Marine data requirements
Data from biological surveys of marine and brackish habitats requires effective quality assurance to ensure that it is fit for purpose and comparable with other datasets. For most projects, there is a quality stipulation that may require external audit of the extraction efficiency and specimen identification from benthic samples.
This may be achieved through the NMBAQC scheme or through auditing by an independent third party.
APEM has the most experienced staff in Europe in providing external sample audits. They have completed audits or sample processing projects throughout the UK and for a number of overseas clients. They have also assisted with laboratory method audits and visited other laboratories to supply improved methodology protocols.
Our staff have also been actively involved in the development of international standards and methods and the dissemination of updates to taxonomic literature of relevance to data comparability.
Importance of data quality assurance
Data quality assurance and analytical quality control are increasingly important, as planning and conservation decisions are made on the basis of submitted data.
Differences in extraction efficiency are often the most significant problem, as the resulting count discrepancies can lead to changes in biotope assignments or the statistical significance of changes between surveys or areas.
Continuous advances in taxonomy may cause newly recorded species to be misidentified by less experienced laboratories, which could have legislative consequences, particularly for non-native species or those of conservation importance.
Comparability of data
It is often necessary to compare data with related datasets from other sources. For this to be done successfully requires data truncation to ensure comparability and statistical rigour in any comparative analysis. Differences in recording policy may result in apparent differences between datasets that can be resolved through expert truncation, as offered by APEM.
Our team are experts in marine biological data, ensuring that they are collected consistently, analysed expertly, interpreted with specialist knowledge and presented in an accessible format.
We are proud of our environmental data and its potential application to previous and subsequent studies.
All our projects produce data of a consistently high quality to ensure that not only are the questions of the project in hand answered, but that they can also be combined with data from other sources or applied to future studies.
Through our expert training and auditing services, we can extend and enhance our clients’ data and provide genuine data quality assurance.
If you have any queries, please contact Dr Tim Worsfold, laboratory technical specialist.
Alternatively you can email us here. Or call 0161 442 8938.