Terminology in Analytical Measurement: Introduction to VIM 3


This guide has been produced by members of the Eurachem Education and Training Working Group and others co-opted to the Project group for this task.

In the world of metrology – the science of measurement and its application – there is a language which has to be learned. The International Vocabulary of Metrology (VIM) was produced to provide a common language, primarily for physical measurements. The third edition (International Vocabulary of Metrology – Basic and General Concepts and Associated Terms (VIM 3) was published in 2007. There are many differences between VIM 3 and earlier editions; one important change is captured in the title with the addition of the word ‘concepts’. The VIM 3 is a consistent set of concepts each described by a unique term, the ‘label’ of the concept. VIM 3 is applicable across all scientific disciplines thus making it relevant to those involved in performing measurements in chemistry and biology. Consistent definitions of concepts with their associated terms and symbols are essential if analysts and customers across the globe are to understand each other.

This Eurachem Guide discusses a selection of the concepts in VIM 3, focusing on those most likely to be encountered in analytical laboratories. It aims to cover chemical, biological and clinical measurements and gives examples over and above those in the notes accompanying the definitions in VIM 3. The guide is intended for laboratory staff, accreditation bodies, for those commissioning measurements and for those using measurement results. Lecturers and trainers may also find this guide useful when teaching aspects of metrology.


You may download the guide directly in pdf format (pdf, 637 kb) from this website at no cost.


This guide is available in the following languages:

Translation into other languages is permitted for members of Eurachem. Please contact the Eurachem representative in the respective country or the Eurachem Secretariat.

*Ukrainian edition updated with ISBN on 2015-02-23

Give us your views on the Guide

The guide was published in 2011. Eurachem guides are reviewed five years after publication to assess the need for revision. As part of this process the Education and Training Working Group is seeking feedback from users of the terminology guide.

Click here to access a short survey to give us your views on the guide. It should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. The closing date for responses is 31 July 2016.