Ordinal scale - Dynamic NPU Manual

Ordinal scale

Abbreviation None
Synonym None
Definition Quantity, defined by a conventional measurement procedure for which a total ordering relation can be established, according to magnitude, with other quantities of the same kind, but for which no algebraic operations among those quantities exist
Scope An ordinal scale serves for the comparison of examined values regarding a kind-of-property that can be ordered by magnitude.

Quantities with results that are expressed in an ordered rank.

A given result can be “lower” or “greater” than another result for the same quantity.

If results are given as numerical values, they cannot be added, subtracted, divided or multiplied.

The difference between two values is not the same between the numerical values.

Note 1: Ordinal scale is attributed to NPU codes with arbitrary kinds-of-quantity.

Note 2: Results have no ISQ dimensions or SI units

Value set

The results are presented with alphabetic letters or numerical values in a hierarchal way.

Results with numbers


Results with alphabetic letters

{none<little<much<very much}.


  1. Stevens SS. On the Theory of Scales of Measurement. Science. 1946;103(2684):677-680. doi:10.1126/science.103.2684.677
  2. Ferard G, Dybkaer R, Fuentes-Arderiu X. Compendium of Terminology and Nomenclature of Properties in Clinical Laboratory Sciences : Recommendations 2016. 1 ed: Royal Society of Chemistry; 2016. 182 p. doi:10.1039/9781782622451.
  • arbitrary activity
  • arbitrary amount-of-substance
  • arbitrary concentration
  • arbitrary catalytic activity
  • arbitrary catalytic-activity concentration
  • arbitrary content
  • arbitrary entitic amount-of-substance
  • arbitrary entitic number
  • arbitrary fraction
  • arbitrary number
  • arbitrary number concentration
  • arbitrary number fraction
  • arbitrary rate
  • arbitrary threshold concentration
  • arbitrary time
  • arbitrary viscosity
  • compatibility
  • expiry
  • motility
  • presence