Statistics to support soil research and their interpretation

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Webster, R. 2001. Statistics to support soil research and their interpretation. European Journal of Soil Science. 52 (2), pp. 331-340.

AuthorsWebster, R.
Abstract

Much soil research needs statistics to support and confirm impressions and interpretations of investigations in field and laboratory. Many soil scientists have not been trained in statistical method and as a result apply quite elementary techniques out of context and without understanding. This article concentrates on the most common abuses and misunderstandings and points authors to proper use. It distinguishes variance and standard deviation for measuring dispersion from standard error to indicate confidence in estimates of means. It describes the strictly limited context in which to use the coefficient of variation. It stresses the importance of quoting means and differences between them in contrast to statistical significance, which is at best of secondary interest. It guides readers to inspect and explore their data before deciding to transform them for analysis and illustrates what can be achieved by taking logarithms of single variates and by principal component analysis of multivariate data.

KeywordsSoil Science
Year of Publication2001
JournalEuropean Journal of Soil Science
Journal citation52 (2), pp. 331-340
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1046/j.1365-2389.2001.00383.x
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Funder project or code445
513
ISSN13510754
PublisherWiley

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