Authors frequently report criteria of selecting subjects in studies in two separate categories, inclusion and exclusion criteria, e.g.:

Inclusion criteria:

  • age between 18-60

  • has the disease x

Exclusion criteria:

  • smoker

  • has disease y

Alternatively, one can simply put these criteria under one category:

Inclusion (or selection) criteria:

  • age between 18-60

  • has disease x

  • is not smoker

  • does not have the disease y

Is there a real distinction between the two terms? Or are they used just as a matter of convention?

closed as off-topic by Richard Erickson, JeffE, scaaahu, user3209815, Scientist Jul 9 at 12:04

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  • Sorry, but your question seems to be about the content of research, which is off topic for this site. Maybe you could reword and place on the stats SE site or a biology SE site? – Richard Erickson Jul 8 at 17:45

In some ways the second is clearer since no one will interpret it as the inclusion criteria overriding the exclusion. Your criteria is and for all items. Between 18 - 60 AND ... AND doesn't have disease y.

But in general, if it is clear what you mean it should be fine. Clarity trumps form.

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