MS Terms Wiki:About

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This is a wiki associated with the IUPAC Mass Spectrometry Terms and Definitions project that was sponsored by the Analytical Chemistry Division (V) and Physical and Biophysical Chemistry Division (I) from 2004 - 2007.


K. K. Murray, R. K. Boyd, M. N. Eberlin, G. J. Langley, L. Li and Y. Naito, "Definitions of terms relating to mass spectrometry (IUPAC Recommendations 2013)" Pure Appl. Chem., 2013, 85, 1515-1609; DOI:10.1351/PAC-REC-06-04-06.


To update and extend the definitions of terms related to the field of mass spectrometry.

Task Group Members

Kermit K. Murray (Chair)

Robert K. Boyd

Marcos N. Eberlin

G. John Langley

Liang Li

Yasuhide Naito


From the 2003 project:

Widely accepted standard definitions of terms are necessary for clear communication in the discussion and dissemination of results. This is particularly important for multidisciplinary fields such as mass spectrometry. During the last decade of the 20th century, the field of mass spectrometry has seen a revolutionary change in practice and scope. The introduction of soft ionization methods for the analysis of biological molecules has expanded the scope of mass spectrometry from its early roots in the analysis of inorganic and organic species into the fields of biology and medicine. This expansion in scope and length of time since the last update of standard terms and definitions make it important to undertake a revision of these terms at this time.
Definitions of terms for mass spectrometry is under the purview of IUPAC Analytical Chemistry Division (Division V). The most recent edition of these terms and definitions can be found in Chapter 12 of the Compendium of Analytical Nomenclature (Orange Book), prepared in 1993, with addenda in 1993 and 1994. The goal of this project is to update these terms and definitions in close conjunction with the mass spectrometry journals, national mass spectrometry societies, and the International Mass Spectrometry Society.
Sources of mass spectrometry nomenclature that will be reviewed include, the Orange Book, Price, P., "Standard Definitions of Terms Relating to Mass Spectrometry," J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom. 1991, 2, 336-348, David Sparkman, Mass Spectrometry Desk Reference" Global View Publishing, 2000, and various web-based glossaries (,,, etc.).