Reliability in Chemistry

How can I determine if my results are reliable?

I measured the voltage produced across different cells made of four different metals. I then took measurements and recorded them in a table, but was told that my results are not considered reliable.

What constitutes reliability of data collected during any experiment? How can I judge if the data collected was reliable for any experiment I come across?

Thanks a lot. Any help is appreciated.

Reliability is the correlation of actual values with the supposed real value. Generally reliability analysis is performed with scores not experimentally derived values. In real-world research arrival at a “real” reliable vale is reached by several independent investigators use the same and also alternative routes to obtain that value.

It may be possible that your values are far a field from true voltages. How many times did your take the voltage measurements? However, taking simple voltage readings generally yields consistent results. Then there is the issue of the preparation of the cells themselves. To obtain more “reliable” data, one would make up cells from scratch and obtained voltage values. These would be averaged to come to some values closer to the real ones. One would also look at standard deviations to see if the data distribution is overly broad.


Reliable is not a term used in scientific work. Scientitists focus on repeatability, and verifiability. The entire focus on the scientific process is to have data that can be repeated, and verified. So you do this by making multiple observations, with different instruments. And, have others repeat your measurements.
One never knows if a value is reliable, whatever that means, but one does get through confirmation and repeat measurements some validity to the process.


Thank you for using the Jiskha Homework Help Forum. Although this is definitely NOT my area, let's begin with a definition of the word "reliability."

Main Entry: re·li·abil·i·ty
Pronunciation: ri-"lI-&-'bi-l&-tE
Function: noun
Date: 1816
1 : the quality or state of being reliable
2 : the extent to which an experiment, test, or measuring procedure yields the same results on repeated trials

Now, as BobPursley mentioned, "repeated" tests, giving the same result in successive experiments would be considered "dependable" or "reliable." Therefore the measurements you put on your table should be consistent. Perhaps you only did one test per metal? Perhaps your teacher will "clarify" why your results were not "reliable."

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