AMC Technical Briefs

AMC Technical Briefs provide reliable and up-to-date technical information about aspects of analytical science for members of the Analytical Division and the wider analytical community. Areas covered by AMC Technical Briefs mainly reflect the activities of the various AMC Expert Working Groups and concentrate on items that are important for analytical scientists, currently topical, or not readily available from other sources.

AMC Technical Briefs are carefully drafted by expert working groups and then separately peer reviewed by the whole AMC before final approval and publication. Apart from their general application, they can comprise a very useful addition to CPD records.

AMC Technical Briefs published since 2012 are included in Analytical Methods and are freely available to download from the Journal site via the link below.

Please note that you can directly access the HTML version of the Technical Brief from Analytical Methods, but the PDF version may require you to sign in through your Personal RSC Publishing Account if you do not have access through your institution.


AMC Technical Briefs may be freely reproduced and distributed in exactly the same form as published here, in print or electronic media, without formal permission from the Royal Society of Chemistry. Copies must not be offered for sale and the copyright notice must not be removed or obscured in any way. Any other reuse of this document, in whole or in part, requires permission in advance from the Royal Society of Chemistry.


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Downloadable Files

Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) in cultural heritage
No. 91 – November 2019
PDF iconPDF (681k)  

The role of accreditation in ensuring sampling quality
No. 90 - June 2019
PDF iconPDF (302k)  

Hand-held X-ray fluorescence spectrometry
No. 89 - April 2019
PDF iconPDF (444k)  

Why do we need the uncertainty factor?
No. 88 - March 2019
PDF iconPDF (363k)  

The correlation between regression coefficients: combined significance testing for calibration and quantitation of bias
No. 87 - March 2019
PDF iconPDF (572k)  

Revision of the International System of Units (Background paper)
No. 86 - March 2019
PDF iconPDF (324k)  

Analytical pyrolysis in cultural heritage
No. 85 - October 2018
PDF iconPDF (2105k)  

Beam sampling: taking samples at the micro-scale
No. 84 - February 2018
PDF iconPDF (460k)  

Identification of plastics in cultural heritage collections by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)
No. 83 - January 2018
PDF iconPDF (484k)  

Are my data normal?
No. 82 - September 2017
PDF iconPDF (481k)  

'Periodic Table' Links
No. 81 – August 2017
PDF iconPDF (2260k)  

A ‘Periodic Table’ of mass spectrometry instrumentation and acronyms
No. 81 – August 2017
PDF iconPDF (1007k)  

Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) in cultural heritage
No. 80 – July 2017
PDF iconPDF (3277k)  

dPCR – the digital polymerase chain reaction
No. 79 – June 2017
PDF iconPDF (440k)  

Proficiency testing of sampling
No. 78 – June 2017
PDF iconPDF (338k)  

X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis of porcelain: Background paper
No. 77 – March 2017
PDF iconPDF (3322k)  

Chemical metrology
No. 76 – October 2016
PDF iconPDF (707k)  

UV-visible-NIR reflectance spectrophotometry in cultural heritage: Background paper
No.75 – July 2016
PDF iconPDF (917k)  

z-Scores and other scores in chemical proficiency testing - their meanings, and some common misconceptions
No. 74 – May 2016
PDF iconPDF (691k)  

Representative sampling? Views from a regulator and a measurement scientist
No 73 June 2016
PDF iconPDF (360k)  

AMC Datasets—a resource for analytical scientists
No. 72 - January 2016
PDF iconPDF (782k)  

Sampling theory and sampling uncertainty
No. 71 - November 2015
PDF iconPDF (625k)  

An analyst's guide to precision
No. 70 - August 2015
PDF iconPDF (725k)  

Using the Grubbs and Cochran tests to identify outliers
No. 69 - June 2015
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Fitness for purpose: the key feature in analytical proficiency testing
No. 68 - June 2015
PDF iconPDF (396k)  

Raman spectroscopy in cultural heritage: Background paper
No. 67 - May 2015
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Heritage Science – an introduction
No. 66 - February 2015
PDF iconPDF (470k)  

