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From the Guideline on bioanalytical method validation (2009):

Within-run precision

For the validation of the within-run precision, there should be a minimum of five samples per concentration level at LLOQ, low, medium and high QC samples in a single run. The within-run CV value should not exceed 15% for the QC samples, except for the LLOQ which should not exceed 20%.

Between–run precision

For the validation of the between-run precision, LLOQ, low, medium and high QC samples from at least three runs analysed on at least two different days should be evaluated. The between-run CV value should not exceed 15% for the QC samples, except for the LLOQ which should not exceed 20%.

Should "between-run precision" and "within-run precision" really take the definite article here? These phrases are parameter names, and the guideline does not refer to a particular "within-run precision" of a particular analytical method.

I sometimes come across parameter names used without the definite article.

Example:

Did you know that you could count cricket chirps to estimate temperature?

Example:

This signal can be used to estimate temperature and water vapour content throughout the atmosphere.

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    It is said that cricket chirps can be used to estimate temperature, and so today we will put it to the test; we will use cricket chirps to estimate the temperature, and then check the estimate against an expensive thermometer. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jul 21 '16 at 17:13
  • @TRomano - so it's okay to use no article initially? Will it apply to "Did you know that you could count cricket chirps to estimate temperature?" – CowperKettle Jul 21 '16 at 17:14
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    The lack of article isn't related to the fact that the noun temperature is being seen for the first time. Rather, it is a generalization. It's not any particular temperature at that point. That high quality Japanese carving knife advertised on TV is great for carving turkey. I wish we had one now to carve the turkey. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jul 21 '16 at 17:15
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    Sure we can. I hope the knife we ordered gets here in time to carve the turkey at Thanksgiving. We're referring to a specific turkey. Doesn't matter that it's in the future. We might not know the exact turkey we will be eating, but we are referring to our turkey, the one we will have. Good for carving turkey, good for estimating temperature. Both are generalizations, turkey in general, temperature in general. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jul 21 '16 at 17:30
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    Or, to see it another way, the turkey one traditionally has at Thanksgiving, and so the one we will have. Next year, she wants to help decorate the Christmas tree. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jul 22 '16 at 11:27
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Yes, the is acceptable in this case, because there is more than one precision we could be talking about and the writer is mentioning a specific one: the precision which exists within runs, or the precision between runs. I don't know if it's necessary; the sentences would actually read OK to me without the article too. But it is perfectly understandable and unremarkable.

To look at your other examples,

Did you know that you could count cricket chirps to estimate temperature?

I actually think this one reads worse without "the"! Cricket chirps can be used to estimate one particular temperature, the ambient temperature where the cricket is, not random or arbitrary temperatures.

This signal can be used to estimate temperature and water vapour content throughout the atmosphere.

In this case, the lack of article sounds right to me, because (if I interpret this correctly) it's possible use the signal to estimate multiple possible values, so temperature and water vapor content are general phenomena that we're talking about, and not specific examples.

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  • Thank you! A nice note on crickets and temperature. I'll try to remember this. – CowperKettle Jul 21 '16 at 12:26

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