A simple question, but I did the answer while googling. I would like to say "The proposed method aims at delineating cells populations".


I think it should be singular in this case, as in cell populations. As a native speaker, I'd avoid an "s" here unless it was possessive (and therefore also had an associated apostrophe). I don't think your usage is possessive.

For proof, see this ngrams graph showing that "cell populations" is much more common than "cell populations".

For explanation, it's a noun modifier, and these are apparently traditionally singular (although there is some change recently and they can be plural, sometimes).

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    I would put it more strongly: "cells populations" is a clear error (as indeed are "cell's populations" or "cells' populations"). The only option here is "cell populations". – TonyK May 20 '19 at 13:21
  • Thanks for the edit and the answer! It's easier to remember with that rule. Sorry, I can't vote yet. – SamGG May 21 '19 at 9:10

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