Clopyralid in Compost and Mulch Study Outline

Executive Summary
Briefly describe the scope of the study, the objective, methodology, results, and main conclusions.

Thoroughly explain the problem being addressed and include relevant background information.

Clearly and concisely state the purpose of the study. Identify the problem or hypothesis being addressed in the study protocol.

Physical-Chemical Properties of Clopyralid and Compost
If available, briefly summarize the physical-chemical properties of clopyralid and compost relevant to the study. For clopyralid, include information regarding solubility, volatility, biodegradability, transformation, persistency, octanol/water partition coefficient, adsorption coefficient, etc. For compost, include information regarding composition, composting stage, bulk density, etc.

Materials and Methods
Include information that is needed to repeat the procedures used in the study. For a compost study, this section may consist of the following two subsections.

  • Sampling Materials and Methods
    Provide a detailed, sequential list where, when, and how the activities were followed in the study. Include the sample size and procedures on how the samples were collected and sealed, the name, model, and manufacturer of containers and tools or equipment used, how the samples were transported and stored, and so forth. If a composite sample was collected, provide information on how the sub-samples were collected and when, where, and how they were composited.
  • Analytical Materials and Methods
    Provide a detailed statement where, when, and how the samples were extracted and analyzed. Include amount of sample analyzed, what solvent was used, amount of solvent, the diluting/concentrating methods if any, how many aliquots of the extract were analyzed, the name, model number, technical specifications, configuration of the equipment and instrument used for sample analysis, and quality control measures. Any relevant standard operating procedures pertaining to sample collection and analytical methods used in the study should be referenced or placed in the appendices.

Study Results and Data Analysis
Briefly describe the overall study without repeating the experimental procedures in detail. Clearly present the overall results, data transformations and calculations with appropriate units, and statistical analyses. The results may be listed in tables. The tables should be able to stand alone (i.e., presented in a meaningful way such that the reader can simply look at a table and understand what data were collected). Report here if results are adjusted (for example, for analytical method recovery), and include data used to justify the adjustment.

Quality Assurance and Results
Briefly describe the quality assurance carried out for the overall study including analytical method development study without repeating the operational procedures described in the study protocol and standard operating procedures in detail. Clearly present all quality assurance results with appropriate units including standard solution validation, detection limit, quantitation limit, method validation range (warning and control limits), storage stability, continuing quality control (blanks, analytical confirmation, and verification) and spikes analyzed concurrently with field samples.

Explain what the results mean and how your results and interpretations are either similar or dissimilar to previously published work. The principles, relationships, and generalizations you state here should be supported by the data you present. Describe all circumstances that may have affected the quality or integrity of the study results, such as instrument malfunctions, unexpected compost matrix interference, an unexpected shower during sampling, and any accidental event. New ideas and speculations may be presented as long as there are data to support them.

Clearly and concisely summarize conclusive points and emphasize the main points brought out in the discussion.

Cite all references involved in the report.

Provide supplemental material such as illustrations, forms, figures, pictures, and tables that elaborate or support the report, including study protocol, standard operating procedures, raw data, quality control data, statistical analysis procedures, Compost Facility Questionnaire, Chain of Custody, Certificate of Analysis, and so forth.

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