Aims and Scope of our Journal “Accreditation and Quality Assurance” (ACQUAL)
Paul De Bie`vre
E.-H. Korte (&) ISAS, Bunsen-Kirchhoff-Str. 11, 44139 Dortmund,
P. De Bie`vre (&) Kasterlee,
themselves contain the basic concepts of MiC (and other
things as well). Hence these basic concepts of MiC must be
carefully elaborated in the Standards.
Quality assurance is a process conducted by the
laboratory to ensure that these Standards and (consequently)
the basic concepts of these Standards are implemented
and maintained in the course of time.
It seems logical that all of the above concepts should be
central in the formulation of the Aims and Scope of a
journal with the title Accreditation and Quality
Assurance and the subtitle Quality, Comparability and
Reliability in Chemical Measurement.
Were the Aims and Scope chosen for the Journal and
announced in (1996) Accred Qual Assur 1:A2 (inside of front
cover), correctly identified as the more important ones?
It seems so. But some adjustments are indicated.
An important refinement was the introduction in the VIM
edition 3:2008  of the concept metrological traceability
in order to distinguish it from many other kinds of
traceability such as material traceability, sample traceability,
product traceability, document traceability. Whenever
traceability of measurement results is meant, the new term
metrological traceability should be used, also in current
parlance. That was therefore also done in this Journal.
Probably the concept measurement uncertainty has
been the most popular topic in the Journal over the past
13 years, thereby reflecting the entry of the International
guide for the expression of measurement uncertainty ,
GUM, in the chemical measurement community. Also,
proficiency testing (PT), has been a subject of choice by
Papers describing a validation were rejected in the past
when validation was mostly based on Limit of Detection
(LOD) and similar figures of merit. Hence a better
understanding seems to be needed. In addition, the change in the
definition of the concept validation in the revised VIM 
is likely to stir up more contributions to the Discussion
Forum than in the past. Validation should therefore stay
in the Aims and Scope.
Have all of the announced topics been properly reflected
in the Journal?
Yes, with some exceptions which enjoyed a rather
variable degree of popularity such as certification and Good
Laboratory Practice (GLP).
Were important topics ignored since the start?
No, but the insight has increased that metrological
concepts can be usefully applied in chemical measurement
in biochemistry and biology, as well as in Microbiology.
That has had, and must, of necessity, have more
repercussions on this Journal.
Also, the importance of uncertainty of sampling was
stressed as several authors addressed the subject in
ACQUAL by their submission of papers on the topic.
Have new topics emerged in the course of the last
Probably, the ambiguityor even straightforward
unclarityin matters of proper identification of the
measurand(s), especially in biological measurement, is far
from having been adequately addressed, let alone resolved.
What is certain, is that the Journal was present on the
intercontinental scene when two historic changes of
paradigm took place:
the transition from the thinking in terms of the true
value concept with related random and systematic
errors, to measurement uncertainty, and
the start of the de facto demonstration of the
applicability of basic metrological concepts in chemical
measurement through the VIM edition 3:2008 .
That publication is having a very important consequence
for a journal such as ACQUAL: respecting the new
Vocabulary too rigidly or too quickly, entails the risk of
(temporarily?) distancing authors and readers. But, not
respecting the new Vocabulary, thereby slowing its
introduction, may even carry a greater risk, nl that it would
never been implemented. Particularly important to note in
this respect is the explosive development of biochemical
and biological measurements where the basic question is:
can they be made in a metrological framework?
This journal is not only serving the practitioner and the
scientist butas stressed nowalso the decision maker. Its
scope is explicitly said to be widened from measurements in
(analytical) chemistry to measurements in chemical and
biological sciences. This enables to take rightfully on
board the numerous papers on biological, biomedical,
clinical and related measurements. At the occasion of this
revision, statistics is given its place in the scope, by adding
the key terms applied statistics and statistical
simulations. The important term Metrology in Chemistry
which could be placed over all of this, even above the main
title of the journal, is not (yet) all that popular among
practitioners. Gradually, however, it will find its place in
prominent position in any list of foci.
New key words are reference measurements and
reference values as well as purity assessment and
sampling, and the serial numbers of Guides and Norms
have been replaced by related key words. Aims and
Scope now also contain the essential types of articles
as well as a selection of application fields.
All these changes are the result of discussions between
the Editors-in-Chief, the Publishing Editor at SPRINGER
(now Steffen Pauly who succeeded Peter Enders in 2008)
and consultation of the members of the ACQUAL Editorial
and Advisory Boards which now have been merged into a
single Intercontinental Editorial Advisory Board.
The intention of the editors isand will remainto strive
for clarity and transparency in text, table and picture
presentations, thus avoiding misunderstandings by the readers
and encouraging the authors to provide simple, unambiguous
language, all with the purpose of reducing technical barriers
to international understanding (TBUs), if not conceptual
barriers to intercontinental understanding (CBUs) and
therefore technical barriers to global trade (TBTs).
We hope that with the collaboration of all, this goal will
The original task given in the Editorial of Volume 1,
Number 1, p. 1  remains valid:
Measurements of high quality are not possible
without qualified analysts in the field.
It is not sufficiently recognized that analysts pursue
an important task in society by achieving reliable and
accepted chemical measurements. One of the explicit
purposes of this journal is to assist the chemical
analysts in this task.