Sample stability studies for environmental analysis
No. 65 - January 2015
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Unbalanced robust ANOVA for the estimation of measurement uncertainty at reduced cost
No. 64 - July 2014
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Meat and poultry nitrogen factors
No. 63 - May 2014
PDF iconPDF (333k)  

Seafood nitrogen factors
No. 62 - May 2014
PDF iconPDF (345k)  

The "Phase-of-the-Moon" paradox in uncertainty Estimation
No. 61 - March 2014
PDF iconPDF (355k)  

Random samples
No. 60 - March 2014
PDF iconPDF (906k)  

PCR - the polymerase chain reaction
No. 59 - January 2014
PDF iconPDF (784k)  

Estimating sampling uncertainty – how many duplicate samples are needed?
No. 58 - January 2014
PDF iconPDF (254k)  

An introduction to non-parametric statistics
No. 57 - September 2013
PDF iconPDF (265k)  

What causes most errors in chemical analysis?
No. 56 - May 2013
PDF iconPDF (317k)  

Experimental design and optimisation (4): Plackett-Burman designs
No. 55 - March 2013
PDF iconPDF (331k)  

Checking the quality of contracted-out analysis
No. 54 - September 2012
PDF iconPDF (395k)  

Dark uncertainty
No. 53 August 2012
PDF iconPDF (463k)  

Bayesian statistics in action
No. 52 - August 2012
PDF iconPDF (317k)  

Quality Control of routine sampling in chemical analysis
No. 51 - August 2012
PDF iconPDF (338k)  

Robust regression: An introduction
No. 50, January 2012
PDF iconPDF (488k)  

Sporadic Blunders
No. 49, March 2011; revised May 2011
PDF iconPDF (156k)  

The characterisation of nanoparticles
No. 48. December 2010
PDF iconPDF (310k)  

How continuous should 'continuous monitoring' be?
No. 47, March 2010
PDF iconPDF (111k)  

Internal quality control in routine analysis
No. 46, February 2010
PDF iconPDF (96k)  

Immunoanalysis - Part 2 : Basic Principles of ELISA
No. 45, February 2010
PDF iconPDF (89k)  

Immunoanalysis - Part 1 : What are antibodies?
No 44, February 2010
PDF iconPDF (106k)  

Analysis of asbestos-containing materials by light microscopy
No. 43, October 2009
PDF iconPDF (434k)  

The importance, for regulation, of uncertainty from sampling
No. 42, October 2009
PDF iconPDF (68k)  

Portable X-ray fluorescence analysis
No. 41, June 2009
PDF iconPDF (208k)  

The Duplicate Method for the estimation of measurement uncertainty arising from sampling
No. 40, June 2009
PDF iconPDF (173k)  

Rogues and Suspects: How to Tackle Outliers
No 39, March 2009
PDF iconPDF (80k)  

Significance, importance and power
No 38, March 2009
PDF iconPDF (96k)  

Standard additions: myth and reality
No 37, March 2009
PDF iconPDF (156k)  

Experimental Design and Optimisation (3): Some Fractional Factorial Designs
No 36, February 2009
PDF iconPDF (101k)  

DNA - an analytical chemist's view
No 35, Re-issued March 2009
PDF iconPDF (218k)  

High-performance liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS)
No 34, November 2008
PDF iconPDF (65k)  

MCERTS: The Environment Agency's Monitoring Certification Scheme
No 33 October 2008
PDF iconPDF (147k)  

Optimising your uncertainty - a case study
No 32, July 2008
PDF iconPDF (144k)  

Measurement Uncertainty arising from sampling: the new Eurachem Guide
No 31, July 2008
PDF iconPDF (89k)  

The standard deviation of the sum of several variables
No 30 April 2008
PDF iconPDF (100k)  

CHNS Elemental Analysers
No 29 April 2008
PDF iconPDF (84k)  

Using analytical instruments and systems in a regulated environment
No. 28, September 2007
PDF iconPDF (72k)  

