Statnote 13: a more complex analysis of variance incorporating a 'repeated measures' factor

Anthony Hilton, Richard A. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to specialist publication or newspaperArticle


Experiments combining different groups or factors and which use ANOVA are a powerful method of investigation in applied microbiology. ANOVA enables not only the effect of individual factors to be estimated but also their interactions; information which cannot be obtained readily when factors are investigated separately. In addition, combining different treatments or factors in a single experiment is more efficient and often reduces the sample size required to estimate treatment effects adequately. Because of the treatment combinations used in a factorial experiment, the degrees of freedom (DF) of the error term in the ANOVA is a more important indicator of the ‘power’ of the experiment than the number of replicates. A good method is to ensure, where possible, that sufficient replication is present to achieve 15 DF for the error term of the ANOVA testing effects of particular interest. Finally, it is important to always consider the design of the experiment because this determines the appropriate ANOVA to use. Hence, it is necessary to be able to identify the different forms of ANOVA appropriate to different experimental designs and to recognise when a design is a split-plot or incorporates a repeated measure. If there is any doubt about which ANOVA to use in a specific circumstance, the researcher should seek advice from a statistician with experience of research in applied microbiology.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages3
Specialist publicationMicrobiologist
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008


  • applied microbiology


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