Laboratory Methods & Protocols

Replicability, Repeatability, & Reproducibility

The terms replicability, repeatability, and reproducibility are often used interchangeable but actually have different definitions. They are also often used differently in different disciplines. 

The Association for Computing Machinery offers the following definitions (shortened for clarity). 

Repeatability (Same team, same experimental setup): The measurement can be obtained with stated precision by the same team using the same measurement procedure, the same measuring system, under the same operating conditions, in the same location on multiple trials. 

Replicability (Different team, same experimental setup): The measurement can be obtained with stated precision by a different team using the same measurement procedure, the same measuring system, under the same operating conditions, in the same or a different location on multiple trials. 

Reproducibility (Different team, different experimental setup): The measurement can be obtained with stated precision by a different team, a different measuring system, in a different location on multiple trials. 

 

Applying these definitions, well documented methods and protocols help primarily with the repeatability of an experiment.