and trainers may also find this guide useful when teaching aspects of metrology.


You may download the guide directly in pdf format (pdf, 637 kb) from this website at no cost.


This guide is available in the following languages:

Translation into other languages is permitted for members of Eurachem. Other offers of translation should be directed to the Eurachem Secretariat for permission. The Eurachem policy on maintenance and development of Eurachem guidance, available on the Policies page, gives further information on translation.

*Ukrainian edition updated with ISBN on 2015-02-23


This publication should be cited* as:

V J Barwick and E Prichard (Eds), Eurachem Guide: Terminology in Analytical Measurement – Introduction to VIM 3 (2011). ISBN 978-0-948926-29-7. Available from

*Subject to journal requirements.