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Importance of experimental replication

Sufficient replication is required in scientific experiments. Understanding the statistical term, degrees of freedom, can be helpful in ensuring sufficient replication.

The minimum number of degrees of freedom required for an experimental design to be considered adequate is usually understood to be 12 (Anonymous, 2012). However, this should be increased if there is significant variation in the variables measured (low precision). For most biological experiments the minimum residual degrees of freedom required is considered to be 15.

Further reading

Anonymous (2012). Design and analysis of efficacy evaluation trials. EPPO Bull. 42:367–381.


Calculator for determining the number of replications of an experiment required to achieve the desired degrees of freedom

To use add your values to the empty fields below


Number of treatments used
Degrees of freedom Default value but change as required e.g. 15


How to cite this article

Mullan, W.M.A. (2021) [On-line] Available from: Accessed: