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Best way to present CFU in scientific paper?

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I have CFU counts over 10 days. 

What is the best way to present colony forming units in a scientific paper? 

I don't think a table would be the best method. Maybe a bar graph?

I have 10^-4, 10^-5, 10^-6, and 10^-7 plate counts. I have 20 different samples for each dilution.

Please comment with some scientific papers or examples! 

Thank you :)

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Posted (edited)

It entirely depends on what you want to show with the data. In lab course it may be useful to show the counts per dilution to to show how well (or not) you did the dilutions, for example. In an actual paper you would never do that, of course. But depending on whether you want to show trends, correlations, group differences etc. you would use different type of presentation.

Edited by CharonY

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Thanks for your input, CharonY.

This is for an actual paper. In particular, a masters thesis.

Quote

But depending on whether you want to show trends, correlations, group differences etc. you would use different type of presentation.

I would want to show group differences. What is the best method? Use the 10^-7 counts at T=10 for each group in a graph?

38 minutes ago, CharonY said:

It entirely depends on what you want to show with the data. In lab course it may be useful to show the counts per dilution to to show how well (or not) you did the dilutions, for example. In an actual paper you would never do that, of course. But depending on whether you want to show trends, correlations, group differences etc. you would use different type of presentation.

I would want to show group differences. What is the best method? Use the 10^-7 counts at T=10 for each group in a graph?

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Sorry, I should have been more clear. With paper I generally refer to article paper in peer-reviewed journals. A master's thesis can include a dissection of things that went wrong, for example. 

It depends on what types of groups you have. If they are non-continuous categories bar graphs are often used using averages and relevant error bars or box plots, for example. But it is not clear to me why you would use only one dilution. Usually you would indicate the CFU in your undiluted original sample. The dilutions merely serve to make the colonies countable.

As a word of advice for your thesis, do not make the assumption that your reader is going to guess what you mean with abbreviations. Often, they are lab lingo that differ not only between disciplines but also between labs. For example if you say 10^-7  it is not necessarily clear that you are doing a dilution of cultures or some compound. Or T could refer to time but also any other variable. Be clear in your text and especially figure legend. The committee really hates having to guess what you mean, I can tell you that for sure.

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26 minutes ago, CharonY said:

Sorry, I should have been more clear. With paper I generally refer to article paper in peer-reviewed journals. A master's thesis can include a dissection of things that went wrong, for example. 

It depends on what types of groups you have. If they are non-continuous categories bar graphs are often used using averages and relevant error bars or box plots, for example. But it is not clear to me why you would use only one dilution. Usually you would indicate the CFU in your undiluted original sample. The dilutions merely serve to make the colonies countable.

As a word of advice for your thesis, do not make the assumption that your reader is going to guess what you mean with abbreviations. Often, they are lab lingo that differ not only between disciplines but also between labs. For example if you say 10^-7  it is not necessarily clear that you are doing a dilution of cultures or some compound. Or T could refer to time but also any other variable. Be clear in your text and especially figure legend. The committee really hates having to guess what you mean, I can tell you that for sure.

Thank you for the helpful advice, CharonY.

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