IUPAC > Gold Book > alphabetical index > M > median



Depending on whether the number of observations is even or odd, the median can be estimated as follows:
  1. If n = 2 m + 1: The middle value of a series of observations, arranged in increasing or decreasing order.
  2. If n = 2 m: The arithmetic mean of the two middle values of a series of observations, arranged in increasing or decreasing order.
Comment: The use of the median when reporting results of chemical analysis is generally not recommended, because its statistical efficiency is less than that of the mean. In certain cases, however, especially when treating small sets of data, the median may offer advantages because it is a so-called 'robust statistic', i.e. it offers considerable resistance to the effects of isolated outliers.
PAC, 1994, 66, 595 (Nomenclature for the presentation of results of chemical analysis (IUPAC Recommendations 1994)) on page 603
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IUPAC. Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book"). Compiled by A. D. McNaught and A. Wilkinson. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford (1997). XML on-line corrected version: http://goldbook.iupac.org (2006-) created by M. Nic, J. Jirat, B. Kosata; updates compiled by A. Jenkins. ISBN 0-9678550-9-8. doi:10.1351/goldbook.
Last update: 2014-02-24; version: 2.3.3.
DOI of this term: doi:10.1351/goldbook.M03806.
Original PDF version: http://www.iupac.org/goldbook/M03806.pdf. The PDF version is out of date and is provided for reference purposes only. For some entries, the PDF version may be unavailable.
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