Study Design and Preparation

Pietro Franceschi, Oscar Yanes, H.R.M.J. Wehrens

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


When designing a study there are several important considerations to be taken into account, irrespective of the measurement technology. The most important element is to precisely define the goals of the study. Even though these goals can be quite general, they must be more explicit than just expressing the desire to get to know the system under study. One easy rule of thumb is to think about the conditions under which the experiment can be called a success: “Finally, we are able to understand why this treatment leads to an upregulation of this particular metabolic pathway!” or “We have confirmed our hypothesis that compound X is not present in muscle tissue but is quite abundantly present in liver tissue.” If you are able to define a successful experiment, your goals are testable. The more specific your research questions, the more likely it is that you will find a clear answer, based on your experimental results. The definition of the research question will also direct the choice of the most suitable experimental design and, consequently, will shape the data analysis plan, which is a critical part of metabolomics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMetabolomics: Practical Guide to Design and Analysis
EditorsRon Wehrens, Reza Salek
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherChapman and Hall
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781315370583
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2019

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