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Published analytical methods are written either in light of a specific laboratory's procedures or in general terminology. It is unlikely that any given laboratory will follow the method without incorporating some of their own internal procedures. These minor modifications should not have any significant impact on the performance of the method. These minor modifications include items such as:
  • variations in the types of glassware used
  • variations in the quantities of reagents used for digestions/dissolutions
  • variations in instrument manufacturer, and related instrument operation
Other undesirable modifications may be made which increase laboratory throughput or reduce costs while compromising the performance of the method. Examples of this type of modification include:
  • decreasing or excluding the analysis of quality control samples
  • extending calibration ranges significantly into non-linear ranges
  • decreasing XRD diffraction peak analysis windows or number of peaks analyzed
Major modifications to a referenced method significantly alter the performance and validation of the method.

If a laboratory has modified the reference method, the modifications and the purpose of the modifications should be examined.

If the performance of the method is not known (e.g., it is a reference method with major modifications or is a method from an unproven source) it should be thoroughly validated through the analysis of samples of known results.
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