Why are we weighting?
No 27, June 2007
PDF iconPDF (112k)  

Measurement uncertainty and confidence intervals near natural limits
No 26A Former AMC Recommendation re-issued as a Technical Brief in September 2008
PDF iconPDF (146k)  

Experimental design and optimisation (2): handling uncontrolled factors
No. 26, December 2006
PDF iconPDF (66k)  

How good were analysts in the good old days before instrumentation?
No. 25, October 2006
PDF iconPDF (94k)  

Experimental design and optimisation (1): an introduction to some basic concepts
No. 24, June 2006
PDF iconPDF (61k)  

Mixture models for describing multimodal data
No. 23, March 2006
PDF iconPDF (130k)  

Uncertainties in concentrations estimated from calibration experiments
No. 22, March 2006
PDF iconPDF (79k)  

The estimation and use of recovery factors
No 21A Former AMC Recommendation re-issued as a Technical Brief in September 2008
PDF iconPDF (69k)  

Energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (EDXRF)
No. 21, September 2005
PDF iconPDF (83k)  

Analytical and sampling strategy, fitness for purpose, and computer games
No. 20, August 2005
PDF iconPDF (102k)  

General and specific fitness functions for proficiency tests and other purposes - clarifying an old idea
No 19A Former AMC Recommendation re-issued as a Technical Brief in September 2008
PDF iconPDF (111k)  

Terminology - the key to understanding analytical science. Part 21: Sampling and sample preparation
No. 19, March 2005
PDF iconPDF (77k)  

What is proficiency testing? A guide for end-users of chemical data
No 18A. Former Background Paper reissued as Tachnical Brief 18A, July 2008
PDF iconPDF (65k)  

GMO Proficiency testing: Interpreting z-scores derived from log-transformed data
No. 18, December 2004
PDF iconPDF (68k)  

Test for 'sufficient homogeneity' in a reference material
No 17A Former AMC Recommendation re-issued as a Technical Brief in September 2008
PDF iconPDF (92k)  

The amazing Horwitz function
No. 17, July 2004
PDF iconPDF (164k)  

What is uncertainty from sampling, and why is it important?
No 16A. Former Background Paper reissued as Technical Brief 16A, July 2008
PDF iconPDF (68k)  

Proficiency testing: assessing z-scores in the longer term
No. 16, April 2004 revised April 2007
PDF iconPDF (79k)  

Is my uncertainty estimate realistic?
No. 15, December 2003
PDF iconPDF (164k)  

A glimpse into Bayesian statistics
No. 14, October 2003
PDF iconPDF (122k)  

Terminology - the key to understanding analytical science: Part 1: Accuracy, precision and uncertainty
No. 13, September 2003
PDF iconPDF (164k)  

The J-chart: a simple plot that combines the capabilities of Shewhart and cusum charts, for use in analytical quality control
No. 12, March 2003
PDF iconPDF (27k)  

Understanding and acting on scores obtained in proficiency testing schemes
No 11, December 2002
PDF iconPDF (34k)  

Fitting a linear functional relationship to data with error on both variables
No 10, March 2002
PDF iconPDF (28k)  

A simple fitness-for-purpose control chart based on duplicate results obtained from routine test materials
No 9, February 2002
PDF iconPDF (26k)  

The Bootstrap: A Simple Approach to Estimating Standard Errors and Confidence Intervals when Theory Fails
No 8, August 2001
PDF iconPDF (32k)  

Nitrogen factors
No 7, May 2001
PDF iconPDF (24k)  

Robust statistics: a method of coping with outliers
No 6, April 2001
PDF iconPDF (40k)  

What should be done with results below the detection limit?
No 5, April 2001
PDF iconPDF (26k)  

Representing data distributions with kernel density estimates
No 4, Revised March 2006
PDF iconPDF (75k)  

Is my calibration linear?
No 3, Revised December 2005
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The zL-score--combining your proficiency test results with your own fitness for purpose criterion
No 2, Revised December 2005
PDF iconPDF (49k)  

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